The next step is to construct the tenons. I made sure to really practice a couple until I was satisfied with the technique so I wouldn’t bag the actual pieces. I went through 3 different attempts to figure out what works best with my shop and my hands. I attempted all hand cut, bandsaw cut, and tenon jig on table saw and stop on sliding miter saw. I chose the latter based on the results overall. I marked the tenon thickness using a knife gauge to ensure it was centered, then measured the distance and marked off using the same gauge. From there I drew the 45 angle along which the shoulders were to be cut. Having that accomplished, I set the sliding miter saw at 45 degree bevel and set the depth. I cut that to the level of the tenon, or just shy of it and then finished the cheek of the tenon on the tenoning jig on my table saw. There were two different heights, as you can imagine, intersecting the 45 angle. The finished result is below.
After getting all 8 tenons cut, I fitted them to the mortise to create the underlying support structure of the table. The tenons had to be persuaded a bit to fit into the mortises by a bit of racking of the frame but in the end it worked out fine.
I last left off with the rough cut legs after cutting them on the table saw. At this point, before we final shape them, we need to make the mortises for the tenons of the apron to mate to. The mortises on this project are going to be a little out of the norm as they will have to mate with the apron tenons at 45 degree angles to allow the legs to splay out to give the effect we need. I consulted my library of joinery to find no examples so I’ll have to figure it out as I go. The joint is basically a 45 but joint to the legs but with a central tenon. This means the apron has to be cut at 45 degrees for the shoulder. The tenon will extend parallel to the apron centrally as is normal for a typical mortise and tenon. The mortise will have to be cut at 45 degrees into the face. As is typical, I begin with the mortise first then fit the tenon.
To cut the mortise at 45 degrees into the face, I ran into the difficulty of holding the workpiece at a 45 degree angle. So I built a jig to do so. Since the legs are all relatively uniform at this point, they should all fit on the same jig. Here is a picture of the jig.
Here is the jig holding the leg in it.
The next step is to do rough stock removal. I will do this on my drill press utilizing the fence. I constructed the leg to fit the jig using a level so the fence of the drill press will easily track the plumb line of the leg when roughing out the mortise. I clamped the leg to the jig and began my work.
After all was said and done, I wished I had piloted my holes at 90 degrees versus trying to begin at 45 degrees because the bit jumped around a lot and pushed the jig away from the fence making the cut not very clean.
I finished the work using a set of mortise chisels to clean up the work.
So on to the next project. This project will be the creation of a similarly themed matching end table to the coffee table I recently finished. Like the coffee table, I have decided to use a starburst veneer but due to the corner utilizing nature of an end table, the top will not be round but square with rounded features. Like any project, the first step is to draft out the idea in some fashion. Pasted here is my preliminary drafts.
The next step is converting the draft design features into real world measurements and scale. I decided on a typical height of 22″ and length and width of top of 24″ square. The curvature of the legs I usually draw freehand on cardboard and cut out for use as a basic template. From the perfected cardboard template, I create a hardboard and therefore more permanent template. From this template I cut out the actual legs on the bandsaw. You can see the results below.
I cut the legs from one 2″ x 6″ board. The legs are 3″ x 1.5″. I want to put the legs angled at 45 degrees at the corners of the apron to make the curves more noticeable and symmetrical. The other alternative would be to cut cabriole style legs with two cuts but this would require 3″ x 3″ blanks which would be cost prohibitive for this project. When cutting the legs it is important to keep close to the line but to leave it. Fine tuning happens later. The next picture is the stack of all the completed preliminary cut legs.