J. Leko is the principal of J. Leko Furniture Maker, LLC., where he designs and builds specially commissioned custom furniture and woodwork. J. studied woodworking with some of the world’s best craftsmen at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking where he is completing the Michael Fortune Fellowship. He has taught furniture making classes at the Jane M. Hughes Arts and Crafts Center on Redstone Arsenal, and his articles have been published in WoodTalk On-Line, and Fine Woodworking magazine.
So as you have seen, the table’s mechanisms are (somewhat) working. Where do we go from here?
While there is satisfaction in reaching this point, there is still lots to do with the prototype. The small drawer latch must be mortised into the main box below the drawer opening. It requires two latch plates. There is also the matter of shaping the carcass aprons. I am thinking of leaving this partially complete as a pedagogical sample. I have seen this done before, where each leg shows a different state of progression, to great effect. Unless an interested buyer comes forward, this is my current intention. It would also be nice to create at least one proper Louis XV style leg (refer to previous attempts here, and here) before committing to the final piece!
With the exception of the small drawer latch, what remains is straightforward; almost no fiddling required. It will be nice to have a clear path for a change!
The light at the end of the tunnel could be the headlight of the oncoming train…
In the last post on the topic, I concluded it would be necessary to drill holes in the lower racks to accommodate the stop bolts. The thought of this makes me pause because while the current piece into which they are being fit is a prototype, the racks and gears are not. The thinking goes that once the prototype is properly operating, the mechanisms will be transferred to the final oak piece, and the poplar prototype will remain for pedagogical purposes. At some point though, you just have to cut metal…
Drill & tap the hole in the lower rack.
Once this is done, use this new hole to determine where to locate the hole in the side of the main box.
Finally, install the bolt, and use it to mark the extents of the groove in the apron.
With the aprons modified, reassemble the carcass, reinstall the mechanisms, and test (anxiously holding breath…).
Unfortunately, I neglected the thickness of the guides when locating the bolt hole. After a brief walk to consider options, it’ll probably be best to reduce the diameter of the stop bolts to clear the guides. This won’t necessitate drilling another hole in the lower rack, and the 1/4 x 20 bolts being used for this are readily obtainable. It is a bit tedious, however, to file them down and still get them to thread into the racks.
A final point. A careful inspection of the lower racks on the Getty original reveals that drilling the stop bolt hole in the incorrect location is not a unique problem. Apparently, I am in good company.
Many thanks to George Hamilton for his assistance tapping the bolt holes.
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In the marquetry course, we will explore various ways to embellish your projects using wood veneer. Intended for those with little or no experience, it begins with geometric patterns cut with knives, chisels, and a straight edge. By the end of the week, students will execute their own free form designs using a marquetry fretsaw.
I think the class at Campbell Folk School will challenge participants. Not only will we be making dovetail joints at angles less than 90º, we are going to do it without referring to the gradations on a ruler! It really is possible to construct furniture without measuring, and it is surprisingly accurate. To top things off, we will do all of this using only hand tools!
I will try to post more details as the times for these classes approach. Until then, feel free to contact me with questions.
This weekend, I took a break from fiddling with the mechanisms to focus on a different aspect, namely the book rest. When originally created, it worked (somewhat) reliably, but was set aside so I could focus on the mechanisms. The main box, to which the book rest is attached, has been re-worked since then, most notably being disassembled for mechanism installation adjustments. It still worked after that, but required help to get beyond a certain point.
There are two tricks necessary for this to function properly.
The leaf on the rest side of the hinge isn’t mortised into the wood like you would do for any normal hinge installation. This allows appropriate clearance between the back of the stand, and the bottom rest, and
Radius the bottom corner of the rest with a plane. This ensures it will rotate when the lifting force is applied to the stand.
With things (once again) operating smoothly, the only step remaining was to chisel two notches in the stand’s back. This gives two angles at which the stand can be set.
…and before you comment, more than one person has already suggested using it as an iPad stand…
I want to thank Michael Koppy for working with me to fabricate the hinged support.