Table Leg Modification

I answered an ad on a Facebook page seeking someone to do work on a wood lathe. After a few private messages, I met with the person who was re-finishing a 100 year old table that was a family heirloom. The table legs were turned with some beads, coves and flutes but they were about 2 inches short because casters were removed so the customer wanted them extended in a motif that complimented the existing style. I accepted the job and like all things involving restoration, a few surprises occurred along the way. The following photos tell the story.

 

Unequal Lengths

The legs were not equal in length so the leg extensions needed to be different lengths to compensate.

Spreading Glue

First things first. Stock had to be glued up so billets could be created that were greater in diameter than the existing legs.

Clamping

One of my favorite things about woodworking is watching glue dry!

Stock Ready for Milling

Glued up and ready for milling. Hard to believe there is 5 board feet of oak here.

Band Sawing

Band sawing the glued up stock.

Cross Cutting

The squared stock is next cut into individual working size billets.

Billet Leg and Stock

Here is a look at the billet, the leg and the remaining stock from which additional billets will be cut.

Facing Top of Leg

The top of the legs were not flat so I took a shaving cut on the lathe. As it turns out, this was a big mistake.

Hit a Nail

As I was facing the top of the leg, I heard a ticking sound and stopped the lathe for a look. Oh no! I hit a nail and when I checked the other legs, they all had embedded metal. Lesson learned, never turn old wood before checking with a magnet.

Regrinding Tools

I actually buggered up two tools before I noticed the embedded metal so I had to re-grind the cutting edges.

Disc Sanding

My remedy for flattening the top of the leg was to use a disc grinder. The table and miter gauge helped to keep things square.

Ground Flat

Finally, a flat surface I can work with. Notice the nasty bits of metal embedded in the wood. I have no idea why they were there because the legs are screwed into the table with a central stud. Maybe they were originally nailed to the top?

Turning Tenon

OK, back to the lathe. The billet was turned round and a tenon added for chucking.

Drilling Hole

Once in the chuck, the mounting hole was drilled through the stock.

Scribing Billet

Because the extension diameter is greater than the leg diameter, the leg diameter was scribed on the end of the billet so I knew where to terminate the bead. The idea was to make the transition at a bead because blending to the same diameter was impossible due to the condition of the legs.

Turning to Small Diameter

The billet allowed for an oversize bead to hide the glue joint. Here the actual leg diameter is established for the remainder of the extension.

Diameter and Length Cuts

Cuts were made to establish the location of the bead, the length of the part and the small diameter.

Finished Turning

The bead was formed and the remainder of stock removed to final diameter.

Finish Sanding

The part was finish sanded to 180 grit. It was then parted from the waste.

Test Fit

The extension was test fit on the leg. Looks good!

Gluing End Grain

The remaining parts were turned and glued to the legs. After the glue dried, three long screws were driven for added assurance that the assembly would remain intact under various forces.

Equal Lengths

Here is a look at how the lengths match up. The extensions will be finished like the existing legs and the table should be a lot more stable because the legs are now equal length.

Completed Job

Glued, screwed and ready for delivery. I asked the customer to provide a photo or two of the finished table to complete this blog page. She graciously agreed and the next two photos tell the rest of the story.

Finished-Table-2

The legs with extensions were finished like the table. Here is a look at the new legs as seen from a dog’s eye view.

Finished-Table-1

The restored table proudly sits in their home for family and guests to enjoy for another generation or two. I was delighted to have played a roll in the restoration of this family heirloom!

Charging Station

Over the years, we have accumulated several electronic devices that require frequent re-charging. My office desk looked like a snake pit with wires lying all over so I decided to make a dedicated charging station that would tidy up the place. The box has a removable top with partitions to hold several devices, the interior fits a couple of power strips and the required transformers, and the box has ventilation to keep everything cool.


Unsightly Wires

The snake pit of wires messing up my office desk.


Box Construction

The back of the box was left open near the top for ventilation. Additional holes were drilled in the sides to facilitate air flow.


Completed Charging Station

Several partitions were glued to the removable top and wires held in place were labeled to avoid confusion.


Completed Charging Station 2

Another view of the charging station with several devices being charged simultaneously.

Cutting Board

My favorite sister is moving to Henderson, NV so I wanted to give her a little gift with a Southwestern design. Using Lamination Pro software, I made a design using white maple, walnut and blood wood. The software is amazing and allows designs up to 5 generations. The strips were cut and glued together to form the initial lamination which was then cut into strips and every other one was flipped and re-glued to form the first generation. This assembly was cut 9 times lengthwise down the center into eight 1/8″ strips which were flipped to form the Southwest design. All of the pieces were re-glued, sanded flat, trimmed square and a 1/8″ walnut border was glued on and again trimmed square before adding the maple outer border. After the glue dried, the assembly was again sanded flat and the hand hole was cut and the edges were routed with a quarter round bit. Butcher block oil was used as the finish.

Starting Point

Strips of maple, walnut and blood wood were cut to specific widths and glued to form the initial lamination.

Sanding Flat

Several times throughout this project my drum sander was invaluable. Here the initial lamination was sanded flat in preparation for subsequent steps.

Laminate Cut

The lamination was cut into strips at a specific angle to make pieces for the first generation assembly.

First Generation Pieces

Here you can see the pieces cut from the lamination and the design effect by flipping every other piece.

Gluing Jig

Aligning the pieces during the gluing process is critical to the quality of the finished design. I made a gluing jig to help me keep things from moving around when clamp pressure is applied.

First Generation Cut

The first generation cut must me made perfectly down the center.

First Cut Completed

Looking good! The first cut was perfectly centered.

Alternate Design

It’s fun to play with the pieces. Here a slide of 1/2 unit pops a diamond pattern into view. This was not my plan so onto the next step.

Cutting the 1/8" Strips

You can see how close the blade is to the fence for the 8 pieces that must be cut for the design.

Pust Block

I made a sacrificial push block for the narrow strip cuts to be safely made on the table saw.

Design Assembly

The gluing jig was used for the sub-assemblies of the Southwest design.

Final Design Emerges

Here’s what the final design looks like before being sanded flat and trimmed to accept the outside borders.

Completed Assembly

The borders were added and the hand hole was machined. All edges were eased with a quarter round bit on the router table.

Finish Applied

The cutting board was sanded to 320 grit and butcher block oil was applied for the finish.


Happy Sister

Ginni was pleased with the gift as I gave her a farewell kiss.