A marvel of green woodworking, the white cedar bird shown in this section seems to defy logic. Made from a single piece of cedar, its wing feathers form a 3 14-inch-wide fan that stays in place without a single drop of glue.
Using a technique developed by the late Chester Nutting, Edmond Menard of Cabot, Vermont, crafted the white cedar bird shown at left. Sliced from a single block of fresh wood, the bird’s feathers spread out easily when the wood is wet, but lock into place when the wood dries. Menard has made more than 50,000 birds since 1976; he can carve a bird in under 10 minutes.
The key to success with this technique is to use freshly cut white cedar, which is pliable as long as it stays moist... >
MAKING AND INSTALLING THE QUARTER COLUMNS
1 Making the columns
Cut a blank several inches longer than the finished length of the columns, and wide and thick enough for the number of quarter columns you need. Rip the blank into quarters, joint the inside surfaces of the pieces, then glue and clamp them back together with newspaper in between (inset, top). This will enable you to pull the columns apart easily. Once the glue is dry, mount the blank on a lathe. Mark two lines on the blank for the length of the column and indicate the waste with Xs (inset, bottom). Drive screws through the waste sections to hold the quarters together. Adjust a set of outside calipers to the desired diameter of the column, then turn the blank into a cylinder as you did for the finials (page 131)... >
Once the frame for the fall-front has been assembled and hinged to the desk unit, the leather top can be glued to the inside face. The leather should be cut slightly larger than the recess. Use contact cement, hide glue, or thick wallpaper paste to attach the material to the surface. Trim it to size with a craft knife, then smooth it down with a hand roller, as shown at left. The leather should be treated with glycerine saddle soap once a year.
Fall-front frame stock
Shaping the frame edges
Cut the four frame pieces for the fall-front from a single board. But before making these cuts, shape one edge of the board... >
This section features two time-tested methods for permanently joining legs to the rails of a piece of furniture: the mortise-and-tenon joint and the dowel joint. Two more contemporary ways are also featured; both involve using knock-down leg hardware—suitable for furniture that must be taken apart and reassembled periodically.
To some extent, the type of leg will dictate the way you join it to the rails. You would be unlikely, for example, to use a hanger bolt to fix a cabriole leg to a fine ffame-and-panel cabinet. A mor – tise-and-tenon joint would be a more appropriate choice.
There are several techniques for making the mortise-and-tenon. You can use a table saw to cut the tenons (page 104);
the mortises can be bored with a router (page 50) or a drill press (page 106)... >
straight. The most common element of cabriole legs is the S-shaped curve, which is meant to suggest the grace and elegance of a horse’s leg.
The design shown below will yield an attractive, well-proportioned leg strong and stable enough to support a piece of furniture. You can alter the pattern to suit your own project or copy the design of an existing leg that appeals to you. However, do not exaggerate the curves too much or you risk making the leg unstable. Before cutting into the block of wood, perform this simple test on your design: Draw a straight line from the top of the leg to
MAKING A CABRIOLE LEG
Designing a cabriole leg
For a template, cut a piece of stiff cardboard or hardboard to the same length and width as your leg blanks... >
PUSH STICKS AND PUSH BLOCKS
Making push sticks and push blocks
Push sticks and push blocks for feeding stock across the table of a stationary power tool can be made using %-inch plywood or solid stock. No one shape is ideal; a well – designed push stick should be comfortable to use and suitable for the machine and task at hand. For most cuts on a table saw, design a push stick with a 45° angle between the handle and the base (right, top). Reduce the handle angle for use with the radial arm saw. The notch on the bottom edge must be deep enough to support the workpiece, but shallow enough not to contact the saw table. The long base of a rectangular push stick (right, middle) enables you to apply downward pressure on a workpiece... >
Carved accents and ornamentation have been a feature of fine furniture for centuries. Traditionally, these details were etched with painstaking skill by master carvers wielding a battery of gouges, chisels and files. While a router cannot duplicate the finely detailed work of a skilled carver, it can still produce impressive results with far less effort and training. With the right setup and techniques you can use your
TAPERING A LEG
router to perform a variety of decorative cuts, from tapering legs and cutting flutes in quarter columns to shell carving. The flutes shown in the quarter column in the photo at left, for example, were cut in a cylinder wrhile it was still mounted on a lathe; the router was fixed to a simple jig that rides along the lathe bed... >
A VERTICAL PLYWOOD RACK
Constructing the rack
For long-term storage, stacking plywood on end saves valuable shop floor space. The rack shown at left is built from furring strips, threaded rods, and wing nuts. Start by screwing two l-by-3 furring strips to the studs of one wall, 2 and 5 feet from the floor; first bolt two threaded rods 41/ feet apart into the top strip. Cut a third furring strip and bore a hole through it at one end and saw a notch at the other end to line up with the rods. Both openings should be slightly larger than the diameter of the rods. Place two wood pads on the floor between the rods and stack the plywood sheets upright on them. Holding the third furring strip across the face of the last panel, slip one rod through the hole and the other into the slot... >