Overflow, Part XVI

There are two different aprons I’m giving away this time.

Canadian Home Workshop Magazine Apron

I won this apron when I got my first piece of writing printed in a magazine.  I used it for about a year and it has glue stains to prove it.

There are three big (sawdust-collecting!) pockets at waist-level and one small chest pocket. The magazine’s logo is embroidered.

Canadian Home Workshop Apron2

Two adjustable straps go around your neck and waist.

Canadian Home Workshop Apron1

Lee Valley Apron

I got tired of wearing my first apron, but sometime later, decided to give aprons another chance.  I bought this apron from Lee Valley (Part #67K1006).

It has two large, side-access pockets near the waist and four smaller pockets on the chest.

LV Apron Front

This apron utilizes a cross-strap system to hold it to your body.

LV Apron Back

In the end, I decided that aprons were not for me. Instead, I just wear clothes I don’t mind getting dirty and dusty. Instead of using pockets, I just put things like my carpenter’s pencil and Magic Square down in areas that are kept free of clutter.

If you, unlike me, feel the need for a shop apron, this could be your chance!  Let me know which one you’d like (or if you’d be happy with either) by noon, Friday January 10. I will then draw a winner at random. Even if you don’t get this item, remember that there is still much more I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified as soon as I post something new! Please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

Construction of “Table with a Twist” – Part 2: Twisted Aprons

This is the second post on the construction of my Table with a Twist.  The first post covered the making of the legs.

I had initially thought about making the aprons square like the legs because I knew how to twist a square blank and wasn’t sure how a rectangular blank would work.  I experimented with different apron designs and settled with a quarter twist (right photo).

However, I realized that having a 2″x2″ apron would not have offered enough support for the legs and I did not want to incorporate a stretcher below, as I felt that a stretcher would distract from the shape of the legs.  Using a wider apron provided greater racking resistance.  Before I laid out the twist in the legs, I had determined how wide (high) I wanted the aprons to be so I kept that area of the legs flat and untwisted to keep joinery simple.

I wanted the base to flare outwards towards the back as well, so that meant the ends of the side aprons needed to be cut at an angle.  Also, the front and back aprons needed to be cut at different lengths.  I wanted the flare to be subtle and I laid out a pleasing angle by eye which was only a few degrees.  I used my Domino joiner set to cut mortises for the largest Domino floating tenons which were 10mm (3/8″) thick and 50mm (2″) long.  I cut three mortises in each apron end and the inside faces of the legs.  To minimize the chance of errors, I cut all 16 top mortises first, then reset the Domino’s fence to cut the middle mortise, then reset the fence once again for the bottom mortise.

Then I dry-fitted the joints.  They were tight and perfectly aligned.  Because the Domino floating tenons were such a snug fit, it was work to get the dry joints together and apart.  That was what I wanted.

Next, I laid out the quarter twists which was as simple as drawing lines from corner to corner on all four faces.  I wanted to carve the twist on three surfaces, though only two surfaces are visible.  If I were only carving the two visible faces, I would have drawn diagonal lines on the two edges and one front face.

Unlike the legs, I elected to twist the aprons all the same direction – clockwise.  Then I carved to the lines using my drawknife.  As before, I finished up with a spokeshave.  To hold the aprons while carving them, I put the bar of a parallel-jaw clamp in my vise and used the clamp to secure them from the ends.  This gave me full access to the carved sections.

On the short aprons, I ran into an unexpected challenge.  Because I was carving a quarter twist in such a short piece, the twist was sharper than any I had encountered before.  This meant that my drawknife was of limited use and my spokeshave was even less useful because of the length of blade or sole of the tool.  I did what I could with my drawknife, then went to carving gouges, rasps and card scrapers.

Once again, I dry-fitted the carved aprons with the legs.  The back apron, which was not carved, was yet to be fitted.

Next week, I will detail the construction of the top and finishing.