The Champion Table Build, Part 3: Leg Joinery

champion table 301
flattening walnut stock with a wooden joiner for the top rails of the leg assembly
champion table 302
using winding-sticks to make sure there is no twist in the board
champion table 303
finishing up with a #7 jack plane
champion table 304
squaring up the remaining edges and dimensioning the walnut on the bandsaw
champion table 307
layout lines
champion table 308
initial shaping of the curves on the top rail of the legs
champion table 309
testing it against the table-top
champion table 310
sawing lengths of white-oak for the vertical posts of the leg assembly
champion table 311
the white oak after squaring-up
champion table 312
testing the concept and a few angles before committing
champion table 316
laying out the leg joints
champion table 317
establishing the sliding dovetail angle with a knife
champion table 318
cutting the front of the sliding dovetail
champion table 319
all the bandsaw work done, now the hand-tools will finish
champion table 320
paring the back cheek of the tenon
champion table 321
the joint is most of the way there- the waste between the mortise and the dovetail is yet to be removed
champion table 322
the four white oak legs all cut
champion table 323
the arsenal of tools to accurately transfer the dimensions of the tenon/ dovetails onto the walnut rails
champion table 306
champion table 324
starting the cut for the sliding dovetail socket with a carcass saw
champion table 325
another view cutting sliding dovetail sockets
champion table 326
chopping out the waste in the socket
champion table 327
paring the sidewalls unreached by the saw
champion table 328
using a router plane to achieve an accurate floor of the joint- the leg on the cutter allows it to reach the angled corners
champion table 329
another view of the router-plane
champion table 330
starting the mortise with a 3/4 mortise chisel
champion table 331
the first row is delicate- just establishing the shape and protecting the corners
champion table 332
going the full depth of the mortise with an auger – you can see the round-topped sliding dovetail socket parallel to the mortise
champion table 333
squaring the mortise the rest of the way with the mortise chisel
champion table 336
cleaning the sidewalls with my extra-big paring chisel
champion table 334
thank God, they fit!
champion table 335
step one is successful- to get to this point took endless drawings and two complete practice joints and a lot of patience
champion table 313
marking the leg rails for some shaping/ sculpting cuts on the band saw
champion table 337
the top rails post rough-shaping, and the taper of one of the white-oak legs marked with blue tape
champion table 338
dry re-assembly just to make sure
champion table 339
the glue-up
champion table 340
next week will concern the joining of the bottom rail and the final shaping of the leg assemblies

12 thoughts on “The Champion Table Build, Part 3: Leg Joinery

    1. Thank you, Astrid. Your praise means a lot, as I greatly admire your skill and the excellence of your craftsmanship.

  1. Hi Jake,
    You have good angles and lines throughout to my eye. I had thought the dovetail would be getting exposed at the endgrain but it turned out with its location to be hidden. I wonder how you feel about the rounding-off there at the stopped end now that it’s together?

    1. Hi Ernest,
      It is “Jack” actually -but that’s not a big deal. The joint is similar to the joint used to attach the legs to those big Roubo style workbenches everyone is building these days. I should have identified mine as a stopped sliding dovetail. The rounding off of the top is part of the whole design of the leg assembly- which I have not shown yet. I’ve been generally pleased with the results, but you can judge for yourself when I post the pictures on the next post. Thank you kindly always for your comments and kind words, Ernest. How is the hewing treating you these days?

      1. Thanks for setting me straight Jack, mines actually Don, Ernest du Bois is more how I feel about wood. Since I may have jumped the gun I’ll let you do your thing. No judgements really at this point, I just see you walking a thin line’s all.
        As for the subject zo near my heart I got several side axes waiting to get fixed up and with the changing weather an itching to cut into sweet chestnut.

      2. No problem, Don. I am pleased to be on a first name basis with you. There is no doubt that I am walking a number of thin lines on this project. We’ll see where I end up. Please know I am always grateful for any insights and observations, especially for those who are ernest in their passion for the wood and the work.

  2. Beautiful work, as always, Jack. It’s amazing to see these joints in action– and I have no idea how you can get them to all fit together with all of those crazy angles. It’s pretty incredible to see the legs joined, and I can’t wait to see the final outcome!

    1. Thank you, Mikey. I had to do a lot of head scratching, drawing and practice work to make sure I got all of the angles right. The key angle is 14 degrees from square. I doubled my favorite angle, which is 7 degrees from square. The angle compounds in a few places, and that always makes for tricky alignment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s