Champion Table Build, Part 4: Base & Arc

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preparing to fit the base to the leg assembly

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defining a semicircle with 3 saw cuts

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3 saw cuts get refined into facets with a paring chisel

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and again

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then shaped with a rasp

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the base of one of the leg assemblies after the 1/2 lap-tapered dado has been cut

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here, mated with the white oak leg

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a different piece of white oak being shaped with a rasp, one of three slats joining the top of the leg assemblies together and to the table top

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the slats also receive a long bevel

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the slats will rest in the notches being cut into the top of this leg section

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clearing out material from the notch with a 1″ chisel

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establishing the final depth with a router plane

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here the slats are temporarily in place

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an arsenal of shaping tools to begin sculpting the legs

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shaping inside-curves of the leg assembly with an aggressive rasp

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forming a radius where the legs meet the base

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the preliminary drawings had a horizontal stretcher connecting the two leg assemblies at floor level. Having rough-shaped the components and taking a look, I started visualizing an arc instead. PVC pipe (already bent from a previous life in some low garden tunnels) offered a quick prototype to help see how it would look.

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the arc made sense, so now setting about squaring up a white oak timber for re-sawing

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re-sawn white oak and a glue-lamination form ready to make an arc

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the glue lamination in the form- my 8 year old son was indispensable in this process, helping to roll glue, assemble, and clamp

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rhythm is in unity to woodwork

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the white oak timber, reconfigured as a messy arc

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work for the jack plane

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now the smoothing plane

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cutting the tapers along the length of the arc at the band saw

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marking the taper at the width

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cutting the taper at the width

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more elbow grease with the smoothing plane

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shaping the many curves and facets along the arc, first with a drawknife

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then with spokeshave

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establishing details with knife

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facets ease into curves

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test fitting- some refining-shaping to go yet

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setting the location of the chamfers on the leg-base

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shaving away rasp markings

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carving corner transitions

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so many details to bring together- here the leg base is about done.

That’s it for this round- next week there will be lots of sanding, also carving and inlay work as the table finally starts to become unified. Thank you to everyone for following along, and for your encouraging comments.

The Champion Table Build, Part 1: Compose, Scribe and Fit

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the beauty of God’s edge

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composing pieces

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flattening black walnut with a router and jig

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more looking, more composing

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smoothing and shaping edges

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smoothing and joining white oak

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assembling white oak panels

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white oak and black walnut adjusted and clamped for scribing

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knife scribing every curve

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the white oak panel marked and ready to cut

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rough cutting on the bandsaw, staying about 1/16th to 1/8th away from the scribed line

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cutting the line deeper

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paring away the waste to establish a shoulder along the scribe-line

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making the shoulders broad and deep

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chopping and paring right up to the line

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the shoulder becomes a jig to cut the rest of the piece right to the line using a pattern bit and router

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after cutting a slot for a floating tenon, dry-fitting pieces

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the floating tenons cut and laid out

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tenons glued in

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glued and clamped

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joining and smoothing the new edges

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on to the next step…

Go On, Bezalel

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“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills…” Exodus 31: 2 & 3.

Go On, Bezalel3Bezalel is kind of an early renaissance man, thousands of years before Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, or Durer.  More importantly he was faithful to God’s design of him as a craftsman.  He was  found worthy to build the design of God concerning the tabernacle and all of its parts.  As a craftsman and artist, it is hard to comprehend anything so significant to my earthly labors as to manifest on earth something that was authored in the very heart and mind of God.  Go On, Bezalel5

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Elizabeth Duffy asked me about influences and progenitors in her interview with me last year.  Here is an excerpt of my response pertaining to Bezalel:  I hope, maybe, to be in the line of Bezalel, who fashioned so much for the tabernacle, making the sacred things that were part of the “technology” of worship of His God for his community. Personally, I couldn’t ask for more than that. Bezalel is valuable as a paradigm of an artisan of broad experience and skill. He could work in many trades and arts with skill worthy of God’s Tabernacle. My good friend reminds me of the value of a man of that breadth of experience and skill in contrast to a culture that places a premium on experts of high degree in a single field. When I wonder if I am hurting myself by embracing so many disciplines, I am grateful for Bezalel and his place in God’s story, and a few other men I have encountered who are champions of excellence in this way.Go On, Bezalel1 The drawing, an imagining of a portion of Bezalel’s tent-workshop, started two or three years ago, finally over the past two months I was able to finish it.  It is composed along the lines of another drawing, Go On, Adam, Breathe.  An potential series of drawings?  The drawing to me feels so limited, compared to the vastness of what could be explored and depicted, as a task to learn about Bezalel, his labors, and his relationship to his God.

Go On, Bezalel4

Place

“Rootrill” I hope that you will forgive me for posting an eleven minute song in the twenty first century.  Mostly, I hope that you enjoy it.

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arc contain glow

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seen through scene

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bois d arc meteorite

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slanting even evening light

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ancient bone star dust

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deere ghost sheep goat add straw and mix well

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cross turn

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years unfurl in the eternal present

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young hands dextrous

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core sample of stored solar energy

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made vacant for gold

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quince roots herbs leg

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reamed tapered tapped turned twisted sunk fitted formed around

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concentrate earth line essence

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absorb the sun and use it for life

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pull transfer motion

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dividing even unto cambium and xylem

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layers and layers

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learn purpose practicing discipline

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stop motion

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frozen movement osage root as it once reached

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three forms of light

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hand in hand you who once swayed

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ancient releasing story

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the turning of light upon the solar bank countless voices scratch and turn

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golden hands once full wait for wisdom

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new moon forest window

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tall down cut stack turn stack down

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erth-maker here we bend here we grow

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establish converge into order dust scratcher

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welcome the new bird and fare thee well

Brought Low

Working for and in collaboration with my friend, Cody, we have been preparing waney-edged planks and slabs of eastern red cedar and black walnut for loft and stair railings and countertops, while making much fodder for the compost pile.

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