Shaping was the Order of the Day

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Thursday, July 18, 2013: What did the day bring? Shaping the feet and columns. But first, we got a demonstration on making and installing cock bead. This is a true case of form following function. Cock bead has a rounded front edge and stands out ⅛” from the main body of the drawer face, intended as a protective edge for veneers. The fact that it is an attractive element was secondary.

Paul has also been making a beautiful cane from red oak. I had a chance to walk with it today for a few minutes and it is very comfortable. Hopefully though, I won’t need one for a while.

As I suspected, shaping the feet and columns was the main focus of today. The curves are gentle and flowing, more pleasing to the eye than symmetrical. After tracing the template curves to the pieces, it was stop cuts and chisel work. Once the heavy stock removal was completed, a lighter touch and refinement came from the spokeshave.

Once the stock removal was complete and the form was ready for smoothing, I changed to a card scraper. I have never really used one with any success, but today was different. Paul gave a lesson on proper sharpening, which included a few more steps than I ever heard before. These steps are necessary for the tool to work properly, which is probably why I never had any luck.

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One of Paul’s sons, Joseph, did a video lesson on sharpening these scrapers, which I watched, but didn’t have a chance to practice. This method works phenomenally. I got great results from the scrapers I used today.

I have a little more shaping to finish tomorrow, maybe an hour’s work. Based on my review of the prototype, I see two more components; the lower stretcher to hold the legs parallel and the table top. I would guess the stretcher is tomorrow’s work, so the undercarriage is complete. After that, it should be making the table top.

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