Author Topic: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?  (Read 4245 times)

awleonard

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Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« on: January 23, 2009, 01:37:48 PM »
I've been looking at some articles on tea tables (my next project).  I noticed that a lot of folks turn the foot after sawing out the shape on the bandsaw.  In a class I took, we turned the foor first, the bandsawed out the shape.  I was just wondering if there are any pros and cons either way?  Seems like turning the blank before bandsawing would be more pleasant since it would be balanced, but there may be something I'm missing.

Thanks,

Tony

ChuckH

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 12:57:34 PM »
Tony,
I've built a few sets of cabriole legs - always bandsawed first, but I don't see any advantage of one method over the other.  Don't cut the post out until after you've done the lathe work or you may not have enough stock for the lathe center.  Keep the lathe speed down and I've never noticed a balance problem.

I finally got smart with the last set I built and chopped the mortises before I did anything else.

-Chuck
If all else fails, play dead.  -Red Green

awleonard

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 02:52:27 PM »
Thanks.  I do remember in another class I took that we left a short section of the full blank at the top of the post to be removed later.  Thanks for mentioning that.  I probably would have forgotten that if I bandsaw first.  Got the leg stock the other day and it sure is nice.  I'd hate to mess it up!  I guess that's one reason we turned first too - we cut the post sides on the tablesaw.   

Tony

Freddy Roman

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 11:39:29 PM »
Tony,

First, I would make the leg blanks long enough that you can get both transition blocks and about one to two inches longer than the finished dimension.  The reason why you want the length to be 1-2 inches longer,  is that you can then turn the pad & foot and if you screw up then cross cut the pad off and do it again.  Once you are happy then proceed from there and cut the mortises on the legs and cut the shape on the bandsaw.  Now, if you cut the shape of the leg first then you would notice that the rear lower section  of the leg is pre shaped for you.  Now turning the pad and foot process is usually done with a skew, & in the right hands this is a easy process.   Yet if your not experience or comfortable the skew this can be very difficult.  The other issue is that a skew is the most difficult tool to use and  you can really ruin the leg quickly.  Are you going to turn the foot offset?  Is the offset towards the front or back of center?

Freddy 
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awleonard

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 02:42:35 PM »
That's a good point.  I'm more likely to mess up the turning than I am the bandsawing.  This is a tea table, so the skirt runs the length of the rail.  These are centered on the leg.  I have turned quite a bit, but I'm not turner.  I use a skew, but I'm not real confident with it.  Having the extra length for "repair" work is a good idea.  I can afford to scrap a couple of inches instead of a whole blank.  These are some expensive blanks! Another thing that makes me lean towards turning first is that my lathe is a mini.  I can turn up to 40", but the lathe is not very heavy.  The base is sandbagged, but there is just not that much cast iron in this thing.  I'll probably glue up a poplar blank and practice. 

I'm doing my own design, but for reference, I am looking at Norm Vandall's book, Lonnie Bird's article in AW many years ago, and Glen Huey's article in PWW recently.  Also looking at some pics in the Sack book Good Better Best, the book you turned me on too (Conn. furniture), and some other books I have.   

Thanks,

Tony

Allan D. Brown

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2009, 04:44:46 PM »
Tony,
Unless you're just set on turning the foot, you might want to consider cutting it by hand. I recently built a tea table (my first), based on a combination of designs from Greene's book, Bird's bandsaw book, and Huey's recent article in PW. I have a book by Mr. Huey (don't recall the title offhand) in which a DVD was included that showed his method for shaping the feet/pads by hand. Since I don't have a lathe, it was really helpful, and I like the way they turned out. An alternative to consider, especially after you put in some serious cash for those legs! I've sure been tempted to buy the other set!
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Allan

Freddy Roman

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2009, 09:12:34 PM »
Tony

Some dimensions pleasing to the eye is  the overall size of the pad and foot is 3/4" to 7/8" thick.  The ankle thickness is 1 1/8 thick in the round, anything thinner on this ankle is not to pleasing.  The ankle can get really thin fast so beware.  Good luck.

Fred
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Jeff Saylor

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2009, 12:14:09 PM »
Tone,

I've had success turning the foot using a parting tool to establish the pad and then going with a gouge to turn the foot.  By riding the gouge's bevel, you don't  catch the tool's edge as easily as if you are using a skew, and you can roll your cut right down to the pad edge.
Jeff Saylor
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Jeff Saylor

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Re: Turning a Spoon Foot - Technique?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009, 12:15:50 PM »
Sorry, that's Tony - not Tone!  I should proofread!
Jeff Saylor
SAPFM #211  Hobbies include hunting, fishing, making furniture, searching for old tools at flea markets.