Monday, January 7, 2008

Limbert Umbrella Stand Part 1, lets make some sawdust

If you weren't in the Woodwhisperer chat room today around lunch time you missed out on a very lively conversation. As usual the knowledge base in the chat room is amazing, I got a lesson today in trig, compound angles, and Sketch Up. Normally I'm a pen and paper guy, but after NateMclain and LordLQQk gave me alot of advise, help, and well yeah, even made the model for me, I downloaded SketchUp from Google, installed it and looked at what they were telling me. I have to admit its a really sweet program, but I still like graph paper and a black pen. The image here is what this thing will look like when its complete.

I went out into the shop after we got this together and took pen to paper and MDF. In the last post I had drawn a full size plan on a piece of MDF, so the first thing I did was to use my angle gauge on the angle I had drawn and then using my miter gauge and the miter slot on my tablesaw I was able to determine that we were dealing with a 4 degree angle.

Using this angle and a tapering jig I was able to cut one of the angles off the template. What I do is stop with the cutting right here and make a tapering jig for the first side.

What I've done here is to take a long piece of 3/4 inch thick scrap and slide it into the miter slot. I butt the newly cut taper up against this on top of a 1/2 inch thick piece of plywood that is butted up against the fence. Now is one of the few times that I pull out my Brad nailer, I think its great for making jigs.

I take some strips of scrap plywood and tack them to the plywood base around the three sides of the template.

I can then flip the template around and place it on another piece of plywood, well, I couldn't find a scrap piece of plywood that was flat enough and I sure wasn't going to break into my cabinet grade birch for a cutting jig, so as you see a trusty piece of MDF. I keep a supply of 1/2 inch MDF around the shop for templates and such, cause that is what its good for, not for making furniture as you see so many times on the TV decorating shows.

I line up the second taper line with the edge of the MDF and tack more scrap plywood around the template. I now have two cutting templates that will allow me to cut the miter's and the tapers at the same time. I label both jigs and add important information, where to set the miter, and where to set the fence. I guess I could have made both jigs so that the fence wouldn't have to move, but I'm not that organized, I like my jigs down and dirty. You'll notice the second scrap tacked on top of the jig, that's because the second cut has a 45 degree miter that would override the 1/2 inch fence. It was one of those "oh yeah" moments after I had cut 4 sides with jig number one and placed one inside down on the second jig. The beauty of these jigs is that now I can easily make this umbrella stand again. I have lots of these jigs hanging around the ceiling of my shop and stacked in the closet.

I take care to keep the side pieces together and the best side facing out during the milling and glue up process. After cutting all 4 sides I do a test fit because there was some controversy in the chat room about the miter and the compound angle, and here it is, a perfect fit. I have square clamping guides inside so keep the corners at 90 degrees and use some painter's tape to hold it in place. I came out with a really good fit, no hand fitting required but if I did need to slightly adjust the angles LordLQQk from the chat room gave me a really nice method to trim both angles at the same time, set it up like you see here, and take a double sided fold of sandpaper and rub it inside the miter up and down a few times until the angles are equal.

I took the template and over sized the cutouts by 1/8th of an inch, drilled the corners with a 3/4 inch Forstner bit, cut it out with a jigsaw then fine tuned the cuts with a rasp, file, and a little sandpaper. Using a 3/4 inch collar and a 1/2 inch router bit I clamp the template onto the face side of all 4 sides and route out the cutouts.

When the routing is done i have some nice clean uniform cutouts that match the original picture. Be very careful to route these in steps on your plunge router and to attach the workpiece to the template very securely. I also want to have the piece clamped to my table too.

When you are done this is what we have, a tapered, mitered, cutout, nicely figured piece of white oak. Before trying for another fit I took the sides back to the tablesaw and cut 4 degrees off the top so that when everything comes together the top will be flat and parallel to the floor.

A little more blue tape and here we have it, the final form. The next post will deal with the bottom of the stand, glue up, and the copper drip pan. Now if I can just figure out how I'm going to get a drip pan in and the bottom attached without getting it all messed up when finishing. I think I'll sleep on that and see what comes.


Anonymous said...

Tuesday, 9 January 2008

Mr: Ferguson:

I became aware of your blog today, read the archived entries, and reviewed all of your photographs on flickr. You are to be congratulated on what looks to be fine work. I'm impressed and inspired by your efforts.

Regarding your Limbert umbrella stand, you're not having trouble with your compound miters because the slope of the sides is so relatively small. At a 4-degree slope, the trigonometry gives an approximately 3.5-degree angle on your taper jig and about a 45.1-degree tilt on your saw blade for mating miter surfaces. Your "fix" of trimming both faces of the miter by sanding the interface smooth solves the problem of achieving differences in angle that a woodworker typically can't "measure." I like your solution. Details for compound miters as a function of the slope and number of sides are available many places; one handy for woodworkers, both in tabluar and equation form, is available in the December 2000 issue of Popular Woodworking.

I'd be interested to know how you determined the dimensions that you used on your version of the L. & J.G. Stickley No. 412 "Reclining Chair."

On your L. & J.G. No. 220 "Settle" (called a "Prairie Sofa" in R. W. Lang's "Shop Drawings for Craftsman Funriture") I'd also like to know your method for attaching the arms and the top cap at the back to the side and back top rails ("Shop Drawings" does not reveal the joint used by the Stickleys). Your photos (especially of the piece without finish applied) suggest that you might have used pocket screws and "pegged" the entry holes or used some other kind angled dowel technique. Probably not how either the original Stickleys or the currently Stickley company did/does it?

Perhaps in future blog entries you can share some of your finishing techniques for your Arts & Crafts pieces.

I appreciate your efforts on this blog. Thank you and good luck with the future of the blog -- you're off to a great start.

Phil Lang

Brad Ferguson said...

Mr. Lang,
My version of the paddle arm chair is not an exact reproduction, I only had access to online pictures and a few catalogs. I used a plan I had for another L&JG morris chair for the basic dimensions and made what modifications to make the paddle arm version.
About the Settle, you are correct, I attached the arms with pocket screws and pegged the holes. I Couldn't find any instructions for attaching the arms and did not have access to a Stickley made copy. Using the pocket screws seemed like the ideal solution, plus the fact that they are hidden by the cushions. I also used pocket screws to hold the mitered cuts on the arms together. I was then able to clamp the backrail assembley down to the sides and drill, screw and fill the holes. While not the original solution, one that worked for me.

Steve W. Carter said...

Congratulations for a job well-done with your website! Today was my first visit after finding your link on Marc's website. As a Fan of Arts & Craft movement, I am especially enjoyed your historical information and the tour of the Stickley Museum. I will be looking forward to watching your site grow through the coming year.

Bama5150 said...

Hey TreeFrog,
I'm enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work!