Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stickley Footstool, Part 2

I spent this weekend finishing up the Stickley Footstool, I decided that since it was just a single drawer that it would be faster and easier to hand cut the dovetails instead of setting up the Leigh jig for half blind and through dovetails. Well... I underestimated how difficult it would be to cut the half blind pins in quartsawn white oak. My first attempt turned out great, nice tight fit and everything, the second side however was sloppy, so I gave up for the afternoon on Friday and walked away.
Saturday morning I cut a fresh drawer side out of poplar and carefully lined up the pins and gave it a good whack with a mallet. This left a perfect impression of the pins on the tail board. I carefully cut out the tails and had a perfect fit, I may switch and use this method to begin with instead of cutting the tails and marking them on the pin board. I ran a groove around the bottom and inserted a 1/4 inch plywood bottom for the drawer.

From all the pictures I've found of the original the edges of the legs seem rounded over, so I installed a 1/8th inch quarter round bit in the router table and ran the leg sides and ends. I inserted 1/2 inch plywood into the grooves at the top and bottom and glued up the sides. Sunday I removed the drawer and footstool from the clamps. I trimmed the pins flush on the drawers with a low angle block plane and sanded everything smooth. Next comes the finish and some antique hardware that I picked up last winter in upstate NY. Instead of rapping the edge of the stool in leather and using tacks like the picture of the original I plan on upholstering a piece of plywood with 4 inch foam to fit inside the top.
"He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much." Elbert Hubbard

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