SilCKIiEY fTRN JABliE

Build this reproduction of an original Stickley design with the help of the two simple sawing jigs.

By Mike McGlynn

Admirers and followers of the Stickley brothers were probably as surprised as I was when the brochure featuring their renewed line came out. While the revived company offers plenty of designs popular at the turn of the century, (call 315-682-5500 for info on their catalog), this classic fern table is conspicuously absent.

The thing I like about the fern table is that, while it is basically true to the original, it's not too complicated for the weekend woodworker. To make sure of that, I came up with two easy-to-make jigs to help with the trickiest cuts — the compound miters on the apron edges.

In my research, I found that plant stands like this one often featured a slight curve on the bottom of the aprons and no decorative mortises. I borrowed the mortises from other Stickley designs I like and felt they dictated a flat bottom apron.

Selecting and Cutting Stock

As with most Stickley pieces, the fern stand is built with quartersawn white oak. The top (piece 1) should be milled from three pieces of your best 4/4 stock, while the legs

Figure 1: The lap joint dadoes on the feet are cut first. Clearly mark your stock and remember to reset the blade height for the second foot.

Lap Joint Legs

Figure 3: With a stop block in place to create a 7" spline groove, cut the right side of each leg, then reset the fence to cut the left sides.

Pay close attention to the positioning of the quartersawn sides of the feet and legs. In both cases they face in, to complement the aprons.

(pieces 2) should be cut from 8/4 stock. I recommend cutting the legs about 3/8" oversized and then waiting a couple of days before jointing two edges and planing the other two. This will help eliminate twisting and bowing. If you do use 8/4 stock, save a little cash by purchasing plain sawn lumber. This way, each leg will have two plain sawn and two quartersawn faces.

Get started by cutting the legs to size, allowing for the slight bevel at the top and bottom. Find some extra wide stock for the aprons (pieces 3) so you don't show a glue line on these key pieces. Since fern stands typically sit out in the open (and thus have no hidden sides), be sure to use a pretty piece to cut all four aprons so they match well around the top. Now cut the feet (pieces 4) to size, leaving a little extra for the length. To complete your pile of stock, plane a short piece of 6" wide oak down to 7/16". After the spline grooves are cut you'll use this piece for ripping the splines (pieces 5).

Before moving on, glue up the three pieces for the top. I like to plane my pieces first, then use biscuits to align the joints and ensure a perfectly smooth top with a minimum of sanding. In addition, I'd recommend gluing up the top with either Titebond® II or polyurethane glue to avoid the dark lines caused by yellow glue.

Creating a Solid Base

The feet on this fern stand are a little heavier then the other pieces, which provides a nice feeling of stability. Start them by cutting the dadoes in the top of one foot and the bottom of the other, as shown in Figure 1. Since the feet are shaped, the dado on the top foot starts out considerably deeper than the one on the bottom foot. Use a chisel to smooth the bottoms of the dadoes until your lap joint fits perfectly. Transfer the shape of the feet from the Pinup Shop Drawings (see page 39) and use a 1/4" blade in your band saw to remove the waste (see Figure 2). A 1" diameter drum sander in the drill press will complete the refining work on the inside curved cuts.

Continue dry fitting throughout this process to make sure the shaped bottoms of the two feet line up as well as the flat tops. When the contours are even, trim both ends of the feet to 18° on your miter or table saw. Complete the base by drilling countersunk holes at the ends of the feet and at the lap joint for screws (pieces 6).

Move onto the legs to cut the spline grooves. Be sure to cut these grooves on the quartersawn sides, since these are the sides you want facing the aprons. With the blade set 1/4" high and a stop block in place to limit the length (see Figure 3), cut a groove on the right side of each leg.

Figure 1: The lap joint dadoes on the feet are cut first. Clearly mark your stock and remember to reset the blade height for the second foot.

Figure 2: Once the dadoes are cut, remove the waste at the bottom of each foot at the band saw. Refine these cuts with a drum sander.

Figure 3: With a stop block in place to create a 7" spline groove, cut the right side of each leg, then reset the fence to cut the left sides.

MATERIAL LIST

3/4" x 14" x 14"

1/8" x 7/16" x 6"

2 Legs (4)

17e" X 1%" X 31 7/

6 Screws (5)

#8 x 2"

3 Aprons (4)

3/4" x 8" x 677

7 Desktop Fasteners (4)

Steel

4 Feet (2)

17a" X 1V X 167a"

Figure 5: Keep the blade and rip fence in position and switch to Jig #2 to cut the left side of each apron. The scab piece on top keeps the newly mitered edge from riding up during the cut.

y Glue relief groove

Figure 4: Tilt your blade 45° away from the rip fence and use Jig #1 (see the Pinup Shop Drawings on the pattern) to cut the right side of each apron first.

Fastener Detail

Exploded View

Figure 4: Tilt your blade 45° away from the rip fence and use Jig #1 (see the Pinup Shop Drawings on the pattern) to cut the right side of each apron first.

Figure 5: Keep the blade and rip fence in position and switch to Jig #2 to cut the left side of each apron. The scab piece on top keeps the newly mitered edge from riding up during the cut.

Leg and Apron Assembly

(Section View)

y Glue relief groove

Figure 6: After all four aprons are cut to size, remove the two jigs and reset the blade to make the 1/4" deep kerf cuts for the spines, as shown at right.

Next, tilt the blade to 90° and raise it to just nick the apron between the spline groove and outside edge. This little relief groove will catch any glue squeeze-out during assembly.

Next, tilt the blade to 90° and raise it to just nick the apron between the spline groove and outside edge. This little relief groove will catch any glue squeeze-out during assembly.

Now readjust the fence to cut the groove on the left side of each leg, as shown in the Elevation Drawing at lower left.

For this project the main function of the splines is alignment, not strength, so layout and fit are very important. When you've completed your grooves, rip the splines carefully to fit from the piece of 7/16" stock you planed earlier.

Compound Miter Aprons the Easy Way

Before you start on your apron jigs, take a moment to lay out the decorative mortises now, while the pieces are still square. This will help keep your pieces oriented when cutting the miters (be sure the grain is horizontal). Now turn your attention to the two jigs shown above (see Figures 4 and 5 — the construction details are on the Pinup Shop Drawings. Use some

Figure 7: Use a drill press to remove most of the mortise waste, then refine the final shapes with a sharp chisel. Be sure to transfer the layout lines before tapering the two edges.

3/4" plywood to build the jigs, laying them out carefully. Make a few sample aprons, refining the jigs as needed, then cut the actual aprons. In operation your fence will be on the left side of the blade for these cuts (for right-tilt table saws), with the blade tilted away. The extra piece glued onto the second jig keeps the aprons from climbing during the cuts.

When you've completed all your bevels and miters with the two jigs, keep the blade at 45°, but adjust the height to create the 1/4" deep spline cuts in the aprons, as shown in Figure 6 at left. Once all eight of these cuts are made, readjust the blade to 90° and notch the glue relief grooves shown in the bottom detail at left.

Chopping Decorative Mortises

The decorative mortises (see Pinup Shop Drawings) are easy to cut, but take your time with the layout and execution, as these features are very important to the overall success of this project. Start by drilling out most of the waste from each mortise. Use a backup board to avoid tearout on this step. If you have a corner chisel this would be a nice time to sharpen it up; otherwise use a bench chisel to first define the square perimeters and then carefully clean up each of the mortises (see Figure 7).

Before moving on to finishing and final assembly, chuck a 3/4" Forstner bit in your drill press and bore a shallow half moon on the top edge of each apron. Drill a pilot hole and attach the desktop fasteners (pieces 7), as shown in the Fastener Detail at left. Also soften the ends and edges of the top with a router and 1/2" roundover bit.

Dry assemble the aprons, splines and legs, using a band clamp to hold everything together. The spline

Figure 7: Use a drill press to remove most of the mortise waste, then refine the final shapes with a sharp chisel. Be sure to transfer the layout lines before tapering the two edges.

joints should close fully. Trim the splines a tad narrower if they don't. When you're satisfied with the fit, extend the pilot holes through the desktop fasteners into the top, and disassemble the pieces.

Staining Before You Glue

I finished this fern stand with brown mahogany waterbased aniline dye, followed by Bartley's Satin Topcoat Finish. I recommend completing the dyeing process before final assembly while the part surfaces are easy to reach. Start by raising the wood grain with warm water and a damp sponge. When each piece dries, sand off the fuzz with 220-grit paper. Apply the dye to all part surfaces, and wipe off the excess before it dries. Wear finishing gloves for this process and don't let sweat from your brow contact the dyed surfaces you're working on, or it will reactivate the dye and leave blotches.

Once the dye is thoroughly dry, run a light bead of glue in each spline mortise and along the apron miters between the grooves and glue channels. Use band clamps to snug the aprons and legs together with the project turned upside down. Attach the desktop fasteners to the aprons and screw the top in place. Fasten the feet to the legs with screws, then apply a protective topcoat or two, scuffing lightly between coats using 0000 steel wool. @

Figure 1: Use temporary tenons to align the post and feet laminations during the glue-ups. Remember to wax the tenons or they'll become a permanent part of the assembly.

A STURDY (OAT TREE "fflAT'S BUILT TOR "fflC AQCS

With a generous tip of our hat to famed furniture maker Gustav Stickley, here's a coat tree that will actually stand up to the simple task it was designed for.

By Chris Inman

Selecting this style as the basis for the coat tree was no accident when you consider that the most important feature of a good coat tree is sturdiness. The Arts & Crafts style lends itself nicely to the heavyweight, double post approach, and the oversized feet provide excellent balance and stability. The wedged mortise and tenon joinery guarantees a lifetime of useful service.

If you think cutting the mortises for the coat tree is going to require hours of drilling and chiseling, take a closer look at the Elevation Details at right. All the through mortises are located in the posts or feet, which are two-piece laminations (see Figure 1). By cutting dadoes in each half, you'll get instant mortises when you complete the glue-up.

Milling the Stock

The first order of business is to select straight stock for the post laminations (pieces 1). Avoid using twisted, cupped or warped material, as these defects will lead to crooked posts. Rip, plane and crosscut the four pieces to size, then lay out the mortise dadoes and bottom tenons as shown in the Post Details Elevations (at right).

The ideal tool for cutting the post dadoes is a radial arm saw, since the

I ans of the Arts & Crafts furniture movement in this country will recognize this coat tree's roots right away. The exposed mortise and tenon joinery and the tapered tops are dead giveaways. I did take the liberty of working with cherry instead of quartersawn white oak, and I branched out a bit from the original designs by adding an umbrella hanger and a tapered storage box for mittens and gloves.

Figure 1: Use temporary tenons to align the post and feet laminations during the glue-ups. Remember to wax the tenons or they'll become a permanent part of the assembly.

Post Tenon Detail

Each square

Lower Cross Member Detail

Band saw thin kerfs for the wedges

Lll^"

^ i Form tenons 2-'1'" before cutting t braces to shape.

Foot Details

(Top View)

Post Details

(Front View) (Side View)

Post Mortise Detail

Upper Cross Member Detail

MATERIAL LIST

Rout ail the edges of the umbrella holes with a 1/4' roundover bit.

Post Details

(Front View) (Side View)

Post Mortise Detail

Upper Cross Member Detail

MATERIAL LIST

1 Post Laminations (2) 1 77 x 2V2" x 72"

9 Bin Bottom Panel (1) 3/8" x 3" x 11"

Rout ail the edges of the umbrella holes with a 1/4' roundover bit.

Post Tenon Detail

Each square

Lll^"

Bin Front and Back Detail

V *■ ■

V

y

—!-

^ i Form tenons 2-'1'" before cutting t braces to shape.

Lower Cross Member Detail

Foot Details

(Top View)

Use this same curve on the bin front and back (pieces 6 and 7).

Band saw thin kerfs for the wedges saw moves and the long, unwieldy stock remains stationary. A table saw will work, but it takes more effort. Whichever saw you use, install a 1/2" dado blade and adjust the blade to cut 1/4" deep dadoes in the stock. Put a new fence on the radial arm saw table, then use the cut in the fence for aligning the mortise layouts with the blade, as shown in Figure 2 below. Cut the post dadoes.

To align the rather large post laminations during the glue-up process you'll find that temporary tenons, cut to fit your soon to be created mortises, are absolutely critical. Cut four pieces of 1/2" thick by 5" wide stock and test the fit of these tenons in the mortises (see Figure 3). When you're satisfied with the fit, coat the tenons with paste wax to keep the glue from bonding to them. Now glue and clamp the post laminations with the tenons inserted.

Figure 2: A radial arm saw is ideal for cutting the two halves of each mortise. Use the cut in your fence to align the mortise layouts with the blade.

Making the Feet

The process for making the feet (pieces 2) is similar to the one just used for the posts. First mill the stock for the laminations and then cut the dadoes, as shown in the Foot Details Elevations on page 21. The dadoes are stepped to form mortises for both the post tenons and the brace tenons. To avoid shifting, plan on cutting more temporary tenons to fit the mortises you'll create when you glue up the pieces for the feet.

Figure 3: The temporary tenons should fit your mortises perfectly. Make sure they're well waxed so they can be knocked out after the glue dries.

Cutting the Tenons

Unclamp your post laminations and set up your radial arm saw with a 1/2" dado blade again to cut the tenons at the bottom ends. Use a stand to support the posts as they overhang the saw table. Clamp a stop to the saw's fence to align the blade with the shoulder line you laid out earlier. Adjust the saw to the correct height and form the four cheeks of each tenon (see Figure 4).

Once you've formed the tenons, turn the saw to plow a stopped groove in each side of both posts (see the Post Details, page 21) for joining the braces (pieces 3). Chisel the ends of these mortises square.

This is a good time to taper the tops of the posts. Mark the tapers using the dimensions in the Post Details, and cut them a little wide on the band saw. Shave the tapers smooth with a hand plane.

Cut the remaining stock to size for the braces and cross members (pieces 3 and 4), and use a table saw and dado blade to form tenon cheeks on these pieces, as shown in the Brace Detail and Cross Member Detail Drawings. Trim the tenon shoulders by hand, then complete these tenons by cutting thin wedge kerfs by hand or with a band saw.

Band Sawing the Pieces to Shape

Use the Foot Details Drawings to lay out the feet shapes. Band saw the feet to shape and plane them smooth. Finish up by sanding the feet thoroughly.

Make hardboard templates for tracing the curves and umbrella holes on the cross member workpieces. Make a curved template for drawing the braces as well. Draw the shapes on pieces 3 and 4. To form the umbrella holes, chuck a IV211 Forstner or spade bit in your drill press and remove most of the waste in each opening by drilling two overlapping holes. Refine the openings with a file and sandpaper,

Figure 4: The cheek depth on the post tenon is the same on all four sides. Clamp a stop block to the fence to align the shoulder lines with the blade, then trim all around.

Figure 2: A radial arm saw is ideal for cutting the two halves of each mortise. Use the cut in your fence to align the mortise layouts with the blade.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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