The more I studied the feet I had made, the more I disliked them. They had too much sweep downward at the knee and extended too far from the pedestal. I had made them from the sewing stand but I just wasn’t satisfied with the extended foot and the large base. I did what I have done forever, I looked at the photo and started shaping until I got something I liked. By envisioning the top sizes I am now happy. It means re-making all the feet, but so be it, I want it right. I should have done one and insured I was correct but I didn’t take my own advice and ‘sneak up on it’ and it cost me material and time. Now, I knew better but now and then stupidity prevails and you get reminded – that’s woodworking! Today I am re-making the feet. I’ll stack the old feet up so they remind me!
Some of you have asked how I fitted the feet to the base, pretty simple unless you choose for it not to be. I turn the pedestal round and as straight as I can. Next, I turn the smaller area the feet will attach into, sand it smooth. Then I divide the circumference by three and mark it. Here is where the dovetail will go.
I then make a box that the pedestal blank will fit into snuggly and that the sides will sit flat on the router table. Next, I draw a center line on the box and insure it aligns with the center of the dovetail bit. With the blank in the box, I use a square to insure the dove tail point is centered in the jig, then with my depth set, I rout it. I usually go about 1/2″ deep, then using a 1 1/4″ flush trim bit, I do the same thing and rout a flat area for the foot to sit flat against the shaft. I then rout the pin or tenon part of the dove tail on the feet and I’m done. A little notch is usually needed at the top of the foot so it goes up against the transition point.
A note about the box I make for the pedestal, I usually just leave the sides of the box loose at the center (no screws or staples) and clamp the sides tight to the pedestal blank. I make sure my fence is long enough so I index off the front and back of the box as the clamp can cause a little deflection in the center.
The hardest thing is taking the time to ‘sneak up’ on the foot dovetail. Variations can cause issues in fit. Just have some scrap that’s the same thickness as your feet to use for set up and take your time. That’s why I’m doing so many. When I get set up to run, the additional feet is not an issue, takes a lot more time to finesse the set up.
Now, let’s assume you get too loose, well, a little epoxy will fix that. I actually use 5 minute epoxy to glue the feet into the base. I use this for two reasons, first, if there is any gap, it will fill it and secondly, it sets fast enough I can hand hold it tight for a bit until the glue sets so clamping isn’t an issue. I strive to get them tight enough so I don’t need much clamping.
Be sure you have everything sanded and smooth before putting the feet on. I never install them until everything is smooth and fitted.
All the setup, layout and routing is in “The Magic of Routers” DVD if you have it. I always use a 14 degree bit. The big pedestal is a 3/4 the smaller a 5/8 dove tail bit. The average height of the foot where it meets the post is 3″, the big one is 3 1/2″.
Remember that drop leaf table I made with a friend a couple weeks ago? Well, his wife was kind enough to send me a photo once it got to it’s new home so I wanted to share it with you.
Okay guys, off to re-make my feet and get these done.