Essentially the most daunting a part of constructing tea tables, candle stands, and different three-legged tables is chopping the lengthy dovetail sockets that maintain the legs within the central column. After chopping these as soon as by hand, I got here up with a router jig that cuts them extra rapidly and uniformly. I’ve used it to make 4 extra of those tables since.
The jig is fairly simple. To chop the outlet within the base, I used a big Forstner little bit of the suitable measurement. The bandsawn slot beneath the outlet makes the bottom versatile for clamping. The fences on high information the router and restrict its journey, and thus decide the size of the dovetail sockets.
Utilizing the jig is simple. After turning the column to the suitable measurement, mark the underside finish with 120° centerlines and the dovetail layouts. Then clamp the column within the jig, aligning your structure marks with corresponding marks on the jig. Minimize every slot in three steps, utilizing three router bits. Use your penciled structure to set the depth for every bit.
I begin with a 3/4-in.-dia. straight bit to mill the flat on every leg. Then, to filter a few of the waste within the dovetail, I modify to a 1/4-in.-dia. straight bit, protecting its chopping depth barely above the underside of the completed socket. The ultimate minimize is with the dovetail little bit of alternative.
To chop the mating dovetail keys on the legs, I mount the identical dovetail bit within the router desk, and creep up on the match. If the joint is a bit tight, I usually use a small file or chisel to widen the slot very barely on the opening and slim the start of the dovetail to create a barely tapered joint.
—ARNIE BANDSTRA, Ottawa, In poor health.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From High-quality Woodworking concern #290