FORP 2015 – Leg Men


The second day began with a room full of roughed glued-up bench tops and the energies first turned toward the preparation of the legs.

Jeff and Ted making little timbers out of bigger timbers.

Jeff and Ted making little timbers out of bigger timbers.

Leg stock was roughed from the timbers on hand, having been cut from remaining inventory that had been used for the tops.



68 legs needed to be readied, so once again the assembly-line teamwork jumped to the fore.


Jeff then manned the monster sliding table saw to establish the ends of the legs, which were pretty much custom fit for each participant’s preference.


Once the legs were cut the mortises for the stretchers were punched into the legs using Chris’ favorite machine at Wyatt Childs, Inc.  This pneumatic power mortiser made quick work of the rectangular holes.


As soon as that was concluded the focus returned to the bench tops themselves.


The gobs of excess epoxy needed to be scraped off, and then the glued up slabs went through the planer one last time to clean them up.


Many of the slabs needed for the edges to be trued up so the leg joinery could be laid out precisely, and several hearty souls formed another Jointing Conga Line dance company.


As we had come to expected, Francis took a different approach.  After scraping off the excess epoxy, he once again broke out the #8 and got to work.



The results were impressive.


Once the tops were flat and the edges trued it was time for the lengths to be cut.  I had never experienced Festool World before, but it seems as though the tool line was the favorite of the gathered crowd.  Joe was one of the fellows who brought their Festool Collection and set to work.  I was impressed by the performance of the tool setup, but doubt I will be taking the plunge as I get by with my 7″ and 10″ Milwaukee circular saws and some aluminum angle bars just fine.


Joe cut his top precisely from both faces, but still a sliver remained for his handwork.



A somewhat simpler and scarier option was to use “Barbie,” the monster 16″ Makita timber saw that could almost effortlessly crosscut the slabs in a single stroke.


The end result for the day was the upside-down top with the legs sitting in place.

Joinery started the next day.  Cutting and fitting the leg joinery into the top is by far the most difficult and fussy part of the whole project.