I solved my leg problem by buying some more wood. Feel free to continue voting in the poll at the upper-right side of the screen, but so far the overwhelming majority of respondents suggest buying more wood.
At least that is what three of the four people whose votes are in said.
I probably would have done that anyway.
Today I went back out to the lumberyard and told them I needed one more board. I went back to the stack of 33mm (5/4) cherry, and flipped through the few boards that were there. I was looking for a board that had areas of very straight grain, and likely had straight grain along the edge, too. This can be hard to see, because on flatsawn boards the edge is covered in bark.
I picked one out of the few that were left that seemed would yield enough straight grain for four legs for my side table. However, there were quite a few areas that the board did not have straight grain. This will be interesting.
While, the forklift driver was moving my board to the area to be measured, I decided to look at the 40mm (6/4) stack. Lo and behold, there was an absolutely gorgeous piece right on top. I signaled the guy helping me, and told him I wanted that instead.
It barely fit in my car, but I got it home.
This is a big board. Total overkill.
|It practically takes up my whole shop!|
|This is the thickness of my table leg - 1 1/8".|
I put a straight edge inside the sapwood, and as straight as I could match the grain of the tree and struck a line. This was my first cut with the rip saw.
Incidentally, this is what I think is fantastic about hand tools. I can cut any line I want without doing all kinds of goofy things that I might have had to do to make this cut with a table saw. Draw a line, and cut to it.
When I cut along this piece, I found that indeed the board I picked had beautiful straight grain through its thickness. This could make the perfect leg.
With my little square of scrap, I laid out something on the end grain that will result in perfect 45 degree rings. I planed the edge of the board to match this angle, marked and struck another line to rip, and let my Ryoba do the talking. I thought this would work well making an angled cut.
|Layout for the grain the way I want it.|
|Angled cut with Japanese saw.|
It turned out perfect, making me glad I went through the trouble of using the right piece of wood.
|I think it turned out perfect.|
|Exact same grain orientation on each face.|
|Caused by the rings going at a 45 degree angle. "Bastard Grain."|
One could save a lot of time and effort if you can get stock that is the right thickness to start with, and with the grain doing what you want it to. Machines definitely would have been a time saver with the oversize stock I bought. However, after looking at the 27mm (4/4) stock that was available today, I think I did pretty good. All of the pieces of this project are going to look great and be exactly the grain that I wanted. The only one that will look a bit odd is the rail that will be on the back. It is quartersawn, where everything else is flatsawn. I figure no one will know, as that part most likely will be up against a wall anyway.
Tomorrow I will (hopefully) make the other three legs the same way, and perhaps get started on thicknessing the other stock by hand.