As a quick and dirty jig for laying out the position of the feet, I grabbed a scrap stick I had rolling around. The stick was 5/8" ash that followed me home from Denmark last fall during the chair build. We cut up a bunch of really nice, straight ash for sticks. The nature of sawed lumber, as opposed to split wood, is that not all of it was perfect.
This particular stick had really straight grain on one side, and the other side had really bad runout.
|This photo shows pretty straight grain. Not much runout at all.|
|The runout on this stick is pretty bad. You can see the grain "runs out" in less than an inch!|
This little stick has all kinds of lessons regarding runout. The first thing I noticed was that this stick is no longer straight. Even though the wood was kiln dried, sawing the 8/4 roughstock into 5/8" strips opened up the wood so the remaining moisture inside could now dry out.
It is hard to see in the photo, but this stick is not by any means straight anymore. The big bend in it happens to be exactly where the runout in the above photo is.
|The near side has straight grain, the far side has runout.|
|As you can see here, the runout goes on both faces.|
|If this stick were to fail, I predict it would fail in exactly this spot.|
Think about chopping firewood. You use an axe to split wood along the grain. You would never put a log lengthways on a chopping block and strike the bark. It takes a lot of strokes to cut a log with an axe this way. But, it only takes one swing to split the log along the grain.
I was so certain that I was right about the weak part of this stick being where my finger is, that I decided to break it over my knee.
I grabbed both ends of the stick, and put my knee in the center. The spot that I am pointing to above is about 2/3 the way down the stick.
|Let's see where it breaks when I stress it. Photo courtesy, The Frau.|
|Note the position of my knee.|
|Right along the grain.|