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  • technique question

    please bear with me as i try to explain this problem i have and ask for tips.

    i built an outdoor table when i was in california out of redwood and i was happy with the overall project but unhappy with some of the details. I am going to build another and need some advice on one part of the construction.

    the plans call for 4X4's to be used for the legs. the frame for the top is built out of 2X4's with the 2" sides on the top and bottom. the corners are to be mitered. the problem i am having is cutting the 4X4's to accept the frame. it requires a portion of the corner to be cut out of each 4X4 to allow the table top frame to rest in them. i used a circular saw and chisel the last time. it worked but wasnt the neatest or tightest of cuts and ended up using shims to square up and level the legs. what is the best way to cut these?

    i was actually thinking of making the legs out of 2 2X4's with the crowns ripped off and glued together to look as if they are one. then i can use my dado to notch out the cut on one of the 2X4's before gluing. this will allow for a nice notch and prevent the legs from splitting as we all know 4X4's are prone to do.

    anyone have a better idea?

    thanks

    ed
    \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

  • #2
    Ed, do you mean you need to make a 2x2 notch, 4 inchs deep on the inside corner of each 4x4 leg?
    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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    • #3
      let me see if i can describe this better. stand a 4X4 on it's end, i need to cut out one of the corners. 3 3/4" from top to bottom and maybe 1 1/2" in. so essenially i am removing one corner of the 4X4. does that make sense?
      \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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      • #4
        I did something similar with the legs of my extension wing. Only, I made the outside of the legs flush with the frame of the table. So instead of the portion you are talking about notching out, I left as a peg.

        Unless I'm not understanding correctly. I read drawings better than words most the time though.
        John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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        • #5
          nope. i cant peg it and make it work. let me see if i can find a picture af what i am talking about.

          i will try to describe it one other way.

          take a 4X4 and lay it down on one side. kneel down in front of it and have it sitting horizontal to your knees. from the left vertical side of the board measure 3 3/4" toward you and make a mark (the mark is on the top of the board as you look down.

          now put the ruler on the top of the board perpindicular to the side that is aganst your knee and measure 2". you should now have a backwards "L" marked on the top of the board. now grab the 4X4 and turn it away from you 1/4 turn and mark it the same way except it is a correct "L". the short sides of the "L" meet at the corner.

          does this help?
          \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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          • #6
            Now I'm really confused, haha.

            I think you better find that photo!
            John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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            • #7
              Sounds to me like you are describing a mortise that is open on 2 sides. If so, probably some set up with a router might be the way to go. Then either square up the mortise with a chisle or round the corners of the 2 x 4s. Why not just go with mortise and tenon construction?

              Best regards,

              Henry

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              • #8
                i dont see how i could use a mortise and tennon construction on this. when i built the first one i tried my router with a mortise bit and was unsuccessful ( i am new to the router and probably dont have the best technique yet). anyway it was kicking and such so i went to the circular saw and chisel. it worked and i had to trim it out to make it look good but it could have been a much better fit.

                i have seen some awesome things done with a router, i am not there yet.

                thanks

                ed
                \"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL

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                • #9
                  I think I finally know the construction you're using.

                  Glossary is "legs", well you know that, "aprons" are the 2x4s.

                  What you do is cut a ledge for the aprons to set on, on the ends of the legs, right? Run the dado blade 2" high, nibble off 4" down the end of the leg, turn the leg onto its next face and do again? (using nominal measurements, it's late)

                  The way you list will probably work as well as anything, for that technique. Gotta say though, the technique isn't very good, there is no mechanical strenght, everything is in the glue.

                  I doubt that laminating two 2x4s is going to get you anything over a 4x4, unless you simply can get better quality 2x4s. For the checking problem (a crack at the end is a check), buy the lowest moisture material you can get, acclimate in your shop as long as you can, and after cutting it paint the end with latex paint, drop melted wax on it, or use a commercial end cut sealer. The cause of the checking is the end grain losing moisture much, much faster than the rest of the piece.

                  Dave

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