Chippendale (Newport RI) Desk Legs

(Richard Cournoyer) #1

So the guy who hates wood is making an heirloom circa 1800 modified (one-sided) Partner Desk (John Goddard Designer). I’ve had many people asking how do I do the 4-sided, 3-tiled programming/machining on the legs, so here are (I hope) all your answers.

Timeframe:
Research 2 months (Complete)
Leg Model/test: 2 months (Complete)
Leg Machining/final: 3-4 weeks
Remaining desk machining: 6-9 months
Cost: Wood/hardware: $1000 (est)

Programing/Machining. How: In Fusion I create 4 different Setups (on each Square Block/ centered on the dowel hole) (the middle block will be removed during the 3rd tile move, and the end blocks manually removed via a miter saw).

While not a difficult project, it’s also not a for the novice. Strict bookkeeping must be maintained due to 32 difficult programs. A good program loaded in the wrong position will scrap the leg. I still need to write the various programs for the 6 Mortices on the leg top. The other photos should answer most of your questions. Let me know if I’ve left anything out.


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The Setup. The cap screw head is being used as a locating dowel pin, and the 123 block (in the back) aligns the leg 90º to my table.
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Finish leg (as modeled in Fusion (Missing the 6 Mortices, which I will design and program while the legs are machining)

Material: African Mahogany.
Cost: $50 per leg (No I didn’t buy any extra material!)

44%20PM

Six Mortices

Test Leg (Pine/Fir) (Without the upper portion)


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Philly Inspired Partner Desk (There are NO photos of a Newport inspired Desk) Differences are subtle.

16 Likes

Someone set me straight
Impossible challenge?
(Ummm, not sure, but I’ll try...) #2

I’ve been contemplating doing something like this…as soon as I learn how to model a leg from scratch. Thanks for the description and photos.

Looking forward to updates as the project progresses.

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(ray) #3

chippendales

Very nice work around/work flow. Looking forward to the finished product.

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(Richard Cournoyer) #4

They ARE Done!
Here are the numbers
37 days (26 actual machining days), 51 individual programs (x) 4 legs = 204 program runs, 127mb of program data (largest program was 8mb, smallest 3kb), 48 Setups… and NO Shapeoko or Program Errors = Miracle!

PS1: I still need to program and machine the six mortise slots in each upper leg post.

PS2: The 1.0" x 1.0" notch on the upper leg will receive a fluted 1/4 column (I really could use a 4th axis to make these but will make do with my 3 axis). You can see a sample of the 1/4 column above (finished desk photo).

Lots of sanding and hand carving to do and many coats of homemade shellac.

Now on to the other 64 parts…

Note I made: 1Right Front, 1 Left Front, 1 Right Back, and 1 Left Back.

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(Richard Cournoyer) #5

Turned and milled Quarter Columns (they get inserted into the legs) fresh off my CNC Shapeoko Lathe:



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(Richard Cournoyer) #6

Desk update:

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(Guy Donham) #7

Very nice work. Are you making this for your home, office or a commission?. If this is for your home is it the style of furniture you already have or is this a show piece. On another forum I had detailed a rebuild project of a lathe and some one asked why I did all that work, I answered simply “Why do men climb mountains, because they are there.” I also do segmented turnings and there are sometimes hundreds of pieces you have to keep track of. During glue up a misplaced piece can ruin a project. I appreciate the level of detail and the massive data management you had to have to get this done. Excellent work.

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(Richard Cournoyer) #8

Home…actually for my wife’s retreat room. If you know me, you’ll know how much I dislike working with wood. This project was to test my metal craftsmanship skills to see how it translated into wood…on a challenging heirloom piece of furniture…and so far, I’m pretty pleased. It will be used as a guide (centerpiece) to decorate the rest of the room.

It is far from finished. I figure about 4 more months of CNC machining…(and a month of sanding and fine-tuning the carvings/edges)…lots and lots of edge (gadroon) molding to make…(almost 40 feet)…The center drawer is next on the long list of things to be made. It has a shit-ton of carvings, along with the two support brackets. It is VERY difficult to get these shapes correctly into CAD…but my goal is to have the Shapeoko machine (about) 95% of the center drawer artwork.

(Photo above) I had just roughly installed the four drawers, and haven’t made any adjustments…I (now) see from the photo that the upper right drawer needs a little tweak to the left about 1/16" and 1/32" up. (Yes those locks actually work)

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(Luc) #9

What did you use as joinery for the drawers and the rest of the desk?

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(Richard Cournoyer) #10

I use the Shapeoko (of course) and an 8º Dovetail Cutter:

(Questions? Ask away)

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(Luc) #11

Nice! Did you used straight evenly spaced toolpaths for your dovetail cutter like a dovetail rake jig would? Did you use F360 to design your joinery or a something like tailmaker? I was wondering if I could get away with Carbide Create for this but I think it would need to handle open vectors.

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(Richard Cournoyer) #12

First, let me explain…since I’m a trained Tool and Diemaker…and an expert CADCAM guy…I approach my wood projects like a metal project. I know my grandpa (Dziadzu) is shaking his fist at me (he was a cabinet maker/home builder), but it works for me.
Having NEVER cut a dovetail in my life…I (my brain) needed to see it modeled in Fusion. I needed to see how it looked, how it fit, clearances for the cutter, etc in CAD. Now having cut these drawers…look at the two attached photos. I first rough out the center material, then cut the angles with the dovetail. I don’t see any reason these simple cuts couldn’t be cut with Carbide Create.

One word of caution, the dovetail cutter had a tendency to pull out a little (no matter how much I tightened it). I replaced my collet and this fixed that problem

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(William Adams (Carbide 3D)) #13

Making dovetails using Carbide Create was discussed here:

CC400 and later seems to handle open vectors well enough to allow it to work.

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