|The old step stool|
It's been great and I use it all the time. The legs angle out from the top by about 10°. The hand holes make it easy to pick up. But it's just screwed together. We can't have that, now can we?
I've been interested in trying out angled dovetails. I want to make a step stool from three boards - a top and two legs - with the legs angled out and joined to the top with dovetails.
|Three boards glued up from scraps from my recent chair project|
There is a great video on YouTube by "Half-Inch Shy" explaining how to do this type of work. But my situation is different from the ones he covers.
Turns out my situation is easy. Once you plane a bevel on the ends of your boards, the layout and cutting of the DTs are practically the same as 90° DTs. The angle I'm using is about 12°.
|Marked the 12° bevel|
|Pencil lines to help monitor progress|
|Half way there|
|Thank goodness for knife lines to guide the way!|
|Eventually get a good crisp bevel|
|Penciled in center pin, then stepped off the tails using dividers|
|Front of gauge's stock not registering properly on the end|
|Using a backer board to help make straight cuts by lengthening the cut line|
|Bevel gauge helps guide the chisel angle for the baselines|
|Marking the pin board from the tail board|
Gotta stop and talk about a small epiphany I had regarding knifing lines. I don't knife a single long baseline when dovetailing - I like to knife each waste piece separately. That means I have to stop the knife before it gets into the keeper wood. I can't tell you how many times the knife suddenly moves and it's too late to stop it. But I discovered a technique using my middle finger as leverage to help pull the knife in a more controlled manner.
|Knifing the baseline of one waste area|
|Using middle finger to stabilize the knife hand and enable a more controlled knife cut|
OK, back to the project. After lots of trimming and test fitting I got a decent fit.
|First end dry-fitted|
|Both ends dry-fitted - starting to look like something|
|Cutting a template|
|Marking the leg|
For the top, I had marked two elongated holes. The ends were drilled using a 1.5" Forstner bit in a powered drill (OK, I admit to using a power tool here) and the waste between them was removed with a coping saw, then smoothed with rasps and files.
|Starting the hand holes|
I made some 12° cauls to help with the glue-up. Coarse sandpaper adhered to the underside of these cauls kept them from crawling up the angled legs when pressure was applied. I also fitted a couple spacers so that the feet wouldn't be forced towards each other during clamping.
|Glue up - see the spacers resting between the feet?|
|Position for planing the leg half of the joint|
|Using the center slot in my bench for planing the top half of the joints|
|The cleaned up joint - not perfect, but I'm happy with it|
|Thar' she blows!!|