Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tapered Hexagonal Columns

I have made, over the years, at least a half dozen different tables using the 'curved,tapered hexagonal leg' form, mostly as a group of columns on a central pedestal. It's a pleasing, simple looking form until you go to actually make it. I have taken notes on the process a number of times, but never clear ones, until this time. I don't want to cut any more 'samples' or 'tests', I want to get the lumber and have someone make the legs. Period. I'm posting the instructions here, so I can find them, show them to one of my assistants and then go play golf .... right? Here goes ... Click the stuff to enlarge the pictures and drawings ...

One of the finished tables

Early record keeping attempts .. at least I saved the pattern .. The notes were not helpful.

Here's the new stuff :
A .. The top and bottom hexagon inscribed in a circle (the taper)
B .. How you inscribe the hex in the circle .. Basic geometry ... A hexagon is 6 equilateral triangles around a central point. Therefore, the radius and the chord of the circle are the same and you can divide the circumference of a circle into six equal sections using the radius. Connect the dots and viola' a hexagon. Offset the lines by the amount of the taper and you have your two full size hexes. This drawing also shows the dimensions of the rectangular stock you will need to make the legs.
C .. Make a full size pattern with the curve like the one shown in C and D. It's best to use half of the wider rectangle
D .. With the bandsaw on 90 degrees. Trace the pattern and cut the curves on the narrower dimension of the stock. In this case, the 3.46" face. (G in the drawing) Tape the cutoffs back on (top and fce end of the cut) and rotate the stock 90 degrees and cut the other two curves on the wider 4" face. Now strike a center line up the resulting curves of the 3.46" face (H). Tilt your bandsaw table to 30 degrees (J) and with the stock resting on the wide side (I) and the first cuts still taped on, cut the stock using the new center line you have just made on the side. Peel off the the original taped on curved cuts and you've got your roughsawn curved tapered hexagonal form, ready to sand or plane to final shape.

Congratulations ... If you followed this, you're ready for rocket science or a job here ...

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