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Making the capitals and bases Milling the parts for the capitals and bases

Making the capitals and bases

Milling the parts for the capitals and bases

The capitals are complicated looking, but they just use rabbeted parts to create the whole. All of the cutting can be done on the router table, except for the columns in Part C, which are best cut on the table saw “ Capitals and Bases” shows how the parts go together.

1.Mil the various blanks for the capitals and bases to size. Make some extras in case something goes awry-especially of part C, which has all of the columns.

2.Cut all of the 1/4.by 1/4-in. Crossgrain rabbets, then the rabbets with the grain, in parts B,C, and D. This minimizes tearout at the end of the cut.

3.Reset the router to make the 1/4-in. By 3/8-in. Rabbet on the top of part B, and then to make the 1/2-in. By 5/8-in. Rabbets and the 3/4-in. By 1/4. Rabbets in part E

4.Sand all of the rabbets now to get rid of the saw or router marks. Don’t sand the tops of any of the B parts or the top of the D parts, since these are glue surfaces and must be as flat as possible. Don’t bother to sand any of the outside edges, since you’ll sand these after you’ve glued the capitals together.


Cutting the columns for part C

The columns on the capitals, part C, are cut with a series of dado cuts on the table saw.

1.Cut a 1/2-in.by 1/4-in. Rabbet around the top edge on the router table.

2.Set up the table saw with a 5/16-in. Sado blade.

3.Mark out the location of the 5/16-in. Dado in the center of the piece.


4.Mill up three strips, 5/8 in. Thick by 1-1/4 in. Wide by 24 in. Long, to register the cuts for all of the columns. The thickness of these strips( in conjunction with a 5/16-in. Dado cutter) will create 5/16-in. Columns. If your dado set cuts a different-size groove, you’ll have to adjust the strip thickness. The strips make it easy to keep all of the columns exactly the same size.

5.Clamp the three strips to the fence, leaving enough room both in front of and behond the blade for safety.

6.Set the fence( with the strips attached) so that the blade will cut exactly in the center and make the first cut across the grain on all pieces.

7.Remove one of the 5/8-in.-thick strips from the fence, then make the next pair of across-the grain cuts.

8.Rotate the piece 180 degrees and, with the same fence setting, cut the third dado across the grain. Repeat these cuts on all of the pieces.

9.Continue in this way with the remaining crossgrain cuts, removing the second and then the third strips

10.Clamp the strips back onto the fence, and make all of the rip cuts in exactly the same way. You should wind up with a perfect set of colunms.

11.Drill four 3/32-in. Holes in the second-row corner columns. These will serve as pilot holes later on when you attach the capitals to the colums. If you run into trouble with columns snapping off, you can put some 5/16-in. Strips in between the rows to support them while you’re drilling. A sharp drill bbit helps, too.


Assembling the capitals

To assemble the various parts into well-aligned capitals, first make a quick jig

1.When gluing up a footboard capital, spread a small amount of glue in the center of the bottom of part B, then align and clamp it to part D in the jig.

2.For a headboard capital, put a very small spot of glue on top pf each of the columns on part C, including the columns with the holes, then align it and clamp it to part B in the jig.

3.When the glue is dry, sand the edges of the capitals on a stationary belt sander or by hand to smoot them and remove any slight misalignment. Ease the edges and corners slightly with some 220-grit sandpaper.


Attaching the base and capitals to the legs

1.drill four pilot holes in the footboard capitals, and countersink them on the top, making sure that the holes and countersinks are within the area that will be covered by the pyramid top

2.For the headboard capitals, you have to drill very slowly and carefully with pregressively larger bits(1/8 in.,5/32in.,3/16in.)through the 3/32-in.pilot holes you’ve already drilled in the colums. Use a drill press to be sure you’re drilling absolutely straight. Then countersink the holes from the top.

3.Line up a base or capital with the grain running from side to side on the bed, centered on the leg.

4.Screw in just one of the screws. Use 2-in. Fine-thread drywall screws for the bas, 2 1/2-in. Fine-thread drywall screws for the footboard capitals, and 3-in. Fine-thread drywall screws for the headboard capitals.

5.With one of the screws in, check to be sure the leg is still centered on the piece, then screw in the rest. If you have to adjust the position, you can remove the first screw and try again in one of the other pilot holes.


Making and attaching the pyramids

The pyramid on top of the columns, part A, must be cut carefully so that all of the lines intersect with the corners and at the center. You need to build a simple table-saw jig to achieve this level of accuracy.

1.Cut the pyramids on the table saw with the jig.

2.Place a sheet of sandpaper on a flat surface and carefully stoke each facet of the pyramid to sand them smooth without distoring the shape. Inspect the pyramid often to make sure you’re not oversanding one of the facets. Sand the thin vertical edges as well.

3.To attach the pyramids, mark out a set of lines just inside where the pyramid will actually go on top of the column.

4.Spread a thin layer of glue around all but the outside 1/2 in. Of the underside of the pyramid, and press it into place, with the grain of the pyramid aligned with the grain of the rest of the capital. Just hold the piece on the right palce for a minute or two until the glue tacks up.

5.Wrap rubber straps cut out of a bicycle inner tube or even strong rubber bands to hold the pyramid down. Be sure the pyraminds don’t shift off center.