Repairing the Foot of a Walnut Table

A few weeks ago, my wife and I, were visiting thrift shops in Cincinnati when we ran across a round walnut table for $20.00 at Goodwill. There was nothing special about it. It had a dull flat finish and was missing the extension wings that go in the middle. It even had two feet that were broken. Anita asked me if I could remake them and I told her I could, so we took it home.

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In order to fix the feet, I grabbed some scrap walnut and glued pieces to them to re-sculpt the feet.

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Once the glue dried, I cut the arch of the foot with my band saw, then I sawed off the sides with a hand saw.

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Next, I stuck the leg on the lathe and turned the pad of the foot.

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I then brought the foot over to my workbench and carved the rest of the foot by hand using chisels and rasps.

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After shaping the foot was complete, I started to sand the leg with 80 grit sand paper working down to 220 grit.

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With the foot finished, I was happy with the way it turned out as it matched the other two. I then repeated the same steps for the other broken foot.

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Noticing the top was solid walnut, I decided to sand off the dull stained finish. You can see how bland the table was when we bought it.

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A few minutes of sanding, the table was really starting to shine again.

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After applying three coats of hemp oil, you can see how the table has been brought back to life having much more character between the sap and heart wood of the walnut. Looks much nicer than the boring spray toner stain that was on it before. This piece will be a nice addition in my wife’s booth as a display table.

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Corradi Gold Rasp Handles

Last year I bought a couple of Italian made Corradi Gold Rasps direct from Italy; a 6″ round and a 10″ cabinet rasp. While I absolutely loved using them, they were painful to use without a proper handle. The tip of the tang would dig into the palm of my hand causing great pain. Corradi sells handles for their rasps, but I figured I could make my own easily enough.

http://www.corradishop.com

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I use these rasps to shape and make new pieces of wood for the top of my rosewood plane totes. Their small size makes it nice to work into the tight curves of the handle and the small hole for the threaded rod. At a 6 cut, they are aggressive enough to make quick work of removing the wood, but with their advanced stitching, they don’t leave big tool marks on the wood’s surface. In the photo below, there is a small black line near the top of the tote that distinguishes the original Brazilian rosewood and the new piece of cocobolo. I use cocobolo because Brazilian rosewood is nearly impossible to get nowadays and cocobolo is in the same species of wood. While the color of the woods are not an exact match, they’re good enough to make the tote look nice again.

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I started making the handle with a scrap piece of apple about 12″ long and chucked it into my lathe.

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Then, using a template handle I had when I bought an old knife sharpener, I used my parting tool and calipers to mark and measure the details of the handle.

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After everything was turned to my satisfaction, I took some of my lathe shavings and burnished the wood to a nice sheen.

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In order for the handle to fit in the tang of the rasp securely, I drilled a small pilot hole as plum as possible down the center of the handle. The drill bit was the size of the very tip of the tang of the rasp so it would fit tight when driven into the handle.

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Next, I took my blow torch and carefully heated the tip of the rasp so I could burn into the handle. It took a couple of tries as I didn’t want to burn it in all at once. On the second burn, the rasp seated nicely into the handle and I was unable to pull it out.

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The final touch was to simply apply a couple coats of oil on the handles. These handles were extremely simple to make. In fact, it took less that 30 minutes to make both. Why I didn’t make them last year when I originally bought the rasps I have no idea.

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Repairing a Desk’s Legs

My wife Anita won this desk at a local auction a couple of weeks ago. She loved the curves of the desk and wants to use it for sewing. What she’s going to sew I have no idea but that ‘s what she wants it for. It was in decent shape with a few spots where the veneer needed to be glued down and the leg needed to be glued back to the frame but that’s easy stuff to fix. What really needed attention were the two legs in the back that were missing part of their feet.

More than likely, sometime in the past the desk sat in some water and both back feet became unglued from their leg. I knew Anita was planning on painting it so I just grabbed some straight grain cherry about 1″ thick and glued it onto both back legs.

Once the glued dried, I started filing away the wood trying to recreate the swoop of the pad. Since the bad legs were in the back, it wasn’t entirely necessary to make perfect matching feet with the ones in the front since no one would really see them while the desk was against the wall but I still wanted to give it my best shot.

I used a variety of rasps and MicroPlanes to shape the curve into the foot. I’ve made cabriolet legs before so I had a basic understanding of how to shape them. Once the general shape was created, I drew the bead onto the blank and used my Dremel to carve it in.

After shaving was completed, 80 and 150 grit sandpaper finalized the foot. I was quite pleased with the results.

One foot down, one to go. It took about 30 minutes for me to finish one foot listening to the Bengals game on the radio.

After I was done with both feet, I flipped over the desk to see how it looks. Not too shabby. Once the desk is painted no one will know that the feet where redone. Anita was impressed as well. She didn’t think I would have been able to match the two in the front. I guess I’m good for something.