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Working With the Wood Grain for Greatest Strength

I am adding a French foot to the Hepplewhite bookcase that will be placed in my wife’s voice studio. In my last post about this little piece I teased you all with the pattern for the front apron and foot and now I turn my sights to building the feet. The key to making these is ensuring that the grain follows the curve of the foot so you get nice long grain strength throughout. The problem is that the direction of that curve is nowhere near parallel to that of your average board. So I have to orient my pattern for that best grain relationship.

French Foot Wood Grain Orientation

Set the pattern so that the grain follows the curve of the foot

I took my bevel gauge and set the angle needed to crosscut the individual feet blanks from the larger board.

Bevel Gauge and French Foot Pattern

Use a bevel gauge to match the angle

Then I used that bevel setting to position my miter gauge on the table saw.

Miter the ends of the french foot blank

Use the miter gauge to cut out French foot blanks

Finally I have a blank cut to the exact height of the foot but allows the grain to flow along with the curve. From here I am free to miter the 45 degree corner referencing off this fresh edge. The inside edge will be cut on the bandsaw.

Grain Alignment with the French Foot

Now the grain will add strength to the feet

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