Making and Installing the Legs
I clamped the pedestal to my bench top using a series of U-blocks and the clamps. Then I completed the mortise marking process.
The joinery on this pedestal stand is unlike any I’ve seen on other Shaker pedestal stands. Many of these pieces have sliding dovetails, while others have simple tenons with a shoulder on each side. Each leg of this particular pedestal stand, however, has only one shoulder on the right side of a fat tenon.
I chopped out the mortises with a 1/2″ mortise chisel and a wide paring chisel. I then turned my attention to the legs.
In profile, these legs are much like the legs on many Chippendale-era pedestal stands. They don’t, however, exhibit the carving typical of the Chippendale examples. The only elaboration on the band saw leg form is a slightly crowned bevel on the top outside edges of each leg.
I began work on these bevels by free-handing penciled guidelines to indicate the limits of the bevels. I created the bevels with a spokeshave, a rasp and sandpaper. I roughed in the one-shouldered tenons with a backsaw, hand-planing each to final thickness one shaving at a time.
Many years ago, when I first began to build tripod tables, I undercut the shoulders on the leg tenons in order to get a tight fit of shoulder against the round base of the pedestal. Otherwise, there will be a wide gap between the shoulder and that round base — which curves away from the shoulder. However, several years ago, I began to cut a narrow bevel on the base underneath the shoulder instead. This bevel allows the shoulder to fit snugly against the base.