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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by chessnut2 View Post
Biagio..........I have a Craftsman model gathering dust in my garage. Sometimes I think I'd like to make legs for a dedicated chess table incorporating the "hollow" spiral you show in your first picture. But I haven't because I don't know how much vertical stress they could take. Any ideas?
Afraid not, but I suspect it may depend a lot on the characteristics of the wood you use. I did not put a lot of stress on the section I made at that time, but I did test to see that it would not crumble when assembled, and must say I was pleasantly surprised by how strong it felt (iroko wood).
Depending on the number of starts to the twist, the pitch of the twist, and the diameter of the bit (not to mention the diameter of the finished leg), you could land up with most of the wood you started out with. It might lack the rather airy appeal of thin spirals, but the trade-off would be greater strength. On a chess table, I think horizontal stress may be more important than vertical stress - you would not be leaning on it, for example.

Alternately, have you considered tapered legs with a two- start barley twist (I.e. where there is no hollow)? Lot of heavy-duty furniture used to be made that way, including four-poster beds. Somewhere I have a book on spiral work with some inspirational ideas - will look it out and post the title. For example, on could glue up blanks with a pale wood as the core, surrounded by darker wood, so that the pale wood is exposed in the deepest part of the twist.
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 01:56 AM
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Jim, the book I referred to earlier is “Techniques of Spiral Work”, by Stuart Mortimer.
It is a detailed exposition on laying out and cutting open and closed spirals by hand, on cylinders and open shapes (ie bowls, vases).
But the principles are equally applicable to the router lathe.
When one sees some of what he achieves (truly inspirational), I start thinking of either investing the time in learning to do it by hand, or looking for a more sophisticated router lathe. For example, he splits bines into two at some point on the turning, eg starts with three turns and ends with six.
There are examples that you could adapt to your chess table. An intriguing one is an open spiral with a solid cylindrical core, in a contrasting wood.
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