Need some help with carpentry angles

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Old 05-14-14, 02:14 PM
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Need some help with carpentry angles

I'm building a corner kitchen set. I had no problem with the 2 side benches but the corner is giving me nightmares. I have spent 4 days trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I've cut more angles on more lumber than I care to talk about.
The seats on the benches have a 5 degree slant and the back has an additional 5 degree slant. I thought I had everything marked out right until I started to put it together. I have a seesaw. I need the seat which is about 22" square to come to the same level as the mating side bench. My brain is totally burnt, I have invented a few new words for Websters profanity section of the dictionary.
Is there a different degree of slant? I've tried 5 degree compound but that didn't fix it either. Before I waste anymore lumber, I need some help. I hope these pictures help explain what I'm talking about.
George
 
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Old 05-14-14, 05:59 PM
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The seat as you have it designed will need a compound miter down the middle of that corner section so that the left half of the bench seat will tip at that angle and the right half of the seat will tip at the angle of the other bench. You obviously can't start with a square the size of the one that is currently sitting in the picture because once you cut the miter, that piece will then be too small. IMO the way to do it would be to start with two halves, both cut with a miter that is a little too long so that they overlap down the center of the miter. Both halves will sit at the correct angle that way. Then just mark the intersection of those pieces in the front corner and the back corner, connect those marks with a straight edge, then remember that the top of those miters will be the long point of your bevels, which should be about 2.5 each, if I am thinking correctly. (I'd have to make a couple test pieces on my table saw to visualize this.) If the measurement from the left bench to your center line is not the same distance as the measurement from the right bench to your center line (either in front or in back) then that miter will not be a 45. The bevel will remain basically the same but the intersecting angle may not be a 45. For example, one could be 43 while the other is 47... or similar. It all depends on whether the existing benches on the left and right are perfectly centered on that corner. You can make them both 45 but you would need to adjust where that line falls by cutting one half at a 45, then lay it on top of the uncut half and scribe it... then cut it a little long and see how it fits. You can always cut it a little shorter, so don't get impatient and cut it too short thinking you have it right, seeing as how you've used up all your expletives.

As far as your woodgrain is concerned, the left half of the miter should have the grain running the same direction as the left bench, and the right half of the miter should have the grain running the same direction as the right bench. So if you start with one square of wood that is a couple inches too big... cut it diagonally... then flip one of the pieces 180 so that the grain on both pieces will be running toward the miter. Then fit those pieces as mentioned above.
 
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Old 05-15-14, 07:42 AM
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Hi XSleeper
Thanks, I think I understand all of that. I thought about cutting it down the middle, funny how things come to us in our sleep. I get some of my best thinking done then
I have to make the seat all over again anyway so I have that one to play with until I get it right.
I taped the floor out from the corner to what is square to the corner. I actually put tape on the floor so when I moved the benches I could bring them back to the exact place again. I also took a piece of board and measured the distance to the base board from the the front so I could keep the angle consistent. I am working alone on this so I have to be able to move it around and get it back to the same place. Once it's done I can get my neighbor to help me put it in place. This was supposed to be a surprise for my wife for Mother's Day. She is going to be out of town until the end of the month, good thing too!!
So let me make sure I have this right. Because my angles are at 5 degree, I split that equation in half for the miter up the center?? Is there a downward angle on the back connecting boards or is it a straight board cut with a 5 degree across the top of it? (see pic) I know that hunk is missing from the corner, I still have it, was going to glue it back in there but decided to leave it off so it was easier to see my measure line. I had cut that with a 5 degree dip to the back, not right, correct?? It should be straight, (same width on both ends) with a 5 degree pitch so the seat rest flat on it.
If I understand you correctly, I had the whole thing right the first time, but to make it work it just needed to be cut up the middle at 2.5 degree, flip one so the grain direction matches the bench it aligns to??
Was the a better way to design this??? I'm open to any suggestions.
George
 
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Old 05-25-14, 12:18 PM
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I have made 3 of these things now (bench seat triangles) With the 2.5 degree up the center as you suggested I get this hump in the middle every time. I hand planed one down but then the wood in the center was so thin you don't dare sit on it. They come together square alright, but the middle arches up. I also tried it at a 5 degree, that was a bit better, but still the hump. A bit uncomfortable to sit on.
I'm at the point of fixing it with a match.
There is no way I'm going to have this thing sanded and painted ready to use when my wife comes back on the 1st.
 
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Old 05-25-14, 01:05 PM
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Sorry if this is OT, but what exactly is the corner going to be used for? Not a seat obviously. Plant stand type area? Storage? If so, wouldn't you want it to be flat/level, not slanted? I'm looking at some examples online, and though it's hard to see from the pics, it sure looks like most of them show the front of the table slightly below the height of the front lip of the benches.

And if it's going to be painted, why would grain matter? Unless you were doing some sort of milk paint, pickled, or distressed type look where the grain will show through.
 
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Old 05-25-14, 04:26 PM
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Hi Gunguy
Well it's supposed to be part of the seat. Everything I saw online had flat seats all the way around. KMart had one, major cheap piece of junk. I sat on the flat seat for about 10 minutes. It made my legs ache.
There has to be some way to do this, I just can't figure out how. I might have to adjust the backs of the seats. I just can't come up with the right combination of angles.
You're right nobody every wants to get stuck sitting there and it's doubtful anyone would but if they do I want it to be right.
Did you look at the first picture of my post? I may borrow that gun of yours and blow this to kingdom come.
George
 
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Old 05-25-14, 04:49 PM
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I think the way I described is the way it has to be done, since that's how you designed it to be. It also seems to me the thing that will be the most uncomfortable is not the miter that will line up with your butt crack but the 2 dividers that will be right under your legs. Whether or not that's a design flaw isn't for me to say... I didn't design it. Most seats like that end up having cushions on them so I would not worry about the sharp miter. If anything it could be slightly eased with some sandpaper but who in the heck is really going to want to sit in the corner anyway with those dividers under their legs and their knees hanging half over one side and half over the other? I think you are probably obsessing over something that can't be corrected unless you go back to the drawing board. If the front part where your legs go would have been at a 45, then the entire corner seat could have pitched back at one angle. If there is a design flaw, that's where it would be. Moving the left and right sides farther apart so as to increase the distance in the corner to make room for a flat front would help correct that. But if the pitch of that seat (in degrees) matches the pitch of the sides, they won't match up exactly where they come together. The dividers on each side of the corner would have to go back at a 22.5 for them to match up. IMO its way too late to redesign anything.

As a side note I guess I didn't catch that it was being painted. The finish work looked so good I guess I assumed it was getting stained. But at any rate, having the grain run the right direction is as much for strength as it is for appearance. Same reason you don't run plywood the wrong way on a subfloor.

If you end up putting cushions on it (which I think you will figure out sooner or later) all of your fretting will be for nothing so I wouldn't sweat it. Hope that makes you feel somewhat better, so please come off the ledge.
 
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Old 05-25-14, 05:03 PM
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I tired the 2 pieces and thought I did as you said, miter it to 2.5 degrees. It laid flat until I screwed it to the back sections. I think I'm going to take it back to where it laid flat and fudge the backs pieces. They will be behind the third piece that sits in front of them anyway. I spent half a morning measuring and remeasuring to be sure everything came to the right angles to fit the space. It was a hair off square.
Those leg breakers were not my design. I copied what I saw in the store. I had thought about cutting it back flush to the seat and back rest. If I can't get that corner right I won't. I may just put cushions on it and say forget it, or as Gunguy suggested make it a shelf.
Thanks for your patients.
George
George
 
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Old 05-25-14, 05:11 PM
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I understand about the flat vs slanted seating area completely, but as X expounded on so well, no one would ever be able to sit there for more than a few minutes anyway. Even then they would either have to be a small child or a 1 legged man (after he lost the a$$ kicking contest).

It will probably mostly be used for a decorative item, plant, statue, books, etc. With the 2 windows, it would be ideal for a plant. I was looking at pics of $500-600 units and they all looked flat in that area. Like an end table beside a recliner.

Btw...Mothers Day has passed...so yer too late. lol
 
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Old 05-27-14, 07:52 AM
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Gunguy
I decided to go with flat and cheat with the cushion. While you are so right about that seating arrangement, my wife is a stickler about uniform looks in her kitchen.
She has been in New Mexico visiting with her sick father for the past month. This thing was supposed to be a surprise. The surprise is going to be I've got her kitchen all tore to he.. and tape all over the floor. That is going to go over big. The tape I'll yank up. I think I'll shove it in the corner and tell her I still have to sand and paint it. That should float. I can honestly say I've been really busy and didn't get it finished. I just won't tell her how much time I wasted on that blessed corner. LOl
George
 
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