Brass Cornerguards – Part 1


To protect the corners of the top, I purchased four brass corner guards.  I bought them from Lee Valley, though I believe they are the same ones carried by Whitechapel; in any event, they are made in the UK.  On quality work, brasses like these are inset flush with the surface.  Schwarz describes the process in his book on campaign furniture, and I basically followed his instructions.

First I set the marking gauge to the length of a leg, and scored across the grain.  Then  using a mallet and chisel, I tapped in a “waffle-iron” grid to break the expanse into smaller bits.  I found that when going along the grain, I could just push the chisel in rather than hit it with the mallet, which might split the wood.  Then I set the router plane to the thickness of the brass, and began removing the waste.  I left a little at the corner so the router plane sole would have something to ride on, and then removed that bit with a chisel.

I started with the endgrain side and found it challenging.  The longgrain side was much easier to work with.  Then, when I set the cornerguard in place, I found I had cut too long on both sides, leaving an unsightly gap.  Grrr.  I backed off my marking gauge and the others were a better fit.  At least I started on one of the back corners.

The next step was to clamp the cornerguard in place and then carefully scribe around the curve and ears on the top surface.  Then it was the same waffle pattern with the chisel.

Next I cleared the waste with the router plane; again, leaving the corner until last.  Well, at least that fit pretty well.