Sunday, July 16, 2017

Leg Skins

In previous posts I showed how I made the layers of the legs. I eventually glued these up to form the structure of the legs. With the legs glued up I decided to skin the edges of the legs with styrene like others have done. With a lot of work I probably could have gotten a smooth surface on the edges, but with the layers of plywood it would tend to crack through the paint, thus the reason for skinning. I decided not to skin the large surfaces of the leg because I felt I could get a nice enough finish without it, but I have seen people who skinned the entire leg.

To start the skinning process I used wood filler to fill any voids in the legs and then sanded everything smooth. I used fairly thin styrene for the skin so I didn’t want any defects in the wood to show through.

I cut a piece of styrene the rough size needed for the bottom portion of the leg. I started with just one side, putting the seam at the very bottom point where it won’t be seen. The piece can be a little bigger the necessary, it can be trimmed afterwards.

To attach the styrene I found the best adhesive was two-part epoxy, I couldn’t find anything else that held as well. I first roughed up the back of the styrene with some sand paper and then coated the wood with a smooth layer of epoxy. Since the epoxy has a fairly short working time I did this in a couple steps. For this part I started with just the side flat area, and then did the angled part as a second step. I taped the styrene in place to keep it from moving while I clamped it.


I firmly clamped it with a piece of plywood between the clamp and the styrene to keep the clamps from damaging the surface. Once that section was dry I moved on to the part that went down the angled part, you can see it sticking out in the picture below.


I used this same process for the rest of the leg. I did the flat side as one piece and cut the groove afterwards. I did a second piece on the slope going up to the shoulder, and the on long piece going all the way around the shoulder. The flats I did with one glue up, but the curve I did little by little so I had  place to clamp it.


Once everything was glued up and dry I trimmed any overhang of the styrene with an X-acto knife and then sanded the edges. There were a few places where the styrene did not adhere completely along the edges so for these I used a toothpick to put in some more epoxy  and taped it down to dry. The epoxy works good for this since any the squeezes out can easily be sanded smooth.

No comments:

Post a Comment