This is a miniature three legged stool for a candle or small plant. This one is made from Maple and Walnut and all done on the lathe and the drill press. It stands 4" tall and is 5" in diameter.
You could use this for a number of things, I like the candle idea but I also thought about making one as a plant stand. You can get very very creative with these. And they are not very difficult to make.
Step 1: Grab Some Scraps
For this one, I used 3 small pieces of walnut about 6" long X 1" X 1" and 6"X6"X1" Maple. The maple was clean and flat on one side and the other side is rough cut. The walnut were simple scrap cuts I had in the bin.
Grab a pencil spring punch or scratch awl and mallet and your angle square for the next step.
Step 2: Layout for the Holes
Now I marked the centers on both ends of all three legs. After that I marked the center of the Maple block.
Then using a spring punch make a divot. Then I used a compass and made a circle as large as the block would allow, then made another circle about 1/2"-3/4" less in radius.
Then, I used the center punch and made the first divot for the legs. The location of the first divot doesn't really matter.
Now, without adjusting the compass from the inner circle size, start at the first divot you made and make 6 perpendicular marks moving from one cross-mark to the next as pictured.
Finally, using the spring punch, divot every other mark leaving 3 divots in total plus the one in the center.
I then drilled the center hole to allow my worm drive for the chuck.
Step 3: Mount It on the Lathe
Now I need to rough turn it round and flat. This doesn't have to be perfect yet I still need to drill the holes for the legs. Every time I remove a piece from my lathe and re-chuck it, It is out of round. So I will essentially need to "rough and finish cut" the piece again.
Make it round on the edge, and flat on the face.
I then loosened the chuck jaws and removed the disk. I will leave the worm drive in, as this will not be in my way in the next step.
Step 4: Drill the Hole for the Legs
I placed the maple block in a drill press vice with a scrap piece under one side only to lift and hold it at an angle. I then used a 3/8" bit to drill about 3/8"deep into the block of wood at the three divot points I marked in step 2.
Step 5: Re-mount the Maple Disk
Mount the maple disk in the chuck again and finish smooth and sand the edges and the face. I sanded from 80 grit thru 800 grit. After that I used friction polish on the disk to finish it.
Remove the disk from the worm drive and the chuck.
Step 6: Turn the Legs
I removed the chuck and installed the lathe drive spur, and mounted the walnut legs between centers.
I then turned them rough round all the way down the length of the leg and formed a tenon at the tail end slightly larger than 3/8"
A tip for this is to use a small file if you have one. Another idea is to use a scrap piece of wood with sandpaper to form a nice flat tenon.
I needed to stop to test the fit every now and again until I got a nice snug fit. I then sanded from 80 thru 800 grit and then friction polished the legs before cutting off the excess on the head-stock end of the spindle.
Step 7: Glue the Legs Into Place
I used Yellow wood glue to glue the legs in place. They were snug enough that I didn't need to clamp anything or even put weight on it to hold it firmly. The last thing I did was sand the bottoms of the legs flat using the disk sander.