Side Table - Finished Photos

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OPJ

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It's been a while since my last WIP so, I thought I'd get the ball rolling again with this one. It's going to be a side table, made in a similar style to an arm chair I've just finished gluing up at college:



(Trust me - it is somewhere underneath all those cramps!! :D)

For those who didn't see it on my blog about six-months ago, I ended up buying far too much English ash - two 10ft boards, 2in and 26in wide between the bark!! :shock: Plus a few bits of English walnut for the seat. Not the highest quality but, they were going cheap at £65/ft³. :wink:



Last night, I bought all my "offcuts" home from college, leaving me with a huge pile of wood to sort through this morning:



(...Well, at least I've saved myself several trips to the timber yard, here! :D)

With only three-weeks left on the course, I wouldn't have had time to do any prep work on this at college. I decided I would start by removing a binning any badly split wood that I hadn't bothered with before. I thought these lumps would be too much for me to handle on my bandsaw so, I started with the jigsaw... And it wasn't long before one of the blades snapped (never had that happen before on a jigsaw!). :x



So, I put a sharp ¾in x 4tpi Supertuff blade in and did the rest on my Startrite 401e:



The low working height of the saw's table does help, here. But, there isn't a lot of table to the right of the blade [left, in this photo], which isn't ideal when you're trying to rip large boards on your own.

While working my way through, I wanted to get a better look at the grain on some of the wider boards. Not only to check for splits and shakes, but also to look at the colour of the grain, so I could be a bit selective. My thicknesser's only 10in wide and I don't have a drum sander so, I skimmed all surfaces with a 4in belt sander - one of my most used power tools, believe it or not! :D



After two-hours of measuring, drawing lines and bandsawing, I had all the components roughed out for the frame:



(Note the proper cutting list, for a change and rough sketches! :))

And I still have all this left over...



Plus, two of the bigger boards, which remain untouched:



You can probably see the splits in there which, along with the heart-shakes in the other one, almost render these two lumps as firewood... :?

By the way, this is what the table is going to look like:



Since receiving a bit of help on this in the Design forum recently, I've decided to chop about 100mm off the legs. There was, fortunately, enough usable heartwood in my leftovers to let me keep the legs and rails slightly darker than the rest of the table. Though, I don't think I'll go as OTT (with the slats) as I have done on the chair.

This is what I've decided on for the top:



(You'll have to imagine that as a nice piece of book-matched walnut in the centre! :wink:)

I haven't yet cut out any material for the top, as I'm a little uncertain as to how I'll do this... I was really hoping for a two-piece book-match but, I don't seem to have anything quite wide enough (the top is 400mm square, minus the lippings).



So, I'm not going to rush in to anything. I'll leave it for a few days and hopefully make a decision on Monday/Tuesday. I still have templates to make and I need to draw up a rod for all those angled tenons. Judging by the tension being released as I cut in to it, some of this ash would benefit from a week indoors, at least (though, it's already bone-dry after six-months in college).

I think I'll have to buy a new trimming cutter for my router table, as I don't fancy shaping all these parts by hand, as I mostly did with bits of the chair at college (there's still plenty of hand-work in scribing all those tenon shoulders!). This one needs to be completed in June and, even I should be able to do it in less than thirty hours... :wink:

Progress to follow in another week or so, once I've also had a chance to get my planer knives sharpened. :)
 

Ironballs

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Nice bit of work Olly, look forward to seeing this come together. Is this your last year at college then?
 

OPJ

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Ironballs":bdmoyp9i said:
Is this your last year at college then?
Yep this is it, at last :( - three-years in carpentry followed by three years in furniture! :shock: Don't know what I'm going to do come September - maybe I could start having a lie in on Thursdays and Fridays! :D I have got a couple of exhibitions lined up for July so, that should be good. :)
 

ByronBlack

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I'm interested to see how this one develops. I really like the design, and love the woods you are using (even though I wouldn't call them cheap! ;) )
 

Chris Knight

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Olly,
I think it could look very good but ideally, I'd like to see the sections of the undercarriage all reduced by 40% - seems too heavy to me at the mo.
 

OPJ

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Thanks, guys. :)

Chris, this may or may not have a similar effect but, I'm proposing the thicken the top up to 24/25mm thick. I'll be cutting the walnut veneers about 3mm thick and then they'll be laminated to MDF (18/19mm thick). This could bring it back in to proportion with the rest of the table. I'm reluctant to take any material off the components or else it may look odd against the chair. I'm also still playing with the positioning of the rails.

Just had another look at my walnut this evening and I think I've found the piece I'm going to use, which has a fair bit of spalting in it - should look interesting once quartered! :)
 

OPJ

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It begins!!

After an hour on the planer/thicknesser preparing all the timber for the framework, I decided I would start by shaping the four legs. I fitted an unopened Axcalibur blade (½in x 6tpi) in my bandsaw for this and, while it did a good job and the weld was fine, I don't know, it just didn't feel as "sweet" as the blades I've always bought from Ian John...? This one came with the saw when I bought it; an unused gift from the seller, along with several other used blades.

At college, I shaped the back legs on the spindle moulder, using a 'double-station' jig with minimal risk to health and safety - given the time it took to make the jig, I doubt it would've taken much longer to have shaped them freehand! :D



I don't have a spindle moulder at home and I didn't intend to spend half the day building a jig for this, either - so, I ordered a brand-new Panel Trim cutter from Wealden and did them on the router table. I was hoping to get one of their Down Shear Trim cutters except, they're out of stock until the third week of June! Oh well, that's still £10 in my pocket! ;)



I first saw the idea for these "hand shields" in the most recent issue of Good Woodworking magazine, where a similar setup was used by one of the Warwickshire College students at the Get Woodworking Live show. Coupled with the fact that the cutter was nice and sharp and that I only left 1mm waste on to be removed, I felt reassured; knowing that I wouldn't come to any harm from this, using a 55mm long cutter (legs are only 38mm thick).



Is this where a template becomes a jig?! ;)

It's basically two scraps of 6mm acrylic, secured to the MDF template with wooden knobs on top for handling. I also had to place a scrap of 6mm ply in between, so I had enough clearance for the bearing and socket screw on top.

And, the end result - four perfectly shaped legs:



Cutting in to one leg revealed this terrifying split!



:eek:

I'm not going to worry about it too much right now and it doesn't show through anywhere else. Might be another job for the scraper-and-superglue trick...! :D

I then went back to my rod to set out my mortises with all the correct angles and then, it took nearly ten-minutes to clear away for me to get the machine:



I hadn't used it for about five-months and, yes, before anyone says it - a Domino jointer would've saved so much time here and they don't take even half as long to set up! :roll: Still, it's nice to have a dedicated machine and this one is a lot nicer than the Fox model I had before.



This is why I decided to do all the shaping first...



It's much easier to cut the mortises "parallel" to the curve of each leg (in case you can't see it in the sketches, the rails and slats will all follow the curve/radius of the legs).

That's all the mortising done for now. I will need to chop some more in to the side rails for the slats and also in the stretchers but, I would like to cut all the tenon shoulders before that, just in case - so I can hide my mortiser away again! :) I've got to the point where I'm ready to start cutting tenons but, I've realised that I'd forgotten to make a new tenon jig for my router table! :oops: Don't get me wrong - I still think Steve Maskery's jig is excellent. But, the plunge depth on my Freud router is limited; I can't afford a Trend T11; and Wealden's awesome Tenon Cutters aren't long enough when your jig has an 18mm thick base. So, I've started to build my own; one of which is experimental... Which is why I'm also making a simple "push-block" type affair, just in case.

I was hoping to get much more done today and to at least have most of the frame components dry-assembled. :( I'll see how far I can get tomorrow morning and I might have some more time on this Wednesday afternoon.
 

OPJ

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This morning, I finished off a new pair of jigs for my router table. One looks like a simple 90° "push block", albeit it with a hardwood wear strip down the running edge; the other is much the same - but with the addition of a sheet of 6mm ply underneath, which carries the timber past the cutter.



I made two just in case the one with the additional plywood base didn't work out! ;) In practice though, it works very well - the addition of 120g abrasive paper to stop the wood from sliding about really helps and, for small-scale furniture components like this, it's ideal and it also allows me to use my tenon cutter! :D The handles might look odd - or, at least, not quite what you would expect - but, I didn't want to waste any more time and my lathe's buried somewhere behind three or four machines (next to my mortiser)...



Having a false fence fitted is critical, with a 50mm diameter cutter. Otherwise, with a split fence, anything narrower than the opening gets dragged in by the cutter! :? Actually, Steve's jig never really suffered from this because it had an excellent hold-down clamp. I haven't bothered with one here because the base is only 18mm MDF (not rigid enough). In future, I may try and add a simplified wooden hold-down that doesn't put any tension on the base - if such a thing is possible...!! :)

So, yes, the tenons came out really well. All the side rails have square shoulders but, two of the top rails (front and back) have angled shoulders. I removed most of the waste on these with my router table jig and chiselled the waste away by hand, working back to a knife line.



In case you're wondering how I got those angles, this is where the all-important rod comes in! ;)



I didn't want to mess about too much resetting everything for the curved stretchers so, I just cut those tenons on the bandsaw, again, cleaning up the shoulders by hand:



Then, I was out all afternoon... :(

Got back this evening and chopped some more mortises - for the slats in the four side rails and also one through-mortise in each of the stretcher rails, which I'll receive a wedged through-tenon (as I did on the chair). Fortunately, I managed to squeeze in here without having to move any machines - yes, Colin, I can see your point of view, now!! :D



I've also stuck some more 120g abrasive paper on to the face of the clamp on my mortiser - I think that, from when I waxed the fence previously for corrosion resistance, it's all a bit too slick around there! :D

Everything's just about ready for a dry-assembly, now. A few of the joints still need tweaking but, about an hour ago, I was hungry and too tired to start messing around with that (I'll save it for tomorrow afternoon/evening, if I have time).
 

Chems

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Great progress and WIP as always Olly, looking forward to the finished article.
 

Ironballs

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Olly, quick question on your curved leg jig, how does the template attach to the timber? Is it double sided tape and if so was it secure enough?

Need to put a shallow curve into some legs I'm doing and like what you've done here
 

Chems

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I'm guessing by the picture with it stuck to the router table fence that he's used double sided tape. Problem with DST is the mess it leaves behind.
 

OPJ

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Yes, sorry, I forgot to mention that - it is double-sided tape! :)

It seems strong enough to me. This roll was 1in wide and came from Isaac Lord a few months ago. It seems to be a lot strong than the cheap stuff you get from the DIY sheds. It's always a bugger to get the residue off after but, if you can't scrape it then, I find it sometimes helps to 'roll' it off (like taking a small snowball and rolling it in the snow to increase its size). :wink:
 

devonwoody

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Thanks OPJ for your latest WIP, you have given a lot of time making this one interesting and viewable.

Hope the table goes well.
 

ByronBlack

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A bit of acetone cleans up the adhesive from DST really well. When shaping fretboards I used the same system as Olly - template on the stock with DST and shaped on the router-table, its a quick, clean and relatively safe method.

Although for curves I still prefer to bandsaw to a line and then spoke-shave smooth.
 

Mooeee

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Hi

Great work, looks Fantastic.

Where do you get your acetone from?????? is it cheap??

Thanks
 

Noel

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Your local pharmacy should have some or use nail polish remover, the non branded stuff is very cheap.
Personally I use Isopropyl from my local chemist. WD 40 all do a similar job, as will furniture polish (Pledge, Mr Sheen) but run the risk of spoiling a finish at a later date if silicone residue is left behind.

Lastly, I've even heard that peanut butter will also do the job :)
 

Benchwayze

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Lighter fluid is good for removing gummy residue left by DST and also gets Evo-stick from your fingers...

HTH

:)
John
.
 
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