Small walnut side table with drawer

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AndyT

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Drawer slips sort of go with higher quality work, so I was aiming at that. Also, when the drawer sides get this thin, there's not going to be much left if you make a groove. Adding a slip gives you extra wood for the groove without making the sides clunky. And, as you say, it gives a wider bearing surface.
There are two common styles of slips. The other sort are easier, but reduce the clear space in the drawer.
They certainly add to the time taken!

20150430_102728_zpsxdrvdeqc.jpg
 

AndyT

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The wood-cutting part of this project is just about done, but it's not finished yet. :)

Here is the rebated bottom being carefully slid into the grooves in the slips. I found the easiest way to do this was flat on the bench, with a block behind to push against. That way I could see that it was going in straight.

drawer_bottom18.jpg


The bottom is a reasonably snug fit, so I haven't glued it. I don't think there is going to be much movement on a piece at this small scale. If there is, I can just push the bottom in again. The front of the bottom sits in a groove and the back just goes under the back edge of the drawer. No nail, no screw.

On a slightly disappointing note, the bottom is a shade too narrow - maybe about a millimetre. You can see there's a bit of a gap on the left hand side

left_side.jpg


and a smaller one on the right.

right_side.jpg


I'll see how it goes; if it gets loose or annoys me too much I can cut some more cedar and make a replacement.

I adjusted the little stops for the drawers - leaving this much to be trimmed off.

stops.jpg


A few minutes paring with a sharp chisel and a couple of dabs of glue fixed them.

I gave the top a quick once-over with a smoothing plane, to remove any fingermarks and get it properly flat.

smoothing_top.jpg


But before I did that, I couldn't resist posing it for a story-so-far shot:

nearly_finished.jpg


There are some more decisions to make, so I shall do some experiments (with an eye on this thread - post1161265.html) and take a few more pictures, while I sort out staining and finishing, so don't go away just yet!
 

ro

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AndyT":2lv4tj4d said:
But before I did that, I couldn't resist posing it for a story-so-far shot:

nearly_finished.jpg

Wow, that's looking really good! This is a fascinating thread, I'm learning so much. Thanks.
 

Sheffield Tony

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It is looking rather smart . The drawer pull looks right, so was worth all that thought !

The fit of the bottom you were a bit disappointed with. You say it it a shade narrow, but it looked like it was a snug fit. There's no possibility that the groove in the slips is not quite deep enough (or the corresponding tongue a shade long) so that the sides are being pushed apart a shade ? If not, then isn't that what the side bead is for, to disguise any gap ?
 

AndyT

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No, there's no way the sides are being pushed apart. Maybe a warmer room will do the trick - it's just not as snug as the ones I did before, using the same way, but yes, the bead does hide it somewhat.
 

Racers

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Is that the final size for the top? it looks a little big to me, apart from that it very nice.

Can you make wider slips to get rid of the gap in your bottom?

Pete
 

thetyreman

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looking really good andy, if it was me I wouldn't obsess over the gap in the drawer bottom, the end result is very nice, what are you going to finish it with?
 

DTR

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That looks amazing Andy, I can't wait to see it with a finish!
 

AndyT

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The table still isn't finished, but here's a quick update with some pictures to show the sort of detail I have been playing about with.

I'm still undecided about the finish I shall use. Guided by Custard's experience it will probably be some water-based aniline dye with Osmo Poly-X on top, but I have various scraps around the place, with different options on them, gathering extra coats and waiting to dry. Too tedious to photograph, you'll be relieved to hear.

One thing I do know is that if I am going to use a water-based dye, it will raise the grain unless I raise it with plain water first, so I have done that. This is simply a question of wiping over with a rag moistened from the hot tap, letting it dry, then sanding over again - in my case, using 400 grit Abranet.

grain_raising.jpg


grain_raising2.jpg


The table top has a pair of tiny insect holes, right in the middle. Now, I could have planed away the wood to remove them, but that would have made the top about ¾" narrower. I didn't want to do that and thought I could make them disappear. I'll soon find out if I can!

So here are my experiments on an offcut which has some similar holes.

Walnut stain and hide glue.

stain_glue.jpg


Stir in some walnut sawdust

stain_glue_dust.jpg


Take one hole

test_hole1.jpg


Fill

fill1.jpg


Smooth

fill2.jpg


Then apply stain and oil and wait to see how it looks.

I also fiddled about with the fit of the drawers. In an attempt to minimise the space wasted below the bottom of the drawer I have left myself with very little clearance - a bare ⅛". So the little drawer stops needed trimming slightly. I could have done this with just a chisel

stop_trim2.jpg


but it does justify buying one of those cheap but tiny Mujingfang planes - just the job in a tight space, as this clumsily posed shot attempts to show:

stop_trim1.jpg


That's about it for now, while I wait for samples to dry and recover from the shock of this afternoon's earthquake. :)
 

AndyT

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I've not forgotten about this project.
I want to get the finish right, so I have some offcuts with various options, getting an extra coat each day.
I'd originally thought that I would stain the wood first, but that seems to make it look darker and cooler.
I quite like the look of the walnut with just oil on it.
The pieces I have used don't show a huge contrast between heartwood and sapwood, which is what I'd expect from the steaming - apparently that's why it's done.
So with plain oil, I get some interesting grain patterns. If I add the stain first, it looks plainer, darker and cooler.
If I go for just the oil, will it look wrong in a few years time, when the wood has faded? We have another little table in walnut, and a wardrobe. (These are presumably European walnut, not American.) I'd quite like to match the colour of those.

The oil btw, will either be Osmo Poly-x or Fiddes finishing oil, as those are what I have to hand.

Any experiences or observations from things you have made are welcome.
 

AndyT

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Ok, the waiting is over. Decisions have been made and acted on, so it's safe to tell me I've gone wrong. :)

Having made several sample offcuts with different strengths of various stains, I decided that they all masked the attractive streakiness of the wood, so chose to just oil it without staining. Maybe I will regret it if the sunshine fades the colour too much; time will tell. For now, the table is in a less exposed spot than was originally planned, so maybe that will help.

I didn't take any photos of putting the finish on. In the end I used three coats of Osmo Poly-X Clear satin. I brushed it on with a fitch brush (Spekter brand from Toolstation - very good). After a few minutes, I wiped off the excess with a rag, leaving a thin layer with a smooth surface. When it was dry, I lightly sanded with 400 grit Abranet. This was all done in a cool room warmed by bright winter sunshine, which helped me see what I was doing and find all the flaws I had left on the surface. :oops:

And here it is.

finished1.jpg


finished2.jpg


finished3.jpg


finished4.jpg


finished5.jpg


The only thing left to do is to trim a tiny bit off one leg, if we decide that this is where it is going to stand. (I can't work out why the floor isn't flat at this point! :---) )

I'd like to thank everyone for their encouragement and appreciation as the job went along - it really helps. And most of all, I'd like to thank Custard, for giving me such wonderful wood to work with, plus the idea of following such an elegant, slimmed down design (for which I take no credit at all).

I've really enjoyed it and would urge anyone else to have a go at something like this. You don't need a lot of wood, or space, or even much time.
 

AES

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I doubt I'll ever build something like this Andy T, but would really like to thank you for a very well written (and photographed) WIP. If ever something was destined to motivate a clutz like me into trying something really "properly woody" then your post ranks very high amongst the many outstanding examples to be found on this Forum.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - as those of us who have tried it know very well, posting something like you have takes as much time and effort as doing the actual job!

Here's a =D> for the job itself and another =D> for the post (and, in the light of recent posts on another Section, I'll try a "Like" on the last post in your thread in a mo'). :D

AES
 

thetyreman

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great job andy, I enjoyed following this one, that is definitely heirloom quality, you should be proud! =D>

I appreciate all the detail you have added, one of my favourite WIP threads ever, great way to end the weekend.
 

Bm101

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Just want to say thanks Andy. I learn a huge amount from your wips, quite often just small details that you take the time to include that others omit but increase knowledge exponentially. Details like the drawer slips are one example. Fills in another gap in my understanding.
This one was another real pleasure to read and see you progress with.
Excellent result.
All the best
Chris
=D>
 

stuartpaul

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An interesting thread Andy, - thank you for taking the time to write it all up.

I have to say to me the top does look a little wide but maybe that’s just the angle of the camera? Other than that a stonking bit of work!

Like you I prefer the unstained look. Be interesting to see how it performs longer term. I know Custard says it fades quite quickly but I’ve no real experience with walnut.
 

Sheffield Tony

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=D> Looks great Andy. I don't think I would have used stain on it either. The walnut seat on my smoker's bow chair is just Danish oil, so I hope it won't fade too much - looks ok so far.

Thanks for putting in the time and energy to photograph and share the process with us, even when things went wrong. And thanks for tolerating all our "advice" :D
 

AndyT

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Thanks for all the nice comments.
I thought that the top was wider than the frame by the same amount as in the original Shaker design, but when I checked I found that my table oversails by 2 1/2" not 2". I guess I was concentrating on not making the top too small.
In real life, where you can move around and see it from different angles, I think it looks ok. I guess if I change my mind I can always cut a bit off!

A bigger problem is what to use it for.
It's a good size to put a lamp or plant on, but I don't want to mark the top or leave anything on it permanently and get a faded line.
Maybe it will be just right for visitors' hats and gloves. :)
 
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