Sunday, October 26, 2014

Harvest Season

Did I mention I've been working on a table? I've been working on a table. Not much, since mostly I have been working on work-- a full-time job which has very little (perhaps you could say nothing) to do with traditional woodworking.

So I rejoin the ranks of the weekend warrior. My shop doesn't have enough light to work in the evenings and frankly I am too spent to safely work after a day of work. If I didn't gouge myself with edge tools, I would certainly make mistakes and damage the workpieces.

Anyway, with Thanksgiving approaching, I've had to hustle to get a harvest table complete. It's coming along pretty well.

Gluing up 3 boards to make the top. That is some crazy photo effect my new phone did. I don't like it, and I know how to turn it off, but I did want to show how the artificial contrast reveals the crazy reversing grain on the boards (note the "cathedrals" running in opposite directions towards each other). Makes the surface planing very tricky. It's possible that it is a really bad idea to use boards like this for a tabletop, since they will move unevenly. I'm using grooves and Rockler fasteners (space-age "buttons") to accommodate this. Time will tell.

Trimming the top, the old-fashioned way. It's not hard and is faster and mellower than using a powersaw.

Edge-jointing the top. This table will have dropleaves along the long sides, so they need to be pretty square. In some cases a rule-joint would be used, and I was thinking about going that route. However I looked around at some old tables that used plain old square joints and really like the simplicity; the rule joints to me look a little too fancy even though they make perfect functional sense.

Here you can see the base dryfit, and perhaps perceive how the dropleaf supports work. Little sections (2 on each long face) swing out by pivoting on a nail in their center. It works pretty well and is about as simple as it can get.

1 comment:

  1. I have a nice old walnut dropleaf table that uses the same technique for holding the leaves up.

    As you can see, it has rule joints and drawbored joinery. For being over 100 years old, I think it's held up well except both leaves are slightly cupped upwards. Can't really tell when they're down, but it is noticeable when they are in the up position.

    Honestly, the cat uses it to look out the window more than we use it for anything, so it doesn't bother me that much.

    You might consider battons, though, if you have any concerns about cupping? Or let the next guy worry about it a hundred years from now. :)


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