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Thread: A drawing table and two chairs for my 4 year old granddaughter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    A drawing table and two chairs for my 4 year old granddaughter

    (part 1 of 2)

    At least once a month, a number (that number being somewhere between 12 and 24) of woodworkers mostly from the eastern portion of the greater Toronto area meet for breakfast or lunch. We originally got to contact each other on the Canadian Woodworking forum. But, meeting in person is even better!

    On the first Saturday in December, a group of us met in Leaside for fish and chips and beer. I was particularly fortunate to be sitting across the table from Don McFarland of Markham. Don told me about a table and chairs that he is making for his grandson and I immediately decided that I want to make something similar for my 4 year old granddaughter Jamie. Here is picture that Don later sent me of his table:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 01 -Inspired by this table built by Don McFarland.jpg 
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    The table supports a role of drawing paper as well as two strips that are held to the table with magnets and keep the paper in position while someone is drawing.

    Don found plans for children?s chairs on the Lowes web site (http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/id...airs_0507.aspx). I thought the plans were quite good and built a couple of chairs with only very minor modifications. Here is an extract from the chair plan:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last week I built the table and two chairs. The rest of this thread shows and describes the steps in the project.

    (01) Two of the pieces shown in the photo below form the rear legs and back frame for a chair. They were cut using a jig saw.

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Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 04 -Cutting the back pieces of the chair frame using a jig saw -small.JPG 
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    (02) Each chair has three back slats and each slat must have a rounded section cut out in order that the back of the chair will fit the contour of its occupant. I made a template, marked each slat using that template, cut each slat on my small bandsaw, then smoothed the cut using a Festool Deltex sander equipped with 40 grit paper.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 05 -Template for rounding chair backs -small.JPG 
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Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 06 -Removing a part of a back slat using small bandsaw -small.JPG 
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Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 07 -Smoothing the rough cut made by the bandsaw with 40 grit paper on.JPG 
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    I followed this up with 80 and 120 grit paper using my Festool linear sander.

    (03) I tapered the front legs of the chairs and all the legs of the table freehand (but very carefully) on my table saw:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 08 -The leg tapers were cut freehand on the table saw -small.JPG 
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    (04) The slats were attached to the chair using glued and screwed butt joints. Here is one of the backs:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 09 -Assembled chair back -small.JPG 
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    (05) Most of the joints on both the chair and table were made using pocket hole screws. Here the holes are being drilled with a Kreg jig:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 10 -Drilling pocket holes -small.JPG 
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    And here a cross piece is being screwed into place:

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Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 11 -Assembling a chair using pocket holes -small.JPG 
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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 12-20-2008 at 06:11 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
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    (part 2 of 2)

    (06) A chair seat was cut out of Baltic birch plywood, then the chair was assembled:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 12 -Assembled chair frame -small.JPG 
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Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 13 -Assembled chair -small.JPG 
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    (07) Here, the table frame is being screwed to the top:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 15 -Screwing the frame to the table top -small.JPG 
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    (08) I next tested both the chair and table for size and strength:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 17 -Frank testing a chair -small.JPG 
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    (09)The next steps were to build and install a roller to hold the paper, embed four washers in the table top, build a couple of hold-down bars with embedded magnets, paint the table white, paint one chair red, and paint one chair yellow, and install screw-in rubber feet on all the legs.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 20 -Paper roll on finished table -small.JPG 
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Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 21 -Hold down bar on finished table -small.JPG 
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Name:	Chairs and table for Jamie 22 -Finished table and chairs -small.JPG 
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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 12-12-2008 at 12:12 AM.
    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
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    Looks really good. Your grandson should enjoy it if he can get you away from it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    Looks really good. Your grandson should enjoy it if he can get you away from it.
    Thanks, but Jamie is my granddaughter.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
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    Thanx for sharing Frank.

    I actually was a bit suprised in the Lowes toddler table picture, the corners of the table were squared off and not rounded.
    My kids were notorious for bumping into table edges.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow View Post
    Thanks, but Jamie is my granddaughter.
    Sorry. My eyes always seem to get me into trouble.

  7. #7
    Very nice work Frank.....typical of what I'd expect from you for your grandchildren
    パトリック
    daiku woodworking
    ^deshi^
    neoshed

  8. #8
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    Very neat, Frank. I'm sure it'll get a lot of use.

    Gotta say I winced a bit on the picture showing the tapering of the legs. Especially since you have a bandsaw and very good sanders.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Catalunya
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    Simply great! as usual Frank.! I'm sure your granddaughter will fill miles of that paper with drawings for her loved grandpa.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria, Virginia
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    Frank, you are the Grandfather every kid should have. Great story, great table and chairs!



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