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Thread: Building a Maloof Style Pedestal Table

  1. #1
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    Building a Maloof Style Pedestal Table

    In Nov. 2005 I was lucky enough to enough to attend a workshop taught by Sam Maloof in his workshop in California. Part of the workshop was devoted to making a pedestal table. After completing this workshop I went home and applied what I learned and while doing so I posted a tutorial for others in case they wanted to make one. Many of you saw the thread at SMC. Since they pictures are no longer on SMC I will duplicate the thread over here for those who have not seen it yet or for those who might want to make one. It's a very good project and I think anyone with a band saw, router and a few hand tools should be able to duplicate my efforts. I hope you enjoy the thread.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Here is a picture of one of his tables that I am using as an inspiration. The table pictured is 28 1/2 high by 41 wide. No other dimension are given. I will document the process of making the table in this thread. Comments and questions are welcome.

    Attachment 3786

    Sam used a template to make all of the legs the same size. I decided to make the table 26 1/2 high. I deducted the thickness for the top and decided that the legs should be 25 high and I arbitrarily picked ten inches for the spread of the legs. In the Maloof style I took a piece of 1/2 Plywood and cut it 10 x 25 square. I next took a pencil and sketched the shape that I wanted. As it turned out the center column ended up 18" tall. Here's a picture of the template.Attachment 3894

    I decided to make the table from 8/4 maple. Since I didn't have enough scrap laying around I went to my local hardwood supplier and got 16 bd.ft of 8/4 maple 9" wide. Each leg is made of 3 pieces, the foot, the Center and the table support. The pieces are then doweled and glued together for final shaping. Each leg is attached by a rabbit to a 4x4 pieces of stock which is the center support.

    Here some picture of the stock milled and ready for glue up. Since I didn't have a piece of 16/4 maple laying around I glued together two pieces of 8/4.

    Attachment 3787Attachment 3788

    And here is a picture of the three pieces played out with the Template to see how they will fit together. Tomorrow I'll be gluing up the pieces for all four legs.

    Attachment 3789

    First I lay out the three segment on a flat surface. Some have asked for some dimension information. As previously stated Sam has the plans in his head and does little if any measurement and I seem to be following his example. In this case the pieces turned out as follows. The foot piece is 10 1/2 x 8 3/4. The Column is 18 x 4 1/2 and the apron piece is 10 x 4 1/2.

    Next I lay the template over the pieces and trace the pattern on to the finish pieces.

    Attachment 3789Attachment 3790Attachment 3793Attachment 3791

    Next I transferred my lines to the edge to be joined.

    Attachment 3792

    Using a self centering dowel jig and a brad point bit I drill the holes for the dowels. Sam has a horizontal drill with a table for this operation but since I don't have one I used a Jig I bought from my local WW supplier

    Attachment 3895
    Last edited by Don Baer; 01-26-2007 at 06:08 PM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    The next step involves cutting a notch on each segment in an area that will not be a part of the finished piece. This is used to clamp the pieces together while the glue dries.

    Attachment 3905Attachment 3906

    Now I get to repete this process for the other three legs. While I was waiting for the Glue ups to dry I milled the center colum which will be used to fasten the legs together.

    Attachment 3907

    It is made from 2 pieces of 8/4 glue together. The slots are dadoed 3/4" wide and 5/8" deep. For the corners I used a 1/2" Cove bit in my router table. Unlike Sam I don't feel quite comfortable free handing a router.


    Shaping the legs

    First I traced the outline on the glued up legs. I quared the top and back the portion that will fit into the leg center support. I'll be cutting a rabbit in these later, I left 5/8" for the rabbit. Next I cut the back of the legs on the rip fence.Using the cross cut sled I cut the top support square with the backs of the legs. I'll square the bottom of the feet once I have finished shaping all for legss. That way I can insure that the are exactly the same height. Now was the fun part. Using the band saw like a great big scroll saw I put the rough shape on the legs. Attachment 3908
    Once this is done I rough you shape using my router, scroll saw and some rasps.

    Attachment 3909
    Prior to final shaping of the legs I decided to dry fit the legs to the center column. I decided that in this way I could get a perspective as to how it will look after final finishing. Attachment 3910

    Next I used my Dado set to make the Rabbits on the back of the legs. These Rabbits are 3/4" wide and 5/8" deep. They fit into the dados I cut in the center column.

    Next I fitted each leg in the center column using my TS as a WB.

    Now with every thing fitted I simply glued the 4 legs to the center column and wait for it to dry.

    The table top.

    Not yet knowing what size I wanted the top I started out with some 6/4 and cut it into 6x33. Using my courless jointer (well actually it a Jack) I planed the edges to make them true with the faces of the boards.

    Attachment 3913

    I drilled dowel holes in the edges of each one prior to glue up. I do this not necessaryly for strength but to make it easier during glue up to align the boards and keep em from slipping and sliding.
    Again I dry fitted the pieces prior to glue up

    Attachment 3912

    Now I took my clamps and some cauls I glue up the top in section 2 at a time. Finaly when both table halfs are dry I glued the two half together.

    Attachment 3914
    Last edited by Don Baer; 01-26-2007 at 06:35 PM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    I cut the top on the band saw using my circle jig which can be seen in the fixtures and jig forum. Rounded the edges with a 1/2" roundover bit and sanded to 400 grit. The entire piece was sanded to 400 then oooo steel wool. It has 4 coats of Maloof rub on poly.

    This is the results

    Attachment 3915

    The top is attached with 4 screw through the apron and the screw holes are plugged with ebony plugs.

    Thanks for looking. My next Maloof project will be to make a chair.
    Last edited by Don Baer; 01-26-2007 at 09:05 PM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Nice work Don, thanks for taking the time to explain your process. The end result is very nice...can't wait to see your chairs.

  6. #6
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    Nicely done Don

    I enjoyed reading, and seeing, the project steps.
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  7. #7
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    Thanks Don. I really like the legs on that table. I've been trying to figure (not very hard) how to make a table column without a lathe without it looking boxy. I'll keep this thread in mind.

  8. #8
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    Here's a tease on the chair.

    Attachment 3916Attachment 3917
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Hi Don Maloof,
    What a nice gift you have given us in the form of this tutorial. It is fun and exciting to walk slowly through a tutorial like this considering the many options presented by this exact method of construction, for not just a table. Thanks again and Nice Job!
    Shaz
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
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  10. #10
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    Oh, that old thing?

    I'm glad you posted this here Don...it's a great addition to the place. I enjoyed following along when you were building it, and I know there are a lot of folks here who didn't see it then.
    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

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