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Thread: Side table build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    145

    Side table build

    So it has been nearly a year since I've been able to get in any shop time. Work, family, and keeping up around the house has managed to suck up nearly all of my time. It has probably been so long since I've been around here, I probably need to re-introduce myself. Hopefully I won't be such a stranger in the future.

    For those with a really good memory, I decided to teach myself SketchUp at the end of last year (thanks again Dave for the help!). You can see the side table build thread where I got lots of great feedback from everyone.

    Two years ago, a good friend gifted me with a nice slab of 6/4" mahogany that she never got around to using. I needed a bit more material for the table and got out to the lumber yard a few weeks ago. Today I got the shop cleaned up, organized, and did a first rough milling of the material. I left everything 1/4" strong over final dimensions and will let it sit for a week to see how it destresses after being cut apart. Was great to make some sawdust. Even started playing with finishing options with some of the cut offs.

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    Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,256
    Matt you aint forgotten and nice to see you back and onto a project.
    cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    Welcome back !!!!!
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    He lives!!!
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,994
    Welcome back, Matt. Looks like a good project!!!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,448
    Welcome back Matt!

    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    145

    Finally an update....

    Time on the forum has been pretty non-existent for me for the past 3 or 4 months. I have been able to squeeze in a bit of shop time here and there and things are really starting to shape up.

    I finished getting the legs and apron cut out and shaped. First dry fit looks good -- all the joints are pretty tight, maybe a bit of futzing with one or two but overall I'm happy.

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    At this point I decided to pre-finish the pieces before final assembly. Wasn't quite sure what to do so I made up a sample board out of some of the cut offs. The panels are various combinations of clear shellac, garnet shellac with some dye added, red mahogany stain, alcohol dyes, and/or pore filler. The winner was a coat of clear shellac followed by tinted pore filer. On top of that a thin application of red mahogany stain and tinted garnet shellac. Topped it off with several more coats of clear shellac. Still debating on if I want to give the final piece a few coats of poly or just a few more layers of shellac. Leaning more towards the shellac because it is easier to repair. My family tends to be hard on furniture, so my fear is the poly will eventually get damaged and the repair process will be much more involved.

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    With the pieces pre-finished, cleaning up the glue squeeze out was easy. I let the glue set up for 30 minutes and it cleaned right off with a sharp chisel. I'm definitely going to use this technique for future projects.

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    With that done, it is time to move onto the top.
    Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    145
    The original design had a simple mitered corner around the tile inset. Thinking about it, I'm concerned about the joint opening up on me over time. My thoughts then moved toward making a half-lap miter joint. I even ended up making a jig to help get the joints perfect. Took a straight board and cut it as close to 45-degrees as I could. Flipped one end over and put the tips of the angles together -- that way even if it isn't perfectly 45, the angles will be complementary and make a perfect 90-degree corner.

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    I'm now wondering if all this complexity is worth it. Would I be better off having the top be a simple squared joint with a mortise & tenon? It's less likely to open up or have issues and is easier to make so I'm more likely to get it right the first try. Thoughts?
    Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    I think half lap miters are a fine idea. Depending on the style of the piece, I have no problem with end grain showing from a butted joint. I usually use a bridle versus a butted M&T but, it is a personal choice.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    S E Washington State
    Posts
    3,777
    Looking mighty good!
    "We the People ......"

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