Monday, October 31, 2011

Woodworks by John: Diane's Studio -- Table's Done

     One of the more rewarding aspects of working with wood and designing/building projects is when they start to take their final form.  Now you see the vision that was once only on paper and in your mind take on that three dimensional form.  Think about it, last week at this time there was a pile of rough lumber that we had selected in the morning and now Diane's planning to paint her table in the morning -- doesn't get much better than that!
      A final detail was to figure out the easiest way to attach the runners for the drawers.  The final solution the joinery was to use two dowels on each side, this will provide plenty of strength and be considerably better than your typical butt joint and pins.  It'll also add a decorative element to the drawer.  My choice was to use shop made runners rather than metal ones.  These drawers are on either side of the table and will store scissors, bobbins, tape measure, etc.  Since Diane will have a machine at either side there is a drawer to service either one.

Drawer Runner
The drawers are a shallow 2" deep, 16" wide with a 9" inside depth. The runner is a piece of Poplar cut into an L-shape.  The piece of plywood in the middle of the runners serves two purposes.  First of all it will prevent the runners from any movement due to humidity changes and secondly, it serves as a drawer stop.  Although Diane will be painting the table tomorrow, the drawer sides and runners will be shellacked and waxed only.

Matched Grain on Apron
     This photo illustrates how the grain is continuous on the entire apron because of the technique I explained in an earlier post.  The edges were first ripped off of the piece and the drawer front was cut out.  After gluing the edge pieces back on you can't really see where the drawer is -- had to follow the tradition even though this piece will be painted.

     All that remained was to flatten the top.  It measures 28" x 48" and consists of three boards.  I had to establish a square edge so the first step was to rip it to width on the table saw.  I used this technique to cut one end square:
Squaring the first end
    A piece of plywood was screwed to the uneven end making sure that it was square to the edge.  This was done on the bottom of the table top and was used to guide the top against the fence.  Once the first end was sawn, the plywood piece was removed and the squared end guides the piece against the fence.  A little bit awkward but works well for a one man shop.  

     Once the ends were square and the top was it's final size it was flattened:

Flattening the top

This was accomplished with a smooth plane.  Thanks to the clamps I used that not only bring the edges together but also hold them flat this wasn't too hard of a process. Insuring that the grain runs the same way when these pieces were laminated together is key to relatively easy planing of the top.
Your other option would be using a wide planner or drum sander.  I suppose an orbital sander would do too but you'll be hard pressed to get it as smooth and flat as a hand plane and some effort on your part will.

No comments:

Post a Comment