Friday, February 8, 2013

Finally Looking Like My Sketches

Ready for Finish (almost)
     This is the first time I've put the top and shelf together on this table.  As I suspected, fitting the shelf in between the tapered legs was not a straight forward operation.  Problem being that the legs get smaller as they reach the floor and the only way to put the shelf in is to tilt it and then lower it down to the stretchers.  I wanted it to bracket the legs to give more weight and structure to it.  If it only fit between them it would have been easy enough to simply slide it through but -- oh no, I wanted to be tricky!  I did what I mentioned in the last post and made a mock-up of the shelf out of some 3/4" MDF the exact size of the actual shelf.  Then it was just a matter of nibbling off a sliver at a time and seeing if it would slip into place.  Once it did the measurements were transferred to the shelf and we were good to go.
     The top of the table has the oil and about 3 of the final top coats sanded into it.  This morning I oiled the apron and the shelf.  What I need to do with the shelf is have the finish almost complete and then cut the grooves for the caning that will go in those open spaces.  I can't cut the grooves yet because the finish would seal the wood and the glue used to install the cane wouldn't be able to adhere to it.  I may be over-thinking that but that's my thoughts on that.  Maybe I'll find out different but that's my strategy.

Scraping the Shelf

    The Sapele proved to be a difficult wood to tame.  Thank goodness for the old stand-by, a Stanley # 80 Cabinet Scraper.
The grain is really interlocked so my initial work with a #7 Jointer plane had a tendency to tear the grain.  A card scraper wasn't aggressive enough but the cabinet scraper did the trick.  After that was complete I honed the blade on my smooth plane and went over the entire surface to bring it up to par.

     The very thing that makes the wood so beautiful is the same thing that causes you grieve!  Look at the grain patterns on the edge of the shelf:

Marble Like Edge Grain
     It looks good now that the initial coat of oil has been applied.  Now that this portion is complete all that remains is the drawers.  There's one on either end that will be about 10" long.  The runners and kickers need to be sized and cut and then the drawer can be made.  Everything will continue to be made in a traditional manner.  Half blind dovetails and solid wood bottom fit into a groove.  At this point I'd like to design the drawer pulls to mimic the apron with some beaded details.  As you've probably picked up on, this project is evolving as the construction process goes on but that's the plus of building a spec piece, only need to please yourself and build what you feel looks right.

1 comment:

  1. Highly descriptive blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be a part 2?
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