Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Miscellaneous Going's On in the Shop

     Haven't been concentrating on too much work in the shop so things feel somewhat sporadic and disconnected!  I've had an inquiry about some lessons but so far no follow through on that one.  Another potential client has expressed interest in me designing a table with a built in chess board as well as drawers to hold the pieces when they're not in use.  Kind of ironic since I just completed the case for chess pieces from the Etsy store!  Speaking of the Etsy store, part of my shop time has been devoted to making a series of four, Valentine presentation boxes but no sales yet.  If you missed it, here's what they look like.

Box Series for Valentine's Day on the Etsy Store

Scraping the Leg

     As for the work on the table the entire apron is now complete.  I used some Ebony pegs on the legs and then tried out the card scraper my daughter and her husband gave me for Christmas.  It did a great job as you can see.  I've read that Sapele is a wonderful wood to work with but based on my experience with this particular bunch I'm not so sure.  You can see that even scraping doesn't completely tame the interlocked grain.  I'm sure it'll be fine when the finish is on but I was expecting it to work better.

Leg Chamfer Lay-Out

Next little detail to take care of was chamfering the bottom of the legs.  This will prevent the wood from chipping if the table is slid on the floor.  Best way I like to accomplish that is with a block plane.  First step is to pencil in some guidelines using a small combination square.

     On a square leg such as this is sometimes difficult to tell which is the end grain. It needs to be chamfered first so that any tear out can be removed when planing the long grain edge.

Three Down,  One to Go
And Done


      I find that the pencil lines are really just a rough guide, especially when it comes to the bottom of legs.  It's more a matter of that technical term "eye-balling".  The goal is to plane until you have a line that goes exactly to the corner, here's what you're after.

     Now that the apron is assembled I wanted to get a visual of how this will all look.  It's been an experience designing this table.  It's somewhat "on the fly" which can cause problems.  It's also a project I'm working on sporadically between paying commissions, Etsy projects, and students.  I like what I'm seeing even though I put the top on cock-eyed!

Top in Place, Preparing the Shelf

     The shelf could be another problem.  Why? -- I want it to extend past the legs so that means putting it in place can be a trick due to the tapers cut on the insides of the legs.  The first step was to make the end pieces that lay across the stretchers.  I clamped them in position to measure the length of the shelf.

Shelf End Piece, Mortise Done
     As usual, a combination of power and hand tools is used to cut these joints.  The tenon is roughed out on the tablesaw while the mortises are cut on a hollow chisel mortiser.  Each piece was then marked to avoid any mistakes.

Shelf Marked and Roughed Out Joint

 With a rabbet block plane carefully set up, trimming the tenons to fit is a pretty straight forward job.  I watch the shaving to make sure I'm taking a square cut.  I have a tendency to angle the plane down and create a taper.

Sizing Tenons
     The day ended with the shelf being completed and glued up.  To play it safe a piece of MDF will be sized and used as a guide to determine how much allowance I'll need to leave to fit it between the tapers.  The legs get smaller as they go down but I need to leave an allowance so it can be tilted in position and then lowered onto the stretchers.

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