Shelf and Some Other Stuff


Wow, look at those cobwebs around the windows. I swear it doesn’t look that bad in person.

I was hoping that I’d be into finishing by now, but there are still the drawers and the top to do.  I’m into the home stretch at least.  I would like to have this done and out of the shop by the end of January, but realistically, it likely won’t be finished until some time in February.

There is a ton of joinery in this little table. Tables with drawers always require a little more work because the upper and lower dividers that contain the drawers are a bit funky. The top divider dovetails into the leg and an upper doubler, and the lower divider has a double tenon into the leg and the lower doubler.  Then there is the center partition that connects to the dividers with a rabbeted dovetail.

Partition almost in.

Partition almost in.

Partition in!

Partition in!

The lower shelf is bit complicated as well. It sits flush with the front stretcher and rides over the rear stretcher.  The rear stretcher is narrower than the front stretcher by the thickness of the shelf.  The shelf is also let into the legs by a little more than 1/8″. I’ll glue the shelf to the front stretcher and let the back move with seasonal changes. I may add some cleats below to sturdy things up on the ends, but probably not. It seems pretty sturdy right now, just dry fit.

Bit of a jigsaw puzzle, but it comes together.

Bit of a jigsaw puzzle, but it comes together. 

Pretty happy with this.

Pretty happy with this. 

The glue up should be fun, since i’m going to have to assemble all of this in one go and it is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle with the way the lower shelf is let into the legs.  It looks very neat and tidy when it comes together so it will all be worthwhile.

I started milling for the top, but I’m a board short. I had a nice 10″ wide board that should have made up the top. I ended up milling into some sapwood and a knot, so i’m going to need an extra board.  It will be a 3 board glue up to make up 18″.  There will be breadboard ends as well.

Instead of working on the top, I think I’ll get all the drawer guts (runners, kickers, ledgers) built in then glue this sucker up.

Curved Panels

The end assemblies are complete now. When i was designing this piece in SketchUp, I figured the end assemblies would be the biggest challenge. That is because i have a curved rabbet on each panel joined to a curved stile.

Inside of end assembly. Panels are flush to rails and stiles here.

I created an mdf template for the curve on the stiles and used a router with the template to cut the curves on the stiles. The dado in the curve was mostly cut on the table saw, before I cut the curve. I finished up the middle portions with a chisel.

I used the actual stiles to mark out the curve on the panels, then cut them down with a jack plane. This sounds like “work”, but it honestly took me no more than a couple of minutes to work down to the line with the jack. 1/4″ on the ends curving to 0″ in the middle needed to be removed. Cutting it out with a jigsaw then cleaning it up with sandpaper or a block plane would have taken much longer.

Once i had a tight match to the curve on the stile, I just used a stanley #78 rabbet plane to cut out the rabbet. I made sure the fence was always referencing near the point where the plane was cutting. I wasn’t sure how this tool would handle a curve, but it worked nicely.

Trusty stanley #78

My father-in-law gave me this plane, which belonged to his uncle.  It was in pretty good shape, so I didn’t need to do much besides a general cleaning. Some old planes just work.  As expected, the iron needed to be flattened and honed, and I reground one of the 3 spurs.  The spur is used to score the cut before the cutter gets to it when working cross grain.

I’m on to the bottom stretchers now.  I have the mortises cut on the legs and am working on the tenons now. The shoulder here is slightly off square since the legs are tapered in that dimension.

Once the bottom and top stretchers are complete this thing will finally start to look like a table.

Slowly but surely.

End Assemblies

The joinery on the table ends is now complete.  12 mortise and tenon joints down, 8 to go.  The  top and bottom stretchers on the front and back will be mortise and tenoned into the legs as well.

I still have to fit the panels in (two panels on each end), but the ends are close to done now.

Before I can add the panels, i’ll have to cut the curve on each side of the center stile. I’m going to create a little MDF template to make that easy. The panel and the rabbet on the panel will have to match the curve of the stile, so creating a template here makes sense to me.  The rabbeted side of the panel will face in and the “flat” side will face out.  If the rabbet on the panel isn’t perfect – i’m mostly concerned about the curved portion – at least you won’t see it unless you put your head under the table.

If you use your imagination, you can kind of see the table coming together:

End assemblies. Leg horns and all

Just try to ignore the leg “horns”, which will be cut off after glue-up, and picture drawers and stuff in between. And a table top. And a lower shelf. And…  OK, maybe I still have a lot to do.

Some Leg Work

What a cheesy title.

As per this post, I decided to hog out these mortises with a mortise chisel instead of a router. I removed most of the waste with a slightly undersized drill bit and used the mortise chisel for the rest. The chisel scrapes away a pretty clean mortise wall as you hog out the waste.

These are the legs. The mortises will receive the tenons from the rails on the ends of the table.  I ran a stopped dado to receive the end panels before mortising anything.

Next up are the rails and stiles that make up the ends of the table…

Stock for the rails, stiles, and panels

New Project: Console Table

I am starting a new project in cherry (which will be a welcome change from the stinky reclaimed barn bards from my last project).  It is a console table that will look something like this:

SketchUp drawing of the table

I borrowed my son’s blue crayon and laid out all the parts on the rough boards.  That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

I’m going to cut out the parts for the side assemblies and tackle that first.  I will hopefully have all the parts cut to final size and have the joinery laid out by the start of next week.

Parts all laid out. There are a lot of parts in this little table…

Complete: Harvest Table

Harvest table from reclaimed threshing barn boards
6 feet long by 39 inches wide
Pegged mortise and tenon joinery
Dyed dark brown, and finished with oil/varnish blend and a top coat of beeswax
43 hours

Glued and Pegged

The base is glued up and mostly complete. These eight pieces of wood are now occupying most of the floor space in my shop. It’s good exercise climbing over the aprons to get from one side to the other.  Good for the hamstrings.

Since the last post, I fit the tenons then cleaned up the legs and aprons, adding a chamfer along all exposed corners.  I then made sixteen pegs from hard maple scrap using my home-made dowel plate.

The assembly was all drawbored – no clamps. I used an 1/8″ offset, which worked much better with this wood.  Not having to manage 6 foot long clamps and just pounding pegs in with a hammer was really nice. All the joints are tight. I think I’ll drawbore most of my mortise and tenons from now on. At least those that I plan to peg anyway.

I also used hide glue for the first time. Its a liquid hide glue (Old Brown Glue), so all you have to do is warm it up a bit to get the right viscosity. I liked that the glue helped the joints slip together easily even though they were very tight when I dry fit them. PVA glue has a little more tack, so joints can sometimes be more difficult to pull together than the dry fit. It has a longer open time, which wasn’t really needed for this assembly, but will be beneficial for more complex glue-ups in the future. I think I’ll start using liquid hide glue instead of my usual – Titebond III.

Drawbored joints and hide glue. Roy Underhill would be proud.