Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Clamping the base frame

After a few weeks of making all the table top pieces, it is time to start gluing them together.

This is the bit where you need to be sure everything fits perfectly (well, as perfectly as your preferences tolerate)

You also need to take it apart to glue. For this reason, you also need to mark how each part connects to the others or you'll glue the wrong bits together.

Here's the base...

This is being clamped together after gluing...

Before gluing all the joints were trimmed to make the mitres fit as snugly as possible. Then the farne was rechecked to make sure the corners were stil square. They were!

So, as the joints were snug and square, the whole thing was taken apart to glue it. You can't really see it here, but each base board and all four rails are numbered so it is easy to see where they fit together.

The boards are pretty rigid (they are blockboard library shelves), but to make the base really solid and hold together, I fitted two 10mm dowels between each butt joint so the planks would form one big board when glued and be super strong.

The router makes a great clean hole and its guide rail and depth guide mean they are all consistent.

Just these two dowels makes the joint strong enough to standup easily.

This is all that is holding that together. the dowels fit snugly, so they are tight.

You can see one of the numbers used to ensure the disassembled boards went back in the right order later. Here, I am testing they all fit.

The numbers 3 and 4 are clear here.

For extra strength, I roughed up the grain on the end of the planks, so the glue would have something to bind into. I used a riffler (rough sculptors rasp) for this.

The dowel being glued in.

The plank rebates being glued into the four mitred edge rails.

Finally the whole lot was glued up and put together, then clamped.
To start with 2 sash cramps were fixed across each short rail. The tenons were on the end of these rails and the cramps held tenons firmly into the mortices in the long rails.

Clamping can shift the angles, but the joints turned out to be pretty square. The angles were still dead square. Quiet mental pats on my back.

But it is not just shear that can affect the integrity of the joint. They can also be slightly twisted so the edges don't line up. For this reason the corners were clamped with wooden planks to keep the mitre edges aligned horizontal while the glue set.

I used whatever plank pieces were lying around.



To prevent twisting, I put the whole thing on the floor, which was the largest flat area available.
This was left for about 36 hours...

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Patterns and colours for table top...

By the wonders of Photoshop, here are some possible planks variants

 lengthwise planks...

weave pattern...

Widthwise planks (my favourite)

Same with simulated staining...


Darker browny

Chocolatey brown...

Monday, 26 February 2018

Making the base for a dining table

Just made the base for the dining table I'm making from reclaimed waste wood and scavenged logs
This is not how it will look. It is the basic mitred rail frame with a base upon which to build up a marquetry top.

The outer rails are some tropical hardwood like mahogany that was one huge thick plank found in a skip. The plank was something like a railway sleeper. 160 cm long, about 38cm wide and about 8cm thick

Here is that chunky piece, about to be ripped down into planks on the table saw

And again from the front perspective. You can see how huge it is.

This is a piece of wood of a quality and scale you don't find often. I've had it about a year waiting to use.

In fact it was so big my table saw was too small to cut it down, even taking two passes top and bottom.

The circular table saw did cuts top and bottom and the rest I had to do by hand. This was exhausting.

Creating the table rails from using mitred mortice and tenon joints

Some time later, I ended up with 4 pieces about 85mm x 30mm. These would form the outer frame rails of the table top.

Here, I'm cutting a mitred tenon.

Cutting the tenon, close up.

Here is the raw mitred tenon after cutting

But that is too long. I wanted the mortice and tenon be hidden and so the tenon needed shortening

Here is the full length tenon before cutting...

And here it is after shortening..

For the mortice, the hole was cut out initially with a router. The waste wood was needed to provide support for the router base. The mitre angle makes it impossible to control the router without it.

There's a load of mortice chisel cutting and cleaning steps missing here, but eventually the two halves end up looking like this. What a beautiful joint....

Another view...

After all that, the two halves came together like this

...to provide a lovely mitre with a solid internal tenon locked into the mortice

A lovely snug fit..

Note the two numbers to show which joint this is. This is important, because there would be four of these to make. The pink number 2 is actually lipstick. This was the only thing that would write on the varnish easily...

Checking the angle was square - all good there...

But of course, this is just one of four corners. Here is the frame with two of the joints connected...

From another angle...

And with all four in place..

Adding a base to go inside the frame...

Once the rails were jointed for the table frame, it was time to fill in the base planks. These are old blockboard library shelves. Here they are being laid out to measure the size for cutting

Once trimmed they look quite smart on their own...

To lock the shelves into the inner edge of the rails, a rebate groove was cut all along the inner edge of each with the router...

The inner rebated edge showing at a corner joint

I splashed out on some rather good value router bits from Toolstation.

The planks were rebated along the edge to fit snugly in the rail grooves...

To fit in like this...

The base boards all in place. This is only dry jointed and is strong enough to pick up without any glue yet in the joints

Trying out decorative finishing planks

These beautiful pieces of wood are thin planks cut from a log found in the wood. It is diseased beech, which creates lovely stripey discolouration in the grain. Some arrangement of these will create the final table surface for decorative loveliness...

They will be glued onto the base boards eventually. For now, they are are just being arranged to see how they might be lined up.

Trying them lengthwise.

This is the sort of look that the table will have eventually

Hand woodworking is very enjoyable. Here are some of the tools needed...