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Carved Coffee Table II #3: Leg-Apron Assembly and Glue -Up

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Blog entry by Alan Young posted 03-01-2010 07:27 PM 3949 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Carving the legs and apron Part 3 of Carved Coffee Table II series Part 4: Inserting Inlays in the Table Top »

I made some more progress on the Carved Coffee Table. Last set of pictures dealt with carving the aprons and the legs. Today I have a series of pics documenting the glue-up process and some profile refining of the top. Getting accurate cuts for the leg/apron joinery really becomes apparent in glue up process-I used loose tenon joinery….. here’s a shot from the earlier stages:

Now that the aprons and legs are shaped and carved it’s time to glue them together. This task requires a fair amount of patience.
I glued each joint separately and and only one joint per day. I used Titebond Liquid Hide glue because of the the open time and it’s reversibility – although I’m sure I would not want to attempt “reversing” any of these joints…

Here is the first leg/apron joint.

The best way to clamp these pieces is to use some cleats-screwed to the opposing apron sections and parallel to each other.

This allows a set of clamps to pull the joint tight.

I’ll do one leg at a time until it’s set.

The first leg is not to complicated to get clamped up but even with the cleats, getting the second leg clamped up was next to putting a cat in a tub of cold water. If you try something like this-it’s helpful to get another set of hands.

After I managed to get the second leg clamped in position, I placed the other apron end and two legs loosely in place.

Getting close to the end of this operation-gluing the other two legs in place. I’ll add the end apron section in the final assembly.

Here is the last glue-up- which was almost a screw up as I had the assembly set up on a couple of boards over a garbage can.

I got the last apron piece all in place and clamped up and began congratulating my self when I realized the apron was clamped up side down. Fortunately the liquid hide glue I used for this table has a long open time and re-setting the apron wasn’t a catastrophe.

I’m moving back to work on the table top now. The first step is to finalize the profile. I want the top to mirror as close as possible, the curvature of the base. I used a long pattern bit for this job.

The bearing follows the top edge of the base while the cutter brings the top profile flush.

Here is one end apron section….

After the full profile is trimmed I change bits for the edge treatment. I’ll use a three stepped ogee profile.

The bearing for this bit runs along the lower edge of the top. I cut this profile in two passes to avoid tearout.

I like this look. The resulting profile “pulls the top edge back.” The routed profile will get a slight gilding in the finish and will act as a nice transition between the mahogany top and the walnut base. Later this week I’ll have a set of pictures showing the inlay designs for the top.

Alan



2 comments so far

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Alan Young

127 posts in 3186 days


#1 posted 03-01-2010 08:33 PM

The Baltic Birch plywood is void free and a nice consistent thickness. All I have to do is rip to width and cut to length-no planing for thickness and wasting good surface stock….

Alan

View Alan Young's profile

Alan Young

127 posts in 3186 days


#2 posted 03-01-2010 08:42 PM

Absolutely not. If anything the plywood is stronger because of it’s cross grained lamination. Solid walnut stock could crack along the grain under the wrong tension….. But in this case if any pressure were put on these joints that caused a failure-I’m sure the last part to break would be the tenon-plywood or solid stock. The first failure would probably be the leg splitting…Any action that caused this would be beyond reasonable usage…

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