My wife, who teaches music/chorus at a high school, recently e-mailed me a picture of an empty space, with the caption “I need a table here.” The final dimensions were to be 72” long, 22” deep, and 36” high. She would also like a shelf, about 12” off the floor, that is only the back-half of the table depth. She would use this table for organizing sheet music, grading papers, etc. I was also given the direction to spend as little as possible, including lumber expenditures. I had about 40 board feet of rough 5/4 and 4/4 ash that hadn’t been assigned to anything, and about 8 board feet of cherry left. I figured I could make do with this.
The overall design has a laminated top/shelf, 2×2 legs, and 2” aprons and stretchers. The aprons/stretchers will be joined to the legs using drawbored mitered tenons. The lower front stretcher will be set 12” back from the front, and will be joined to the lower side stretchers with a pegged through-tenon.
I started by milling the ash. I haven’t milled the cherry yet, because I don’t have a solid plan as to how the cherry will be laid out in the top and shelf laminations. I figure once I get the boards laid out for them, I’ll stand there and stare at it until the light bulb goes on.
I chose to use the Stickley method for laminating the legs. I laminated three pieces together. I took a 4th piece, and resawed and planed down to 3/16” strips. I glued these to the legs to hide the glue joints. Then, I planed the legs down to 2” square, which left the applied veneers at 1/16” thick. I should have snapped a better picture, but, these are the strips, and legs after laying out the mortises.
I got to try out my new (to me) Delta 14-650 mortiser. It plowed through the ash quite easily. These are the legs as they get a final cleanup after the mortiser. The mortises are just shy of 1/2” wide, 3/8” in from the front of the legs, which should result in 1/4”-recessed aprons when I’m done. These will be bulky haunched tenons, but I felt that there was enough meat left in the leg to allow for it.
The next step will be to cut the tenons in the aprons and stretchers. I get about an hour per night, a few nights per week, so it moves steady but slow…
-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.