The apron for this table is going to be a bent-laminated oval:
I found a great tutorial on how to draw a simple oval on a website called In the Woodshop with Howard Ruttan. Here are some of the simple drawings on his page:
And here is mine:
MAKING THE FORM
So I cut it out with the jigsaw:
Then I used the first oval as a router template to cut its clone:
(I broke my favorite spiral router bit in the process)
The two MDF form halves were already stuck together with carpet tape. So I cleaned up the edges on the Oscillating belt sander:
The reason I have two MDF ovals is that I will need my form to be 3” tall. So here is the spacer I made out of a scrap of 2×4:
The clamps align the two ovals while I screw them to the 2×4 spacers:
A sewing tape is a very handy measuring tool to have in a woodshop for measuring around ovals. Believe it or not the circumference of this oval is about 7 feet around.
PREPARING THE STOCK
So here is the 2”x5” x 9 ft piece of Mahogany that will become the oval. First I cut it to approximate length:
Then I jointed it (I love my full-sized jointer)...
Ripped it to a little more than 3” wide:
Re-sawed it into strips (I rolled my bandsaw outside to save the shop from a little dust)...
Planed them down to 1/8”...
And sanded them down to about 1/16”...
Here is my completed form, screwed to an MDF base which was first covered in plastic painter’s tarp. Then the sides of the oval were wrapped with plastic packing tape.
I didn’t take any photos during the actual glue-up for obvious reasons. It was a very stressful process, and didn’t go quite as planned, but came out fine in the end. I enlisted the help of my wife for an extra set of hands to help hold stuff and hand me clamps, etc. (Thanks Sweetheart!)
I originally thought I would use three “Pony” strap clamps to pull the strips in tight to the oval form. But it didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped so I ended up drilling holes in the top of the form and using bar clamps over the strap clamps. If I did it again I would just use the bar clamps.
This was the result:
In the end It came out fine. I knocked it loose from the form:
Ran the edges through my thickness sander, and cleaned the glue off the inside/outside surfaces with my Oscillating spindle sander (not pictured)...
ONE SOLID MAHOGANY OVAL…
...just a peak at all the components put together…
Total Project Time So Far: 40 Hours
-- Happy woodworking! http://www.blakeweber.us