For my first furniture project, I’m building a coffee table for some friends’ wedding present. The wedding is May 14th. So, while I’ll only be able to work on it on weekends, I have quite a bit of time to get it done. I was hoping to start about a week ago, but I injured my shoulder (pulled my acromioclavicular ligament – at least I think I spelled it right..lol). Since most of my woodworking involves hand tools, this meant I had to pretty much take the week off.
I spent some time this week finishing up the last bit of the design. This is the first project that I designed from scratch. It’s also my first “real” furniture project; my only experience before this is some plywood cabinets and my Roubo workbench. Here’s a picture of my design sketch.
My shoulder is still sore. So, I had to take it easy this weekend, but I’m extremely happy with the progress that I was able to make. I got all the lumber for the to side frames sawed out. On a whim, I bought a cheap $10 Stanley rip panel saw the other day. It’s as long as my current Putsch rip saw, but the kerf is much smaller.
I tried the cheap Stanley to resaw the lumber for the side frames and it was amazing. I can’t believe how easy and smooth it cut; especially at only $10.
I’m building the table in this order:
- both side frames (with floating raised panels with relief carving)
- stretchers to join both side frames (with panels dividing the width into thirds)
- lower shelf on the two outside sections of the width
- dovetailed drawer to fit into the middle section of the width
Today, I was able to get the finished milling done on the legs, bottom stretcher, and top stretcher for the first side frame. After taking a break to ice my shoulder and eat lunch, I got the mortises chopped out and cut their mating tenons for the lower stretcher. I finished up the day with cutting the half lap dovetails that slide into dovetailed mortises in the top of the legs.
Here is a picture of the first side frame dry-fit. It’s not the greatest pic, but you can see the dovetail in the top of the leg.
Ordinarily, I’d have been able to get both frames done, plus the grooves and raised panels and probably more. But considering my injury, I’m quite content with what I got done.