Butcher Block Kitchen Table #6: Progress in the new workshop

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Blog entry by Jimi_C posted 07-14-2010 06:17 AM 2778 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Breadboard Ends Part 6 of Butcher Block Kitchen Table series Part 7: Sanding, Sanding, and More Sanding »

Finally started getting things organized a bit in the basement, and had some free time tonight so I decided to pick up work on this. During the house move, some of the wood sat in a VERY hot car for a few days, and had warped a little bit (even the panel with the breadboard ends had cupped noticeably). To try and counter this, I stickered it in the basement for a few weeks with some weight on it to try and reverse the bends, and it seems to have worked fairly well.

So, where I’d left off was making the bottom shelf, by putting the breadboard ends on it. I was originally going to clip the corners to fit into the 45 degree grooves I had cut into each leg, but in a burst of inspiration I realized it would be better to have a square notch in each leg to maximize the gluing surface – and to make the joint look better overall. To accomplish this, I set my marking gauge and scored a line on each side of the grove so I had a consistent depth in from the corner. I then took a note from Tommy MacDonald’s playbook, and used my chisel with a little hand pressure (no hammering) to establish the shoulder so the line didn’t get pushed back. It’s hard to see in this pic, but the small shoulder is there:

If you watch some of the 207 podcasts (formerly MLW) on cutting dovetails, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I did that on both faces, and after that it’s just chop, chop, chop:

After I got about halfway down, I started working from the other face (after establishing the shoulder). The end result is a nice 90 degree cut-out for my shelf:

It took about 10-15 minutes per leg, with the end result here:

After reviewing my design, I’m thinking of adding some smaller (1” or so) stretchers on the short sides to help keep things square. The plan is to glue up the short sides first, and then glue up the long sides with the shelf in place. I figure having two sets of stretchers will make things a bit easier to glue up, as well as structurally more sound.

I’m really loving the way the poplar is aging already. Almost all of the green is gone and it’s a nice tan/brown now. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do for the top… whether I’ll keep it a butcher block table or make a simpler top with a profiled edge… stay tuned :)

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

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