My wife was starting to get ready for some Christmas decorations. She notified me that she’d like a Sofa table to place against the wall in the kitchen to put decorations on. She also stated a requirement that it be like the Thorsen table that was built by my son Dave. for the Thorsen Table Challenge that we had earlier here on LumberJocks.com . His table has aged some since Dave made it and it now sits in the kitchen where my wife puts her purse when she comes into the house.
It’s where she plugs in her cell phone etc.
So out to the workshop to check out the Cherry Lumber Supply. I found this board 2 ¼” thick and over 10” wide so I could make 4 legs with one slice.
Looking for a board for the top and the aprons. The one on the right became the table top. 11 ¾” wide.
I thought the other one might become the aprons but I kept busy looking. I then found this board.
The board on the right I thought could become my breadboards.
This apron board is one of those 2” thick boards that cups and twisted and after taking it flat it was at 1 3/16” thick. Too thin to resaw and so I left it the thickness it was. It was 6” wide.
USCJeff started a topic where he was complaining about Cherry and the white sapwood. I mentioned to him that it was in the eye of the beholder. Some like it and some don’t. I’ve usually been in the do not like camp. Here is a blog where I ranted about some bad cherry that I’ve got.
For this project, I wanted to change my tune and accentuate the differences in Cherry. So you will see during this blog how I went about selecting the wood.
The legs were what I’d call old growth Cherry. Boards that were curly in nature and a lot of different grain patterns. The legs came from a board that was 10 ½” wide and 2 3/8” thick. It had a split in the middle of the plank. I cut off a 32” section of the board. Since my jointer wasn’t that wide I ran it through the planer to clean it up some. It still had a cup but got all of the sawmill edges off of it. Because the grain was so wild and because of the split in the board. I wasn’t sure what would happen as I started to cut it. So I opted to use the Bandsaw with my resaw blade to do the cutting. I joined the edge and ran it through the saw. Not a bit of movement. The gap at the beginning was the same as the one at the end. I put the two boards together and they had full contact. Man was that a great feeling.
I then proceeded to cut the other three legs three on one side of the crack and one on the other. I sat them on the table saw to rest to the next day. When I came back they were just like I left them. I now ran all 4 legs on the jointer cleaning up 2 sides. I ran them through the planer to make them square 1 7/8” square. Not bad from the board I selected.
The table top came from a board that was in a set of 5 boards. 12” wide, 5/4 to 6/4 thick bowed and 12 ½’ long. The bottom 5’ of this board was relatively flat. In looking at it I would have to cut off and discard 2’ of wood because of a split in the middle. I made a decision, I’m making a wood out of sap wood that I don’t usually like and so I’m going to keep the split also. I’ll find a way around that. When I made my Summer entry for the Joinery Contest and we couldn’t use glue, screws or nails and I had a split there also. I’ve used Superglue and sawdust to fill a crack before, but because we could use glue I went with Danish Oil. I poured it on the wood and used 100 grit sandpaper to mix Danish oil and sanding dust and forced it into the crack. It worked great So I Thought I’d do it here.
Here I had my home made Danish oil. 1/3 BLO, 1/3 Urethane varnish, and 1/3 Mineral Spirits. Don Kondra posted a blog about his secret finishing mix. In his blog he referred to Japan Dryer. I’ve never used it but when I went to the Class with Frank Klause I saw a can on the shelf, so I bought it. The mix you see in the bottle has the Japan Dryer in it. It was quite dark, I didn’t know what to expect.
But it did the job the finish was dry the next morning. In a 50 deg shop. You can see the slurry that was made. I pressed it into the cracks with the putty knife.
The apron board has a streak of sapwood about 1” wide for the full length excepitof creeps up to 3” at the end.
I was going the put the boards in sequence from one end, across the front, continuing to the other end, and ending up on the back. So all corners match the grain except the starting and ending connection.
The breadboards came from the end of this board.
After slicing it all up like this
I ended up with these two pieces.
One of them is a little darker than the other, but I hope that is will all meld out over time.
Now my attention was turned to putting the cutouts into the aprons. I retrieved my Jigs that I made for the woodworking challenge.
And I cut them out. It’s tough making the cuts with a ¼” router bit that has a 1” cutting length in wood that is 1 3/16” thick. About 3/8 was all that was in the chuck when I got to the final cuts in the wood.
I cut the mortise and tenons in the aprons and the legs, and dry fit them together. I put the top on also to check it out.
The shelf board was a dream board. It had sap wood on both edges and was totally symmetric From one end to the other. Here it is sitting on top of the shelf holders. It is about 4 ½” wide. The other side was totally red but I kept the sapwood side.
Now my attention was turned to cutting the mortises in the breadboard ends.
This is a dry fit of the table with the shelf.
And now glue up.
Putting the ebony pegs into the legs. (really it’s blackwood not ebony)
All done with the gluing on the base.
I sat it on the floor and set the top on it to see how it looked.
I then carried it into the house to show the commissioned work to the customer.
To be done. Cut the tenons on the table top, install the breadboards, Danish oil on the entire piece. I don’t know if we will have any good weather to put on final finish until next spring. So It might stay with the Danish oil until then.
Total time to this point. 4 days. Maybe 25 hours.
-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware email@example.com †