Floating Top Plant Stands #1: milling the tenons

 Blog entry by Lee Barker posted 01-10-2011 11:31 PM 975 reads 1 time favorited 0 comments
 no previous part Part 1 of Floating Top Plant Stands series Part 2: Leg subassemblies assembled; sanding next. »

The project: Four each plant stands 27” high by 15” deep by 60” long.
Material: 5/4 cherry substructure; laminate top with cherry edge.

Here you see the 5/4 material milled to dimension—square—and cut to length for the various parts.

There will be two horizontals each side—rail and stretcher—and on the 60” length there will be two 5” verticals, kind of like mullions, spaced evenly. This gives it some actual rigidity and considerable visual strength in that dimension. The stretchers on the ends will be lower than that; I haven’t decided exactly where yet. My eye will tell me when I get there.

I am using a Shopsmith 10ER for the tenon milling, and it has worked wonderfully.

Prior to that process I wasted the ends with a dado blade and table saw sled.

This stage of the game brings up an interesting issue. Of course you would make more parts than the actual count. There will be some that are not acceptable.

The biggest category of that is bowing but there can be failures at the table saw (not getting one cut up to the stop snugly) and at the tenoner (not getting the piece snugged down to the table so the tenon is centered).

I suppose scientifically you could make an equation and assign a complexity factor to a process and estimate the possible failure rate and then accumulate those numbers and get a firm number of how many extra parts you would need. It gets pretty complex when you figure that several to many of the smaller parts could be made from failed long rails.

I just did it intuitively: I need 16 of every length. I did 18 long, 18 of the legs and end rails and left the shorties to fend for themselves.

Some of the long ones are indeed bowed, but I was able to set aside the ones that bowed in two planes. I’ll use the shorties to straighten the ones that bowed in just one plane.

There is an image of li’l pieces in various stages of experimentation.

Next is boring the mortises with the drill press.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"