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Cocktail table for my wife's room. #1: Table top underway

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Blog entry by MarkTheFiddler posted 09-24-2012 01:34 AM 3769 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cocktail table for my wife's room. series Part 2: Top is being mounted »

I’m making a small table for my wife’s TV room. All my lumberjocks friends have given me the courage and some knowhow for me to once again stretch the envelope and try the hardest project to this point. Thank you my friends!

The room is very small and needs very small end tables and a small cocktail table. I figured that since the room is next to the entryway with the dodecahedron pendant light, I might as well push the theme.

On top of that, I own the lumber already which has it’s own set of stories like the oak score, a cherry dumpster find, and an adventure is sanding.

The table will have an oak dodecahedron base and an inlaid top. Here is my first dry fit.

The most interesting grain is on pieces that are warped. I might be able to use them but they are throwing off my fit. It would be a pity to lose them. I am aligning the grain with the center. If a pentagon has a flat side to the center, the grain is horizontal to that side. If a pentagon points to the center, the grain is horizontal to the opposite side. I think you eye will travel around with the grain.

Those diamond shaped holes will be filled with a different species (maybe). I have some offcuts tucked in here to illustrate 1 layer.

A couple of numbers for you. The diamond fills are 36 degrees. Approximate dodecahedron height = Length of a side X 9/4. Round up to the quarter inch instead of down.

I have a question please.
What base material should use for my inlay? I really appreciate your help!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!



13 comments so far

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3088 posts in 1622 days


#1 posted 09-24-2012 05:18 AM

You like hard projects…

Contrast with walnut for dark inlay or anything lighter maybe maple.

It will be a unique table for sure.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Milton Toal's profile

Milton Toal

99 posts in 759 days


#2 posted 09-24-2012 06:59 AM

Awesome. Way beyond me atm. I would seriously consider huon pine for the diamonds. Pale yellow and virtually grainless it would make a magic contrast. Love to see the finished item.

-- Milton Toal, Doncaster, Melbourne Australia.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11732 posts in 1794 days


#3 posted 09-24-2012 11:46 AM

That sure is a challenge. I can’t wait to see the finished tables!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Gerben's profile

Gerben

111 posts in 1044 days


#4 posted 09-24-2012 12:31 PM

Looks great. Interesting that you can create a pentagon shape with just pentagons. It’s not real practical, but I quite like the gaps in between. But some dark wood would probably give the same effect.

I tried to see what it would look like without the corner pieces.:

I’m not sure though. It’s a bit more round, which makes it harder to detect that it’s a pentagon, which is kind of the main point of this table. Just wanted to share this with you.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1807 posts in 877 days


#5 posted 09-24-2012 09:52 PM

Gerben – I saw your photo shopped version this morning but I can’t see it now. Probably it’s because this is my work PC. Nonetheless, I’m giving both options some very strong consideration. No matter which way I go, I will add a border to the outside. It will have a pentagon shape when I’m done. I hear you on the gaps being interesting as they are. That could definitely make for someone’s project.

I like hard Projects? Yeah, I suppose I do. Heaven forbid I should ever get a lathe! That will be trouble! I feel like, the more I learn, the more I can let my imagination take over. Unfortunately, my imagination is a bit on the rowdy side.

I like the idea of using a really dark wood in the diamonds for contrast. I just don’t own any. I own some Oak and maple. I’ll drop by a specialty store to see what I can score. (I really just want to look around ;) Just heard about it on Saturday).

Milton,

Welcome to lumber jocks and thanks for the post. Today is the first time I have ever heard of huon pine. I’m going to do some research. I really appreciate the suggestion.

The only thing that gives me pause is that pine is a very softwood. This brazillian cherry is one of the hardest woods in the world. I’m concerned about combining them into a table I hope will last a few centuries (Heh heh. Delusions of grandeur)

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3088 posts in 1622 days


#6 posted 09-24-2012 10:25 PM

I believe huon pine is very common in Australia (and probably other countries) I have not seen any at my lumber suppliers.
you can check Larry’s projects for an idea how it looks (great if you ask me). He uses a lot of it:

http://lumberjocks.com/degoose

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

571 posts in 1001 days


#7 posted 09-25-2012 01:56 PM

Starting to look very interesting here. How did you manufacture the pentagons? Have I missed an earlier post?
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Gerben's profile

Gerben

111 posts in 1044 days


#8 posted 09-25-2012 05:35 PM

You could just use the same wood for the diamonds, but apply some dark wood veneer to the top. But I’m not really an expert about wood.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1807 posts in 877 days


#9 posted 09-25-2012 09:03 PM

Heya Lanwater, Thanks for the resource!

Gerben,

I saw some beautiful veneer yesterday that I would love to see on my table top. It takes me back to a table my dad’s carpenters made. It was beautiful pedestal table with an inlaid chess board. He only had maple stock (tons) so one of the carpenters brought in a small sheet of dark wood veneer.

Let’s click forward 30 years. It’s refinishing time. The veneer had to be taken up and replaced. The refinisher wanted to charge mom a fortune for the extra work. Why would I care? I hope that some of the things I make now will be prized by my children. I hope they don’t have to replace parts because the finish wore off and a sweaty glass of water buckled the unprotected veneer.

Gerben, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your idea. “I” don’t think “I” could make it so it lasts 30 years with Veneer. Some folk might be tempted to give me great advice on veneers right about now. Thanks for that but hold off please. I have my heart set on solid hard woods for this project.

Jim,

How I made the pentagons “OR” the cure for insomnia. Sorry for being wordy. ;)

Used 4 ¾ solid Brazilian Cherry. Before cutting into pentagons, I took the tongue and the 1/16” bevel off the tongue side with my table saw. I took 1/16” bevel off the groove side.

I used 2 miter saws to cut out the pentagons. First up was the 12 inch Dewalt. I set the miter angle at 72. I went ahead and cut a piece of 2X4 at that measurement and clamped it down on the right side. I went slightly wider than I needed and I can’t really say that I gained anything from that except for having to make an extra cut later. Just call it a feeling. The rest was just a matter of flipping the board over and over again until it was cut up into wedges like the following diagram.

Second up was the Ryobi 7 ¼ inch. I used a stop like the illustration below.

The parallel line is the fence. The stop is to the left. The blade is at 72 or 18 degrees. I just set those wedged shaped blocks, from the 12 inch saw, against the 2 by 4 stop and the fence. I started cutting and rotated the board pieces counter clock wise. It took three cuts to finish the pentagons. The third cut was because of my irrational need to cut the wedges slightly large. This time I couldn’t go for speed. I had to get any shavings off the table to keep my measurements true.

Why on Earth didn’t I just use the 12 inch? That back fence was not close enough to the blade so I couldn’t a surface to press against. The wood teetered. Not safe or accurate. I couldn’t finish the pentagons. The little Ryobi fence get a lot closer to the blade so I was able to plant the wedge against it for clean cuts.

Why on Earth didn’t I just use the 7 ¼ inch? My first reason is it just can’t cut through 4 ¾ inches, especially on a miter. Second, It just doesn’t have the strength the 12 inch has. Third, I like the blade on the 12 inch better. This little saw does at least have a Diablo crosscut which was sufficient to get a straight cut without burning or splintering.

Lumberjocks,

This is rough idea of what the top will look like.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3088 posts in 1622 days


#10 posted 09-26-2012 06:06 AM

Looking at your sketch for the top, I can see some 3D effects coming up with some grain orientation…

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

571 posts in 1001 days


#11 posted 09-26-2012 03:35 PM

Thanks Mark. A lot of operations there for each pice. You have much patience.
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1807 posts in 877 days


#12 posted 09-26-2012 03:42 PM

Ouch Lanwater – I wish you hadn’t said that. Now it’s stuck in my head! Thanks for that BUDDY!!!. (Where is that sarcasm Icon?)

heh heh

Now I have to erase that thought.

But if I take the darkest pieces and place them centermost and I take the lighter ones and ….. See what you DID!!!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1807 posts in 877 days


#13 posted 09-27-2012 01:42 AM

Hey Jim!

I was posting at the same time as you! Sorry I missed you. Patience, I have a little. It’s skill I would like to have more of.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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