Southwest end tables #5: Started the second table.

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Blog entry by MarkTheFiddler posted 09-20-2013 01:18 AM 1241 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Build Complete - 8 Days to go. Part 5 of Southwest end tables series Part 6: On the Border »


I thought I’d be a little more detailed about my Southwest tables with this blog. Lessons learned, Lessons still learning. Yep. You might find it handy. What I don’t have is a thickness planner, a workbench or a joiner. Great fun huh?

Here is the first one in progress. Still haven’t added shellac up to this point.

For starters, I built up a good sturdy substrate. I used 1, 2 foot by 4 foot piece of birch 1/2 inch plywood from Home Depot. I think it came to $17. I cut it in half then glued the halves together with tight-bond 3. It gave me a little extra work time. I made sure I had a perfect corner along the two joining sides. I grabbed the pin nailer and just shot about 50 in because I was enjoying myself. HAH! FYI, don’t have any deep – throated clamps or a press.

After nailing, I took the clamps off and set it on a level surface with a full 5 gallon glue bucket on top. The pin nails kept the surface from sliding away from my good corner while the bucket applied my clamping pressure.


I ran the substrate through the table saw again along my well matched sides and got it down to 23 X 23. It was ready for some wood.

The red-ish wood is paduak. The brown is that last of my extremely warped sapele. (I’m never doing that again!) The lighter wood is just a few pieces of crosscut curly maple.

The list for the center design on the table in inches follows:
1X2 – 11 pieces

1X2 – 2 pieces
1X3 – 2 pieces
1X4 – 2
1X5 – 2
1X6 – 2
1X7 – 1

1X2 – 1 piece
1X3 – 2 pieces
1X4 – 2
1X5 – 2
1X6 – 2
1X7 – 2

I prepared my substrate, by marking 2 lines 6 inches away from my original corner. I grabbed some thin strips of straight wood and nailed them to the substrate to make a temporary corner. I thought that was a great idea and it made my glue up a lot easier and more accurate. However, my piece were too thin and I used short pin nails. The temporary corner should have been thicker. I had to do a repair because my brace slipped and I didn’t see it until after the glue dried. Not bad but it was still 1/16th of an inch.

Lest I get ahead. I dry fitted all the pieces. I knew that warped sapele was already going to give a small headache but just a small one. I then glued up and clamped all the boards. I was running out of clamping room but I got two boards across the top for downward pressure. Three clamps side to side and three along the length.

After the first three rows where dry, I removed the short brace. I just lifted it off and pulled any pin nails that pulled through the brace.

Here is why I needed thicker wood for the working brace. I used f clamps for length wise pressure. The foot print of the clamp couldn’t grab my 1/2 inch thick brace so I extended the clamp all the way out to the edge of the substrate. That pulled my work into the brace and it moved. I didn’t catch it so I got a curve about 1/16 of an inch in depth on both sides. NICE!

The warped Sapele caused my center to be bowed out about 1/16th of an inch on the side opposite the brace. NICE!

Since I need a really square center, I set the table top upside down on the TS and shaved off the curves a tiny fraction at a time. It’s square now. It’s not 11 X 11 but you won’t notice it in the final product because I have a slighty different plan for the border. I’ll share it next time.

And that my friends is how this Rookie started his third table. Feel free to educate me and my fellow LJ learners.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

3 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20580 posts in 3127 days

#1 posted 09-20-2013 02:28 AM

Man that is a lot of work and you have to be so accurate to get that patter right all over! Good job on it, Mark!!

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10117 posts in 4074 days

#2 posted 09-20-2013 03:49 AM

Thank you for Behind the scenes info…

That’s a lot of work…

Thank you…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2294 days

#3 posted 09-20-2013 03:28 PM

har·mo·ny [ha’armənee]
Thought process and hands working in synchronization without either getting ahead of the other.

suc·cess [sək séss] achievement of intention:
the achievement of something planned or attempted

Jigs are our friends.

Tables are looking Great, Mark.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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