Work in Progress #1: Patio Side Table in Cedar

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Blog entry by MikeInPenetanguishene posted 10-07-2010 02:10 PM 1106 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Work in Progress series Part 2: A Storefront Counter »

I started this project a while ago, but because of work haven’t had much time to work on it. By the time I’m done, it should be just in time to put it up for the winter! Oh well.

This is my first project entirely done with hand tools.

This is the top, 20” square and 1 3/8” thick.

The legs are 4×4’s but planed down to a little less than 3.5”

I’m not sure if these M&T joints have an official name, but they’re more like slots flush with the top and the tenon slides in so the sides are flush with the top of the legs. This is the first time I’ve ever done any kind of M&T joint, by hand or otherwise. They’re a little sloppy, but I’m sure that will improve over time. Just about to do the last 1/16” or so on this one.

Oh.. and this is my Shop Dog, Rosie. She likes to fluff up the shavings and use it as a bed.

-- Mike Guilbault, Penetanguishene, Ontario

3 comments so far

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6573 posts in 2261 days

#1 posted 10-07-2010 07:12 PM

Looking good Mike. It’s nice to see work in progress as it’s easier to appreciate what went into making the finished piece. I’ll be watching with interest.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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57 posts in 2478 days

#2 posted 10-08-2010 05:13 AM

Well, I glued up the legs and cross pieces but I didn’t notice until I removed all the clamps that it’s not quite square. I’m not exactly sure why. All four pieces are the same dimensions. The mortises all measure correctly, but for some reason I’m about 1/4” out – somewhere. As this is an outdoor piece anyway, I’m not going to worry much about it. Just wish I knew where I went wrong. My wife wants a couple tables very similar to this one (except it will have a lower shelf) for the den in the basement. This was kind of a prototype to work out the kinks. For knot knowing what I was doing (pun intended!), it’s not turning out bad. I should have it completed this weekend.

-- Mike Guilbault, Penetanguishene, Ontario

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57 posts in 2478 days

#3 posted 10-09-2010 05:00 AM

As promised I finished the table. This afternoon I attached the top. Basically glued and screwed (with some cleats) from the bottom.

I probably could’ve cleaned it up a little better, but since it’s going to be used outside I didn’t bother. Here’s the finished table in the shop:

and outside on the deck.

I’ve been debating with myself how to finish it. I’ve read quite a few opinions that it’s best to leave it unfinished. Of course it will fade to gray, but most finishes will anyway after a few years and then I’d have to refinish it over and over again. I think I’m going to leave it unfinished. I like the look of old cedar (and my wife likes the look of new cedar) and it will give me an excuse to build a new one in a few years.

I’d appreciate any comments/critique on the table.

-- Mike Guilbault, Penetanguishene, Ontario

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