With all the stock milled and cut to size it was time to do the joinery of the aprons to the legs. I use the Domino so it was a matter of properly aligning the boards and drawing pencil marks. Because the legs are 1 1/4” thick, and the aprons 3/4” thick there is a difference of 1/2”. To do the marking I place a 1/2” piece of scrap plywood under the aprons so they align evenly with the legs.
Because the aprons will be offset 1/4” from the edge of each leg it is important to get all your reference lines on the exterior edges of the legs and aprons. You then plunge all the mortises into the aprons and then adjust the Domino fence down 5mm and plunge all the legs. By having marked exterior edges on both, this ensures the offsets are completely even on all four sides. I chose 5mm as the offset because I wanted it just shy of of 1/4”. I could have chosen 6mm for an offset is closer to a true 1/4”. The slightly bigger offset on the inside will be completely hidden from view.
I’m using 8mm x 40mm dominos and I offset them between the front and side aprons, using one domino per apron. At this size you can’t put both front and side dominos at the same location because the 20mm plunge depth will overlap. I find dominos hold extremely well and a base on this scale was fine with only one domino per joint.
After the joinery was done I tapered the inside faces all four legs for both sets. I have simple homemade tapering jig that I setup for each taper. I brad nail in stop blocks so I remove and replace them for each specific taper. The leg is held with an adjustable clamp. The jig works well. I tapered each leg down to 3/4” by 3/4” at the feet. I then sanded the legs 80 and 120 grit to smooth them out and remove the inevitable burn marks on the cherry.
I did the glue-up in two stages. I first glued up the front and back leg / apron paris for both tables. To manage glue squeeze out I like to tape the joints. Once these partial assemblies were done I removed the tape and cleaned up the remaining squeeze out with some angled sanding contour grips from Lee Valley.
I then taped and glued up the short sides and finished gluing up the base assemblies. here they are in the clamps.
Once the were dry I then removed the remaining tape, cleaned up the remaining squeeze out again and then sanded both assemblies 80, 120 and 220 grit.
The whole process – milling, joinery, tapering, sanding, glue-up and final sanding took about 8 hours spread out over two days.
Next step – ebonizing those bases.