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Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table #12: Table Edge Assembly

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 05-16-2017 01:32 AM 1368 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Pattern Routing the Segmented Table Edges Part 12 of Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table series Part 13: Final Table Edge Routing »

With the pattern routing complete, it’s time to drill and punch the holes for the square ebony plugs and attach the edges to the table cores.

First I layout full scale ebony plugs on pieces of post-it paper so I can make any final adjustments to the location and size before I commit to drilling and punching the holes. I also layout for screws to attach the edges to the table.

I set up drill press stops to drill the pilot holes for the square punches to be sure they are all consistently spaced.

With all of the holes drilled I use a 3/8” slot cutter in the router table to rough in the slots for the straight segments of the leaves. I wait to cut the slots on the elliptical segments until after the edges are glued to the table core to be sure they will be perfectly aligned after assembly.

To clean up the radius left by the cutter, I use a square punch followed by a little hand chisel work.

With the edges complete, I move on to the square holes in the top face of the edge border. It is critical to keep the plugs square to the mitered joint between the edges, any misalignment is very noticeable after the contrasting ebony plugs are installed. The Veritas saddle square is a useful tool to align the edge of the square chisel. With the drill bit back in the hole, I slide the square chisel down the bit and align it using the saddle square. I press the square chisel lightly into the wood to register positon and remove the drill bit and square before I drive the punch to depth.

I stop about 1/8” to 1/16” before reaching the end of the ground face of the chisel. I’m careful not to drive the chisel too far to prevent flaring the edges of the square hole as this will be very visible after the plugs are installed.

After punching over 150 square holes, the edges are ready to assemble to the table cores.

I first dry fit the edge segments to the core to be sure the fit is exactly right. By utilizing seven strap clamps, one for each segment, I can adjust each individually. Once I’m satisfied with the alignment, I remove one strap clamp at a time to glue and screw that segment to the core. This allows me to use the adjacent edges to assure the segment returns exactly where it belongs. I start with the center segment, and work alternating sides until I reach the edge.

Next step: pattern route the outside edge, final sand the edge segments and cut the slots for the splines between each segment.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"



7 comments so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

1530 posts in 343 days


#1 posted 05-16-2017 01:53 AM

Coming along nice, Tung. I’m enjoying watching it progress.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

605 posts in 248 days


#2 posted 05-16-2017 02:17 AM

thanks, it’s been a challenging build in some ways. Always good to stretch a bit.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

487 posts in 2101 days


#3 posted 05-17-2017 05:02 PM

Looks great and your attention to the details as well as taking the time to explain things is also much appreciated.

150 square plug holes means 150 square ebony plugs too. This is one of the reasons that G&G takes so long to build but it is worth it. I appreciate your reference to the Veritas saddle square. My approach has generally been to set up a mortising chisel on the drill press and use it. Problem with that is the holes don’t always wind up just square or there is tear out. I have the square punches for projects with fewer plugs but that has also been less than satisfactory. I will definitely get the saddle square to help keep things in line and hopefully make things go a bit faster too.

I will be very interested to see how you cut your ebony splines.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

605 posts in 248 days


#4 posted 05-17-2017 05:53 PM

Earl, Thanks for following along.

The saddle square is really handy for squaring up these chisels. Unfortunately any of the mortisers I have used in the past are not accurate enough for these plugs- they really need to be perfectly square and placed exactly since they are such a focal point of the piece. So, I take the extra time and do them by hand.

Making the plugs is going to be monotonous at best. I have not even started the base yet, that will be another 50+ plugs.

For the splines, I have CNC templates cut for the outer edges to get the curve to perfectly match the top. since the top is elliptical, each spline is slightly different so there are 5 templates. I’ll rough them on the bandsaw, then pattern route the visible edge and trim each one to fit by hand.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

487 posts in 2101 days


#5 posted 05-18-2017 12:01 AM

Tung,

If I recall, William Ng has a really good video on making curved splines in place. I think there was a jig and a special bit that you can buy for the roundover.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5568 posts in 2901 days


#6 posted 05-18-2017 10:10 PM

Looks like you’re really making some good progress!

As for the Veritas squaring jig, I’m kind of paranoid, and would be concerned about it slipping out of alignment, and would use a clamp to make sure it didn’t move!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

605 posts in 248 days


#7 posted 05-19-2017 02:13 AM

Dean- The saddle square is very stable due to it’s design. I don’t feel a need to clamp it when I’m using it. Hard to describe in words except to say that in use it feels very stable and does not want to move. But I get your point, better safe than sorry!

Earl- I’ll look for William Ng’s video. now that you bring it up, I do recall watching that one a while ago.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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