LumberJocks

Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table #16: Starting the pedestal bases

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 07-10-2017 01:41 AM 2481 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Leaves and Tops- Finishing Touches Part 16 of Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table series Part 17: Completing the remaining mortise and tenon joints »

In preparation for all of the angled mortise and tenon work in the base, I’ve been watching Craig’s List for a few months. I picked up a nearly new Leigh FMT Pro and a second Bosch 1613 EVS plunge router to dedicate to the jig. Both were hardly used.

I spent a few hours setting everything up. After aligning the router to the mounting plate on the FMT, I ran a few test cuts with some scrap oak to dial in the templates.

The FMT is a well engineered jig and is pretty fool proof. After a few adjustments I had a nice fitting mortise and tenon on my sample pieces.

Time to get back to the project at hand. I pick out a board of quarter sawn 8/4” sapele for the legs. This single 10 foot board is large enough to cut 8 legs plus a few spares. It has a nice ribbon stripe and a long section of straight grain, but the grain takes a strong curve at one end of the board.

After rough cutting the board to shorter lengths, I skip plane each piece to get a better view of the grain.

I cut a template from scrap plywood to aid in laying out the legs. By aligning the template along the grain, I lay out each leg and ‘straighten’ the grain, bringing a more uniform appearance to the legs.

Each leg is rough cut on the bandsaw. The board yields 13 rough cut legs, plenty to get the 8 legs needed for the table bases.

I now rough cut the aprons and stretchers. I select a wide quarter sawn 5/4” sapele board large enough to cut all of the aprons and stretchers from. Again there is a strong ribbon stripe and curved grain, but careful layout of the parts will straighten and align the grain. I carefully align the routing templates with the stripes and trace with a yellow lumber crayon. I angle the templates to best align the parts with the grain.

I rough cut the parts on the bandsaw.

After jointing one face and one edge flat and square, I mill the parts to final thickness with the planer. The top apron is a simple rectangle so I trim to width on the table saw then a light pass through the jointer cleans up the remaining edge nicely. Same treatment for the legs, except I pay particularly close attention to making sure all the edges are perfectly square as the tightness of the angled joinery later depends on it.

The lower stretchers have a cloud lift milled in the tops. I bandsaw away most of the waste and clamp the parts in the pattern routing fixture to mill the cloud lift detail. A bottom bearing spiral bit leaves a very clean finished cut.

I have a stack of parts ready for cutting the mortise and tenons.

Next I miter the stretchers to 30 degrees. I set up the table saw carefully since it is critical that the miters be perfectly square and exactly 30 degrees. If the cuts are out of square the joints will have gaps. If they are not cut exactly to 30 degrees, the accumulation of error across the eight joints could be significant and also cause gaps.

It is also crucial to have similar parts cut exactly the same size. I set up a stop block on the table saw to make the final cut on each part.

To cut the mortises and tenons I set up the Leigh FMT. After a few test cuts to dial in the fit, I lay out and cut the tenons on the ends of the stretchers.

The Leigh FMT produces a very nice tenon without any chipping around the shoulder.

A quick adjustment to the jig and I cut the mortises in the legs. The first set of joints are now complete. The fit looks good so far.

Next Step: Complete the remaining mortise and tenon joints

-- 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"



6 comments so far

View jbay's profile

jbay

1500 posts in 593 days


#1 posted 07-10-2017 04:04 AM

Nice clean work,
Thanks for sharing. I’ll be waiting for the next installment.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

444 posts in 2042 days


#2 posted 07-10-2017 04:41 PM

Nice find on the Leigh FMT Pro and the router. Craigslist around my area never has anything that nice on it. One of these days I think I’m going to have to break down and get one. How do you like it?

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

View TungOil's profile (online now)

TungOil

399 posts in 188 days


#3 posted 07-10-2017 06:07 PM

Earl,

So far so good on the FMT Pro. I’ll have a better opinion on it after I complete this project. I was looking for a multi-router for the longest time but nothing ever came up. As I was researching alternatives the FMT looked promising and sure enough this one appeared on CL not long after I started looking. The guy I bought it from never actually used it- he bought it and mounted his router to it but never got to the project he intended it for so decided to sell it. If I can pull off all the angled joinery on these bases without any gaps I’ll give it an A+.

The router was a pretty good deal as well. I already had a 1613 so I knew it was a decent router. the guy I bought it from was a retired general contractor- he bought if because his cabinet supplier told him he needed it. He said he never got good results with it- too much burning, etc. He gave me a bag of router bits as well- all super cheap HSS bits so it’s no wonder he got bad results. I doubt he used this router more than a dozen times.

-- 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 Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5523 posts in 2841 days


#4 posted 07-11-2017 09:43 PM

Looks like your new equipment is giving you good results!

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

444 posts in 2042 days


#5 posted 07-12-2017 12:34 AM

Tung,

Looks like you scored a great deal. Definitely want to hear what you think of the FMT on the angled joinery. I’ve also been looking at the Domino though it seems even more spendy. Either way, it will be a while.

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

View TungOil's profile (online now)

TungOil

399 posts in 188 days


#6 posted 07-12-2017 01:43 AM

I cut all of the angled tenons tonight. The cuts are very clean and the shoulders stayed almost perfectly square- I think the worst was out less than 1/32” over the 5-3/4” wide stretcher. Pretty good results at 30 degrees. Didn’t have enough time to cut the mortises. The real test is if it all fits together in a few days!

-- 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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