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Mesquite Slab Table #3: No Looking Back

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 04-25-2018 04:39 AM 342 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Working Without a Plan....... Part 3 of Mesquite Slab Table series Part 4: Sneak Peek »

This simple table has proved to be more difficult than I anticipated – partly because I’m doing a lot of it with hand tools and my skill set doesn’t allow me to do it without having to think about every step twice – and also because the simple elements aren’t a simple as they appear. Well for me at least.

The top was more work than I could have imagined and it’s not even finished yet. I have put four coats of tung oil on and it’s still soaking it up. I didn’t do a coat today. I want it to cure/dry for 48 hours and then I’m going to start applying GF Wipe on oil based urethane. Hopefully it will build up faster. However I still anticipate it will take at least four more coats of that to get a decent finish.

In between trying to get things done in and around the house, I’ve been spending time working on the mere three other components that will make up the table. For that I had to make a trip to pick up some walnut. I’m not sure how this will look in the end, but I’m mixing cherry with walnut with mesquite. The design I arrived at is inspired by George Nakashima. It has the same basic elements as his tables which are actually pretty simple in their design, but with my own little twist to it.

Here’s some of the progress.

The profile I created for the stretcher is proving to be a bit difficult for me to work with as the stretcher has to pass thru the walnut uprights and tie them together. It acts a a key, keeping the base stable, preventing it from wracking. Well anyway that’s the plan :) It needs to be a tight fit so my chisel work needs to be as good I as can get it. I have one more piece of walnut to mortise and then I think I’m in the home stretch. Hope I don’t mess it up lol

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)



5 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2148 posts in 579 days


#1 posted 04-25-2018 09:40 AM

Looks like you’re well on your way, Bill. Looking good!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2273 posts in 937 days


#2 posted 04-25-2018 01:25 PM

Thanks Dave. Yeah there was no looking back after I cut those nice pieces of walnut from the board and decided to move forward with the cherry stretcher I had already profiled.

I know I used the BS to clear the waste from that mortise, but instead of making a template and using a router to clean up the walls, I felt it necessary to continue with hand tools to be deferential to the origin of the design. If I hadn’t made the stretcher the profile I did and instead made it a rectangular section, which is how the Nakashima tables are done, I could have used a half-lap bridal joint. That would hide any poor tooling on my part. Now they need to be tight so the table doesn’t fall over. I don’t plan on using any glue or fasteners for this.

This would be a much easier project for me with a jointer, planer and router. Using hand tools caused me to look at the process in a different light. Basically I had to see where it was I had the real potential to screw up because my hand tool skills weren’t up to the task :) I’ve have even more respect for those who forego power tools, but have also gained more appreciation for power jointers and planers lol I think I’ll be doing my dining table with the latter when the time comes or I won’t be eating at that table for a few years lol

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

4988 posts in 1135 days


#3 posted 04-25-2018 04:56 PM

Seriously Bill? You have Kiridashis perfectly suited to marking out that dovetail and you’re using that folder? Geeze… some guys. ;-))

Looking good! I like the design you’ve chosen a lot. Having trouble picturing the Walnut and the Mesquite together but you’ve obviously decided they pair well. The Cherry stretcher should contrast well. I don’t guess it’ll be generally visible though.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2273 posts in 937 days


#4 posted 04-25-2018 05:10 PM

I gave those little folders to the guys in my wedding party. They’re made by Al Mar. I forget what the scales are, but the blades are like razors. I was unpacking some stuff the other day and found my knife in a box. So I used it since it was in my pocket :) But today I marked the second mortise with your knives :P

The stretcher will be seen as it will be on the bottom and not the top. It runs along the floor. You’ll see :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

4988 posts in 1135 days


#5 posted 04-25-2018 05:14 PM

Ohhhhh. Sweet! That’s even better. Definitely looking forward to the finished product.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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