Shaker Sofa Table #2: Legs and Aprons

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Blog entry by Douglas posted 01-28-2013 01:50 AM 2649 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Project Planning and Getting Lumber Part 2 of Shaker Sofa Table series Part 3: Base Assembly - a screwed up glue up »

Since last part, I was able to get farther on the table. After letting the parts acclimate to the shop overnight, I milled all the parts to final dimensions. I then had to rip the front apron into horizontal strips, then cut the middle section vertically to make the drawer fronts, then re-glue the apron together to make the openings.

Next I cut the stopped mortises in the legs to accept the apron tenons. After getting those finished, I noticed I’d made a mistake. I apparently didn’t use the same reference face, and some of the pairs of mortises weren’t properly aligned. Three of the pairs were close enough, and fixed with a little bit of trimming the faces down with a smoother plane. But the back pair were off by 1/16”. My solution there was to fit the tenons to the mismatched mortises, by cutting the tenons “fat”, and then trimming the inside of one side, and the outside of the other, until a) there was a good fit, and b) the reveal matched. This worked fine, and was a lucky save. I also ran into another mistake while fitting the tenons for the front apron; I got a little aggressive with my router plane, and made the fit too loose on both sides. I ended up glueing a plane shaving to both those tenons to get the fit tight again.

Those mistakes past, I finished the drawer guides, runners, and top fasteners, ran a groove in the inside of the font & back aprons, and did a dry fit.

Everything looked pretty good, with just a little bit of adjusting to get it all to sit right.

Next up was doing the tapers for the legs. For that, I needed to put together a taper jig. I did one with a pin that goes into the center of the foot, to act as a pivot point as the sides get cut away, and hold downs for the top edge. I had a piece of 1/2 play for the base, but 3/4 would have been better as it did flex a little when I tightened the hold downs. For those, just borrowed the pair of shop made hold downs I’d completed a few days ago for me drill press table. I might build a better, stronger, more adjustable tape jig with toggle clamps and such for the future, but for this project, this little “one time jig” was all I needed.

I proceeded to clean off the saw marks with a smoothing plane, really enjoying how easy it was to to this in my new bench’s wagon vise. The tapers came out great. I stopped for the day, with sanding & surface prep next prior to assembly.

That’s for next time.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

1 comment so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4008 days

#1 posted 03-19-2013 01:50 PM

Nice progress.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the mistakes, they’re a great learning experience. You get to realize what to watch out for next time, as well as how to correct it this time.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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