Radio Table #5: The Shelf Surfaces I Wanted

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Blog entry by William posted 11-25-2012 02:39 PM 1559 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Changes Made From The Test Subject Part 5 of Radio Table series Part 6: Drawer Front »

I am posting yesterday’s progress today. I wasn’t up to posting last night. So I had to wait until today. I titled this post about the shelf surface. I will get to that, but first, sanding. There was a lot of sanding. I love working with cottonwood. There are a lot of advantages to it. In my opinion it is a good wood. When prepped good, it takes finish real well. That will come in handy considering I plan on staining this one dark. Sometimes though, with cottonwood, there is a lot of sanding to do. For example, if your planer blades are not absolutely razor sharp, they will sometimes tear up the grain. It is not enough to ruin the wood. It is enough though to require extra effort when time to sand comes.

With so much sanding to do, I decided to try something on this table. On the first one, I simply knocked the hard edges off of the corners with a sanding block. On this one, I used an eighth inch roundover bit in my palm router and rounded over all the outside edges I could reach with it. That left me only inside edges to do by hand. This did cut out some of the sanding I had to do. The router left good enough edge that I only had to hit the routed edges with some 220 paper and be done with them.

Next I cut my particle board to fit. This is what I will be gluing the shelf surfaces to. The is another area where the cottonwood is allowing me an advantage. I have plenty of it. I was not able to do the surfaces I wanted o the first table because I didn’t have enough sapelle that was large enough to accomodate the length or the width. Everything was either too short or too narrow. Well, I have enough large cottonwood to do this.

The pieces for the tops only have a thirty degree arc to them. I have found that you have to be careful when cutting these on the table saw. If you don’t take precautions, things can go wrong very quickly.
I don’t know how other people cut things such as this, but I don’t know what I would do without my sled. I have an Incra sled. The biggest advantage of the Incra is that the holddown works very well. This allows me to set up each piece to be cut without my fingers being near the blade. If by chance something goes horribly wrong, and it has before, the only thing I have to do is watch for flying wood. With my hand behind the fence, on the handle, there is no danger of me being pulled into fast moving carbide teeth.
I contemplated several ways of accomplishing this. I needed to make these pieces and then glue them down in a square shape. I figured this was the easiest way. I marked the particle board so I could see where the center was, and where the halfway point was. Next, I glued down half of the pattern. I allowed that to set up while I drank a couple of cups of coffee. Then, using the flat edge opposite the parts I’d already glued down, I trimmed those pieces even with the edge of my particle board. Then I could glue down the rest of it knowing I had a flat edge to work off of to finish trimming the rest of it.
Yes, this may be a little wasteful. I am low on firewood this year anyway though. So I measured and cut all the pieces as long as I needed the longest one. After doing all this, I just threw the various odd shaped pieces that were trimmed off into my firewood pile. Actually, I was cold yesterday, most of the pieces went straight into the heater before the day was over.

I think they turned out nice enough. They’ll look even better after I get the dark stain on them.

I wanted to do more yesterday. However, by the time I finished sanding these flat, I had had all I could handle. We had warm tempuratures the day before yesterday, only for it to turn off cool yesterday. These sudden changes in tempuratures kick my butt. So, as I sit here this morning, I don’t know if I’ll make it to the shop today or not. I layed awake last night though thinking of what I want to do with the drawer front. So ya’ll know that somehow I will pull my butt together in a little while and hobble my way to the shop.
See ya’ll with the next installment.


17 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2481 days

#1 posted 11-25-2012 03:38 PM

Cool geometry on the top.

-- Brian Timmons -

View StumpyNubs's profile


7590 posts in 2797 days

#2 posted 11-25-2012 03:51 PM


-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View JL7's profile


8661 posts in 2961 days

#3 posted 11-25-2012 04:41 PM

Those turned out great William…...I gotta try that!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3337 days

#4 posted 11-25-2012 04:49 PM

good sequence on this build william

glad you got to spend time on it
and then share with us

i have done the ‘overhanging’ tops too
one trick i use sometimes
is a thinner parallel ‘helper’ board
up against the fence
under the overhang
and run the bottom to it
and cut the opposite side
as you did

looking good

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View luv2learn's profile


2763 posts in 2299 days

#5 posted 11-25-2012 04:54 PM

William, how would it look if you repeated the table top pattern and used it on the drawer face?

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#6 posted 11-25-2012 05:27 PM

L2L I think that thought is whirling around in his head.
Looking good William

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3431 days

#7 posted 11-25-2012 07:09 PM

William, that is going to be so nice.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3425 days

#8 posted 11-25-2012 07:13 PM

That is cool. Great pictorial, too.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2671 days

#9 posted 11-25-2012 07:33 PM

Excellent geometric pattern, on the shelf & top. Those indeed will look outstanding, when all is said and done.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2610 days

#10 posted 11-25-2012 08:50 PM

looking great William, love that pattern she going to love it ,looking froward to the next one and like that sled too

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#11 posted 11-25-2012 10:37 PM

William what about using that pantograph on the center?

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2838 days

#12 posted 11-26-2012 12:47 AM

Thank you all for your kind words.
Patron, I’ll have to remember that one for a time when I don’t have a straight edge to work off of.
Other question involved the drawer front will be answered in a few minutes, as soon as I finish this post and type up the next installment.


View William's profile


9949 posts in 2838 days

#13 posted 11-26-2012 01:06 AM

For those interested, you can see the drawer front I done here.

I want to also thank you all again for your interest and kind words.


View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2800 days

#14 posted 11-26-2012 11:35 AM

Fantastic! That top should really pop with a finish.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2838 days

#15 posted 11-26-2012 11:41 AM

I hope so Roger.
We will see, hopefully, sometime this week.


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