build log, a shop made rustic version of a " fine furniture coffee table" #8: day 5's progress initial contouring the table top edges.

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Blog entry by hobby1 posted 07-17-2013 03:23 PM 1577 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: cont. day 4's preparing the top for shaping Part 8 of build log, a shop made rustic version of a " fine furniture coffee table" series Part 9: day 5's conclusion of table top shaping »

Hi Mike,

That ‘is’ rock solid construction on those sofa frames, doweling with the right kind of glue is just as strong as biscuits, in my opinion, I still find the best doweling jig for me is those dowel points centers, and a brad point bit, your right about the fir wood, I have to start my brad bit a little cautiously when I drill for a dowel hole, because if I go to fast the bit wants to grab some wood fibers and pull itself in another direction, but once I get a good pilot hole started with the brad point , and keep the drill steady the hole pretty much stays spot on, when I drill to dowel walnut boards, the bit stays pretty steady no bit wandering.

The 2×4 lumber does hand plane very nicely, I think fir wood is a step above pine wood, in characteristics of machining.

When I was shaping those legs I was puting a lot of preasure on the sanding drum around the thin ankle part, and the wood there was as solid as needed, if that was pine boards glued up, I think it would have been close to fracturing, the fir wood seems to be stronger.

Well here is this mornings progress, I was able to get a couple hours in this morning before the sun came up over the trees to take away the shade I was working in.

I first put the table in position on the top, the way it will be in final assembly.
Then marked where I wanted to cut it on the perimeter.

I was going to draw some sort of natural edge like on a real slab, but instead, I seen that the outline of the table frame gave a nice freeform edge, so I decided to follow its shape for the top.

I took an over hang for the ends by gauging like this.

and here is what it shows up as.

Instead of a jigsawn keep to the line cut, I decided to use my roto tool to freeform the cutout.
Make it more rough like.

since the bit is not long enough I coped out the rest.

and the resulting cutout.

Using the dark scrap pine boards on the outside underneath edges , gives a nice dark contrast, to the light fir wood in the table topslab itself.

I need to sweeten up the cuts with my sanding drum and grinder, I’ll do that this afternoon when I can get back in the shade again.

1 comment so far

View stefang's profile


16214 posts in 3572 days

#1 posted 07-17-2013 05:27 PM

Looks great. I like the shape you chose. It should be very nice after a little cleanup. I agree with you on the dowel points. I have bought a couple of doweling jigs in the past and made a few myself, but I always find the dowel points to be easier and more accurate. Yes, dowels are a lot stronger and better than many think. They are essentially a loose tenon. The only really big difference is that the mortise is a lot easier to drill than to chop. Talking about fir wood, back in 1971 when I moved to Norway, I could buy beautiful tight grained fir here up to about 1983 with no knots whatsoever and no grain showing either. I just wonder where it came from, it was beautiful wood. Maybe it was Sitka or something other than the Norwegian Spruce that is used for construction materials here.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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