Church pews project #4: starting the joinery

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Blog entry by inchanga posted 01-24-2013 06:20 PM 2312 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: back from the stripper Part 4 of Church pews project series Part 5: finishing coffee table »

Well after a couple of frustrating weeks waiting for the timber to dry out after the stripping process I have finally managed to start building the coffee table. The legs and stretchers have had one coat of Danish oil after being thoroughly sanded. I anticipate giving them another four coats or so and then a couple of coats of wax.

You may recognise the shape of the legs, they previously formed the decorative moulding along the top of the pews backrest…...

I have also drilled the dowel holes in the legs and stretchers using my Dowelmax jig, how did I manage without it?
When it comes to assembly I may well use Kreg pocket hole screws. They do away with the need for clamps and of course give additional strength to the joint.

The coffee table top is illustrated clamped up waiting for the glue to dry and out of clamps ready for cutting to final size, planing,sanding and finishing. I have reinforced the glue joint with dowels which were also a great help in providing a flush joint.

I have also selected and given a coarse sanding to the boards that will make up the dining table top. Two of these are illustrated here.

The coarse sanding was necessary to remove the surface “fuzz” caused by the stripping chemicals raising the grain. For some reason pitch pine seems to be particularly affected. There is also a close up of the grain pattern which I think will be really nice with a finish on it.

I was originally intending to use pre cat laquer as my finish but the test piece, shown below, did not impress me so I have switched to oil and paste wax. It’s a longer process but hopefully this furniture will last for generations so it’s well worth the effort.

Hopefully my next blog will be able to report the coffee table finished and a happy customer.

-- chris, north wales

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