|Project by gabriellus||posted 09-21-2015 01:51 PM||2490 views||11 times favorited||11 comments|
Initial Plans (much modifying)
It all started a little more than 3 months ago with about 200 board feet of 8/4 Cypress and Red Cedar. I was hoping to build totally out of cedar, but there wasn’t enough 8/4 at the sawmill.
Here’s the glue up for the legs. I did a glue up with TB3, but since the cypress still had some moisture in it, the glue line was failing. What’s pictured is with Gorilla poly glue, which I ended up using for about every subsequent step in the table.
I wanted to do a fully housed lap for the short side lower brace, but my dado stack didnt go high enough (6” stack, grrrrrr), so I split the difference and made the joint half lapped.
My first ever tenons, cut on the table saw with a dado stack. Pictured is the short apron.
All milled and ready for assembly, or so I thought:
My first homemade dowels, 5/16”, using a homemade doweling plate that I built out of a steel flat bar. Just chuck up the square in your drill and feed it through the hole. I later added a 3/8” hole for pocket hole sized dowels.
These are my first set of mortises, followed by my second set. Notice how they get, you know, better :D. Cut using a plunge router. I got the dimensions of these M&T way the hell off. There wasn’t enough material on the top side of the mortises to provide any real strength, you can see one of the tops of the mortises actually got blown out when the router banged into it. I didn’t sweat it, all the gnarly mortise walls and edges are hidden after assembly anyway.
I pegged the tenons in place with dowels, here is the leg subassembly glue up. Note the shopmade right angle squares in the inside corners:
And the table base glue up:
Here is where I encountered my first major problem. The short-end aprons were glued-together cypress, strong as Hades. The long ends, however, were just a single board, and during the dry assembly there was a TON of flex. I didnt have any 80” stock to mill up to add to reinforce. I hit the web and found something called the “tabled lap joint”, a method to join boards together on their end grain. I built 2 long 2×3s out of cypress scrap using this joint, splined and glued them together to the inside of the tenoned long apron, and I had a ton of strength along the length of the table.
Close-up of the tabled lap joint:
I assembled the tabletop in subassemblies small enough to go through my 12” planer to provide uniform thickness. Here’s a pic of one of those tabletop glue ups:
The whole tabletop, post-glueup and pre-breadboard end:
Here’s a shot of the breadboard end in the vise, with the router and shopmade fence in the background. This was my favorite part of the project:
The breadboard end assembly. I don’t have a picture of the tongue I cut out of the tabletop, which I regret.
The low long braces on the legs were too thin and wobbly, so I half-lapped and glued some stubby little cedar spacers to tie them together. Here are the routed channels on the underside to accept them:
The completed base, with 2 cedar uprights tying the lower braces to the strong top assembly. I plugged all the pocket holes with shopmade dowels:
I finished the base with 2 coats (or so) of Epifanes High Gloss clear varnish, and the top got about 6 or 7 coats after I prepped all the flaws and nastiness with epoxy.
Out on the deck, attaching the base, the FINAL step, and my wife tells me, “it’s too tall.” Breathe….breathe…...OK. I marked down a certain height from the base’s top edge, marking and scribing to remove maybe 2 inches from the bottom of the leg. Any more would make the proportions of the bracing look stupid. Busted out my cheap, hardly-used Stanley hand miter saw and sawed off the bottoms. Talk about last minute changes!!!
I used pocket holes to attach the top to the base, and I reamed out the pilot holes to 3x the Kreg diameter to allow for seasonal wood movement. Crossing fingers?
All in all, my favorite project to date. I tried new things at about every step, and made a million mistakes. But woodworking is like life like that, I guess, its about hiding your mistakes. Ha!