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Reading Table

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Project by RLindberry posted 07-30-2016 09:31 PM 538 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my version of the reading table from Popular Woodworking’s December, 2010 issue. Because I had specific size books to be used, I ended up making mine substantially larger. The top measures 14×28 and it stands 28.5 inches high. This is high for a side table, but it will work well for my purposes.

This table is made from cherry and finished with BLO, followed by garnet shellac and finally, paste wax. Not only did I change the dimensions, but I went with a different profile on the top edge and added a bead to the top of the shelves. I also made the feet thicker than the legs, because I think it makes the change in grain direction more appealing.

The joinery is also more substantial than the PWW version. The leg assemblies are joined to the feet and stretchers by wedged mortise and tenons. The shelves are also mortised into the sides.

Other than rough dimensioning of the stock, the entire project was done with hand tools.

Lessons learned: 1) I need to pay more attention to surface preparation prior to finishing (and I need better light over my workbench). 2) I still need more practice applying shellac by hand.

Questions and comments are welcome.





9 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile (online now)

Mean_Dean

4867 posts in 2540 days


#1 posted 07-31-2016 01:06 AM

I built this exact table a couple of years ago, and yours looks great! Looks like you made a few improvements over the original.

And yeah, shellac can be a pain to work with sometimes, which is why I always thin the 3# cut in the can down to 1.5# cut. Dries quicker, and seems to not attract dust nibs that way. Also with shellac, you can sand out any goofs, and just recoat with another few coats, and you’re all set!

-- Dean

View RLindberry's profile

RLindberry

46 posts in 2059 days


#2 posted 07-31-2016 02:52 AM



I built this exact table a couple of years ago, and yours looks great! Looks like you made a few improvements over the original.

And yeah, shellac can be a pain to work with sometimes, which is why I always thin the 3# cut in the can down to 1.5# cut. Dries quicker, and seems to not attract dust nibs that way. Also with shellac, you can sand out any goofs, and just recoat with another few coats, and you re all set!

- Mean_Dean

Dean, do you brush or pad your shellac? I’ve tried both, and I seem to end up with lines no matter what. I have been using a very thin cut (don’t know the exact ratio). This was my first time mixing my own shellac from flakes.

I did try a hake brush, which I saw Paul Sellers using, and it seemed to work very well. I might do my next project entirely with that.

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

21240 posts in 1730 days


#3 posted 07-31-2016 03:39 AM

Very nice work

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View RLindberry's profile

RLindberry

46 posts in 2059 days


#4 posted 07-31-2016 04:06 AM



Very nice work

- Monte Pittman

Thnak you, Monte.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3105 days


#5 posted 07-31-2016 06:27 AM

I really like the looks of this table. Nicely done!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View RLindberry's profile

RLindberry

46 posts in 2059 days


#6 posted 07-31-2016 02:03 PM

Thanks Mark.

View david38's profile

david38

2318 posts in 1736 days


#7 posted 07-31-2016 02:09 PM

nice job

View Mean_Dean's profile (online now)

Mean_Dean

4867 posts in 2540 days


#8 posted 07-31-2016 03:30 PM


Dean, do you brush or pad your shellac? I ve tried both, and I seem to end up with lines no matter what. I have been using a very thin cut (don t know the exact ratio). This was my first time mixing my own shellac from flakes.

I did try a hake brush, which I saw Paul Sellers using, and it seemed to work very well. I might do my next project entirely with that.

- RLindberry

When I use shellac, I use Zinsser Seal Coat, which is a de-waxed shellac. It comes out of the can at a 3# cut, which I thin down to 1.5# cut with denatured alcohol. (Example: 3oz shellac + 3oz DNA.)

I apply it with a small foam brush, and the shellac seems to level itself out very well before setting up. I just make sure to keep a wet edge as I go, and only hit an area once. If you discover a flaw, don’t try to fix it while you’re applying the shellac—it’ll only make it worse. You’ll just have to fight that impulse and wait until it’s set up (1-2 hours) then sand the flaw out, and recoat.

One nice thing about shellac, is that the next coat dissolves the previous one just a little, and helps meld the coats together, which can help fix flaws also.

So, try a foam brush to help eliminate the lines. Also a 1# – 2# cut should be thin enough to level out before setting up. Lastly, keep some 320-grit sandpaper on hand in case any flaws show up!

-- Dean

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

22547 posts in 2259 days


#9 posted 07-31-2016 06:48 PM

This is a very nice and attractive piece. You have done a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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