|Project by lumberjoe||posted 05-29-2012 06:31 PM||2976 views||1 time favorited||19 comments|
Please excuse my crappy pictures. The lighting is awful and I spend money on tools instead of cameras
Here are a pair of end tables I made for our bedroom. My wife insisted again, they be without drawers. I get the feeling maybe one of her many siblings locked her in a drawer at a young age :) I actually don’t like the look of oak at all, but these didn’t come out too bad. I played around with stain colors to soften it up. First, I applied Minwax weathered oak. I let that dry for a few hours. That really calmed down the grain. Then I applied the Minwax Early American my wife insisted I use. It actually doesn’t look a whole lot different than natural red oak. Finish is general finishes wipe-on poly knocked down with some steel wool. my wife then asked if I was going to apply the poly I told her I had. She wanted the glossy plastic look, so another few coats went on. I’m glad she did not want me to fill the pores, I was dreading that.
To date, these are probably my finest work, which isn’t saying much.
1 – Oak is an absolute pleasure to work with. Much easier on my tools than hard maple, yet holds a much cleaner edge than soft maple. Just about every piece I cut looked crisp and sharp right off the saw. I wish I liked the way it looked because I would use it a lot more. I anticipated planing to be tricky, but I did some reading. The grain on the 9 footers I had changed direction. I rough cut to length before I planed so I could avoid tear out. It worked, I got no tare out at all, and that was my first time ever using a planer.
2 – This is made entirely of 4/4 oak. The legs are laminated. If you look at the last picture I tried to bookmatch them. It came out pretty well.
3 – Cutting tapers is A LOT easier than I thought. The legs are double tapered (outsides). I made a tapering jig for my tablesaw. After a few trial and error pieces learning where to set the fence to begin the taper where I wanted it, it was a piece of cake.
4. I really hate high sheen poly. It looks glossy and fake.
5 – Prefinishing is the way to go!. I prefinished every piece before assembly. I was careful to tape off the tongues on the aprons and the grooves on the legs. No drips, no runs, and despite the crappy flash pictures, the color is very even.
6 – Making 2 of something is HARD! I’m very glad I didn’t make them one at a time. I cut all 8 legs, all 8 aprons and both tops at the same time.
7 – Next time I will go somewhere and get 8/4 for the legs. The laminating process took forever. I would have never been able to do it without a planer. I am also not sure how long they will hold up.
Again, this is probably my best project to date, which isn’t saying much because what took me a week would take a lot of you 3 or 4 hours, but it’s a confidence booster for me. Also of note, I am getting very good at planning cuts. I had almost no waste. I was anticipating a lot of waste, so I have a full, untouched 9” wide by 9 foot long piece left over. I really need to get better at matching grain. I do a terrible job with it.
Also, oak is SHARP! I cut the crap out of my finger while I was pushing a piece up against the saws fence to rip it. It’s not very visible but there is an 1/8th inch round-over on the top and bottom edges of the table tops.