|Project by KoalaTools||posted 07-04-2013 09:37 PM||1501 views||0 times favorited||5 comments|
This table was my first woodworking project. I built it six years ago when I got married because I wanted to consecrate beginning of a family with something that I made with my hands. I first designed the table in Sketchup, where I was able to determine exactly the dimensions of wood needed. Initially I had 2 criteria: that it be pub height (36”) and that it would be able to assemble and disassemble easily (we lived in an apartment and I would need to take it apart in order to transport it).
So I took my plans to the lumber store and picked out some beautiful 1 3/4” Jatoba and Black Walnut boards. I had to special order the 4” x 4” Black Walnut legs from a great place called Wilson Custom Tree. I then had the boards and legs planed at the mill in that same lumber store. I used the walnut as a strip running the length of the table. Because I had no power tools at the time other than a drill, I had to have all of the major cuts made at the mill (I did hand-saw all of the braces). I used a drill press jig for biscuit-joining the perpendicular pieces at each end of the table surface.
I also learned how to chisel and went about doing my first mortise and tenon joints. I used a little jig to cut perfectly-sized shoulders for the tenon and another jig to get a flat backing for the chisel to get a mortise with straight inner walls. More chiseling was required to clear a 45º angle cut out of each leg, where the braces would be inserted and held by a single double-sided bolt. I also chiseled a roughly 1/16” circular engraving where the large washer would be held in place. Because only 4 bolts would be the only hardware on this table, I wanted to make every little bit count. Also, the fact that I was going for a dry fit meant that I couldn’t rely on glue to prevent any wobbling.
After sanding and finishing with a clear coat of varnish, I was honestly overjoyed at the result. This baby weighs a good 225 lbs at least and has absolutely no wobble. The table design was really put to the test when we moved out of the apartment and into a house 3 years later. The legs came off easily and was re-assembled just as easily, so again I was very happy and proud of my first table.
-- Carlos at http://koalatools.com