LumberJocks

New here...want to do some end tables

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 12-13-2012 08:03 AM 815 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

112 posts in 741 days


12-13-2012 08:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi all. I’m new to Lumberjocks and fairly new to wood working as well. Thus far, I have designed and built a lo of plywood stuff, with my main masterpiece being a collapsible large diameter telescope. Now I’m wanting to expand in to some actual furniture for the house, and using some hardwood.

I’m thinking my first project will be some end tables, and eventually a matching coffee table. The wife and I seem to like shaker style, and we’ll probably do some adaptation of that. There is a wood workers store here that has a lot of hardwood choices, mostly 4/4 but some up to 8/4, all finished on 3 sides. Its quite pricey but they are the only thing in the area. I have shared custody of a table saw, benchtop band saw and router table, a number of hand tools. I plan to add a planer and jointer very soon.

I guess what I’m asking for from the group is some advice on things to think about when drawing/planning the project, and any things I should consider when for working with solid hardwood for the first time. Are there any special tools or other things I may need that I don’t have listed above, or that aren’t typical household power tools?

Thanks,
Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.


13 replies so far

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1582 days


#1 posted 12-13-2012 01:00 PM

With what you have and plan on adding you should have more then enough, I assume you have a drill of some sort as well. Drill presses are nice but a basic drill will accomplish most of your needs with care taken to line everything up.

Only thing to think about when drawing the plans are that you allow for wood movement. with ply you could screw down a large tabletop all the way around and everything would be fine, with hardwoods you’ll get splitting or warping in a 12”x12” top that doesn’t allow for movement. The only thing besides that is have fun and be creative. Also check craigslist for wood, you’d be surprised how many small mills operate selling air and kiln dried lumber for those willing to do the leg work.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1905 days


#2 posted 12-13-2012 01:51 PM

Dude…I wanna see the telescope!!!

Welcome to LJs!!!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1905 days


#3 posted 12-13-2012 02:03 PM

Regarding the project, it really depends on your approach to joinery. In a shaker build, your joinery can certainly be innovative, but likely wont be ostentatious. You can even make it mostly concealed. This means you can use fasteners as opposed to doing traditional mortise and tenon, dovetails, or whatever. This, of course, affects your design and your cuts…as well as your tooling.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2617 posts in 1523 days


#4 posted 12-13-2012 02:14 PM

Plywood can work well as a starter wood. The big box stores have iron on edge banding in birch and is stain-able if you want. Also, go to your local lumber yard and see if they have off-cuts that you can have/buy for a reduced price. Everybody starts somewhere, paying big dollars for wood is a hard way to learn.

Do you have clamps – you will need a bunch in all sizes. One thing I did early on, I bought a bunch of Rockler’s 3/4” pipe clamps – went to Home Depot and bought 3/4” iron pipe of various lengths. You only need threads on one end so I had them all cut in half. I have seven or eight clamps and about 2 dozen pieces of pipe at different lengths – always available.

Just a thought

Welcome to LJs

-- David in Damascus, MD

View huff's profile

huff

2810 posts in 2031 days


#5 posted 12-13-2012 02:44 PM

Brian,

Welcome to LJ’s.

As mentioned above, wood movement will definitely be one factor to take into consideration when designing and building with solid wood. Since you like the shaker style, then that would be a good place to start your design. You can always find a set of plans and work from those, or design your own.

Besides wood movement; the type of joinery you plan on using will be another factor to consider in your design. If you work from someone else’s plans, then they have already decided for you how you will attach the legs, how you will attach the top, etc. If you start from scratch, them you will need to decide how your table will fit together. What type joinery do you want to use and do you have the tools or capabilities to do a certain type.

One of the first books I started with and still refer to today is: Woodworking Joints, an illustrated handbook, by Percy Blandford. I’m not saying it’s the greatest handbook for joinery, but it sure was a great help when I was first learning how to build furniture. A number of my early projects where designed more around joinery, then say a certain style of furniture. I just wanted to learn how to do the different joints.

Wood choice will be another thing to take into consideration as well as the type finish you would like to use.

Since you’re building an end table, then part of your design process will be; how much wear-n-tear will this piece of furniture have to endure. As you can see, the type of wood, the type of finish and the joinery used should all be part of the design.

Over the years I’ve develop my own preference’s of wood or finishes and even joinery that I like to use in each project but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice, so those choices I would leave up to you.

Good luck and hope you will keep us posted on your progress.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

112 posts in 741 days


#6 posted 12-13-2012 06:04 PM

Wow, lots of responses and its only lunch time! You guys are great. I’ll try and answer some of the questions back to me:

- Yes, I have a hand drill and a drill press.
- Clamps – I have a few. These are one of those things that you can just never have too many/enough of. Probably will collect a few more.

So on the joinery issue, I’ve got some limited experience. I’m getting pretty comfortable with biscuit joints, we well as dowel joints. With my new router table, I plan to start practicing a few more joints like slots, rabbets, dados, dovetails, etc.

In shaker style furniture, there are typically cross memebers joined to the legs at the top. This forms the box that the table top sits on. From my research and the pieces of furniture I have seen, mortise and tennon construction is pretty popular for those joints. But since that is a fully glued joint, how does the wood expand? Surely those cross members must feel the stress, but are problems avoided simply because they are only 4” or so wide, and therefore don’t expand more than 1/32 or so?

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

112 posts in 741 days


#7 posted 12-13-2012 06:05 PM

Oh, and I will try and figure out how to set up a ‘project’ here and post some pics of the scope. Hopefully this weekend.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1905 days


#8 posted 12-13-2012 06:18 PM

Brian:

You would be correct regarding that construction…but it doesn’t have to be M&T…it’s just traditional.

But regardless of the technique, you can’t keep wood from moving (expansion and contraction). Thankfully, it only really likes to move across the grain, not over the length of the grain. This means that if the sides of a box (like the panels for your table) are constructed and joined with the grain parallel to the ground (and table top), then you don’t have to worry about expansion screwing up your joints. Any movement will be up and down…and only a little bit of it because the boards simply aren’t that wide in the cross grain direction. And because all four sides of the box have the same up and down movement, they move together, not independently.

But if you glue the top to that table, you will have issues in that regard because the glue would restrict the movement in the cross grain directions meaning that the table will likely bow and/or twist. So for the top, you have to affix with a few fasteners or “float” it in grooves without glue. This is the reason why your kitchen cabinet doors with its raised panels aren’t glued into the door frames…they float freely.

BTW, you can avoid wood movement concerns by using man-made materials like MDF, etc., but that’s often very boring…unless you get creative with veneers.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View eddie's profile

eddie

7532 posts in 1360 days


#9 posted 12-13-2012 08:15 PM

welcome to LJs Brain ,lot of wood masters here to help ya, like to see your telescope too,post some pics ,ive had afew telescopes thoght about make one just to mess with ,last one was a 12 ’’ meade but sold it .

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1582 days


#10 posted 12-13-2012 10:08 PM

Over the narrow width of a mortise and tenon glue joint there isn’t enough expansion to worry about. Dowels are a fine substitute for mortise and tenon.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View MT_Stringer's profile (online now)

MT_Stringer

2106 posts in 1977 days


#11 posted 12-13-2012 11:13 PM

Check out projects others have posted. That may give you some ideas how to design and build your project(s).

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

112 posts in 741 days


#12 posted 12-14-2012 03:39 AM

For those interested, here is the link to my telescope build (mentioned above) which I put up in the ‘projects’ section.

-Brian

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/75595

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View woodworker59's profile

woodworker59

560 posts in 948 days


#13 posted 12-14-2012 04:28 AM

Welcome to LJ’s bbasiaga/Brian… Love shaker myself..the biggest worry with Mortise and tenon is getting the joint square and tight…. not so tight you need to beat it in with a sledge hammer, but tight just the same..
parallel sides and square corners work best.. just take your time, be safe, and have fun..also remember sharp tools work best, especially in hardwoods..less likely to hurt yourself with a sharp tool.. although if you asked, most everyone here has gotten hurt at one time or another… it comes with the wood…
don’t worry about perfection, it unattainable…just do what you like.. and like what you do… papa

-- Papa@papaswoodworking.com

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase