Thoughts on my hall table? Help with various techniques?

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Forum topic by lateralus819 posted 06-09-2013 06:47 PM 605 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2236 posts in 1306 days

06-09-2013 06:47 PM

So I’m getting ready to build a hall table for my mother in law. I’ve got the material purchased and a rough drawing done up in sketchup.

It will be 48” long roughly 14” wide and 36” high.

I’d like to do an inlay banding around the perimeter, I figure id use a router, but whats the easier/accurate way to get the corners squared from the router?

The top edge (the maple banding) will be an inlay from inlaybandings which I’ve yet to choose, just a visual aid for now.

The back piece will be CNC engraved, and I’ll either have him do the curves or make a template and do it myself. If i do choose to do it myself i was thinking of using some french curves. Is that the best way?

Also any tips to improve it or add to the wow factor would be cool. I’ve never built anything like this before so I’d like to try some new techniques.

I was pondering either getting a veritas inlay set or just picking up a handheld router for the smaller inlay work, but i don’t think i can do curves with the router? Thoughts appreciated thank you.

2 replies so far

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1614 posts in 1733 days

#1 posted 06-09-2013 07:24 PM

Squaring off the round corners of grooves cut by a router is easily done with a wide, sharp chisel. Keep most of the chisel flat against the straight portion of the groove and use the corner to pare away at the rounded portion until it’s gone.

Since you aren’t sure about how to make the template for the curves, I’d say do it yourself instead of outsourcing it for the sake of experience. I’d do that work on CNC nowadays because it’s fast and efficient but I also already know how to do it well with conventional tools.

You could use a french curve but most of them aren’t large enough to span that distance so you’d have to spend alot of time blending several curves into a single long one. It wouldn’t be much easier than drawing freehand. If that curve has a fixed radius, I’d suggest a long compass (pencil and screw stuck in the ends of a board) to draw the pattern. If it’s not, then a bent stick of wood or plastic works well too. The other option is to take the orthographic projection of the curve in Sketchup and print it out full scale then tape the papers together. Putting a grid of lines in the drawing before printing aids the assembly process.

Also, since that back piece is symmetrical, just do a half template and use that to work on both sides. It’ll ensure a perfect match between the left and right curves.

A router with a flush trim bit is good for cleaning up curves with the use of templates.

-- See my work at and

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2236 posts in 1306 days

#2 posted 06-09-2013 09:22 PM

Awesome advice! And about the back piece, i was going to do half of it then use it for the other half. Wasn’t sure how to say what i wanted to i left it out. I figured since I want the text engraved, i’d have my co-worker do the curves as well. Saves me time, Like to have this done in a month.

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