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Critique my first design, Mission style end table

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Forum topic by TheLastDeadMouse posted 08-20-2014 04:13 AM 2826 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheLastDeadMouse

38 posts in 842 days


08-20-2014 04:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: end table movement mortise

I’m in the process of setting up a home wood working shop and preparing for my first attempt at fine woodworking. I have had time to design my first project while I wait for my table saw to be delivered. I plan to make a matching pair of Mission style cherry end tables.

I’m concerned about wood movement. I plan on attaching the table top with wooden buttons. I’m not entirely sure how to attach the bottom shelf. I was planning on dadoing the rails, should I glue just the center few inches of each end like you would when putting breadboard ends on a table top?

Also, the mortises towards the tops of my leg posts leave a very thin piece on the top, only a quarter inch. Should I make the tenon narrower and leave more meat at the top of the mortise?

Thanks in advance for the help. I’ve been lurking while I’ve been setting up my shop, and am looking forward to contributing here as things get rolling.


11 replies so far

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

682 posts in 1577 days


#1 posted 08-20-2014 04:22 AM

I’m not sure about attaching the bottom shelf but you should be fine with the thin top. I just finished a A&C table that had the same issue. The first mortise I chopped blew out the top but I solved this by clamping a piece of scrap to the top and that solved my problem. Because I was working in pine I found that I also had to place a clamp across the mortise as well to keep the chisel from splitting the leg.


If you look closely you can see the blow out. It was about 1/4” deep but once I clamped the scrap on top it stopped completely.

-- James

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Mosquito

8137 posts in 1759 days


#2 posted 08-20-2014 04:34 AM

I would personally leave a little more meat above the mortise, or make it a haunched mortise. Another way of dealing with the issue above, could be to leave the legs over-sized, and cut down to final length after doing the top mortises.

Personally, I would do as you were thinking; glue toe middle and use the two end rails as basically bread board ends.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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IAHawk

12 posts in 652 days


#3 posted 11-07-2015 04:40 AM

Mouse,

Nice table, exactly what I am looking for, any chance of making these plans available?

Thank you

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BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1732 days


#4 posted 11-07-2015 04:50 AM

Ditto!

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DrTebi

256 posts in 2733 days


#5 posted 11-07-2015 05:06 AM

I have done a similar table once; for the bottom shelf we used loose tenons, the Festool domino ones. Haven’t had a problem after four years or so, still solid as a rock.

For the top we used metal clips, similar to these:
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=40146&cat=3,43715,43726&ap=1

That also worked out perfectly.

Here is a pic:

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ElChe

630 posts in 803 days


#6 posted 11-07-2015 06:59 AM

I would suggest gluing only about a third to one half of bottom shelf to allow for movement?

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1723 days


#7 posted 11-07-2015 02:19 PM

Mouse, I have a minor point about the design; I always make an odd number of spindles/slats per side. In this case, I would use either 3 or 5, but not 4. It just looks better to my eye. Here is my version.

Yes, only glue the center couple inches and leave space at the ends of the mortise for expansion.

I like to have 1/2 to 3/4” of wood above and below the mortises if possible, but it depends on the wood and the scale of the piece. You might be okay with 1/4” on an end table assuming that nobody ever decides to use it as a chair.

-- Art

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TheLastDeadMouse

38 posts in 842 days


#8 posted 11-10-2015 07:38 PM



Mouse,

Nice table, exactly what I am looking for, any chance of making these plans available?

Thank you

- IAHawk

Being that these have been my only project that wasn’t for a paying customer or wasn’t on a hard deadline, its been the back burner for a while. I’ve got all the parts cut and sanded and the side assemblies glued together, but I still need to dry fit everything and assemble. I’d like to make sure it all goes together (and make sure I actually like the way it looks) first, and then I can send plans to anyone who’d like them.

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TheLastDeadMouse

38 posts in 842 days


#9 posted 11-10-2015 07:54 PM



Mouse, I have a minor point about the design; I always make an odd number of spindles/slats per side. In this case, I would use either 3 or 5, but not 4. It just looks better to my eye. Here is my version.

Yes, only glue the center couple inches and leave space at the ends of the mortise for expansion.

I like to have 1/2 to 3/4” of wood above and below the mortises if possible, but it depends on the wood and the scale of the piece. You might be okay with 1/4” on an end table assuming that nobody ever decides to use it as a chair.

- AandCstyle

I’d have to go out and measure because its been a few months, but I left myself either 3/8” or 1/2” on the top, and still ended up breaking it off when trying to remove an admittedly too tight tenon I’d dry fitted. In hindsight I’d either leave 3/4” or it open at the top like a bridal joint or use a haunched mortise.

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AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1723 days


#10 posted 11-10-2015 11:56 PM

Mouse, you can do them thin by leaving the stile an inch or so too long. Then cut your mortises in the proper location. Finally, cut the stile to the finished length. That way, you have the extra strength when needed and get rid of the excess when it is no longer needed.

-- Art

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Greg In Maryland

550 posts in 2464 days


#11 posted 11-11-2015 01:08 AM

Hey Mouse,

Clearly you are quite accomplished with sketch up or some other drafting program. Nicely done model.

My critiques, such as they are:

My first thought is that the legs are too thick. It could be the rendering of the model, or not. You might consider making them thinner. With the thick legs, the rails just seem out of proportion as well. You could make the rails bigger if you do not make the legs thinner.

It looks to me that the shelf is a critical component in keeping the entire table together. Without the shelf, you have a relatively thin rail (2 inches) at the top between the two sides keeping everything together and aligned. After it is all said and done, you will have at most probably 1 3/4 inches of mortise keeping the table together. That’s not a lot and I think it will eventually fail.

I really think that the shelf has to be securely fastened because it is so important to the structural integrity. Alternatively, you could add a lower rail between the two sides and just let the shelf float in a captured groove. The additional rails would then become the critical component holding everything together and keeping it aligned.

You are doing great with your modeling and your thought process.

Cheers!

Greg

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