Things have slowed on the coffee table production so nothing new to report there. The sun is out and soccer practice has started so it is difficult to find time to get in the shop. So here is a chair I made for my nephew Johnny when he was born. The chair is made from ash which I find to be a great wood to work with for chairs. Because the grain patterns are so pronounced in ash, if you pay close attention to the details you can make some really nice looking pieces. This however can take twice the amount of stock to make the same project. Notice the gain patterns in the seat and top back stretcher.  I find chairs to be very challenging but also rewarding. Nothing fancy on the finish just shellac which is good for pieces with kids involved. BE SURE TO CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR CLOSE UP.

Made some progress on the table tonight and roughed in all the mortise and tenon joints for the base. The side rails had to be mortised at an angle (7 degrees) so that took a little bit of extra work. I like the way this project is coming together but this is always the enjoyable stage to me. Finishing all the little details requires much patience which I was not born with an unlimited supply. This is a particular project that I wish that I had more room in the shop. Had to make the shoulder cuts on the tenons with a router (couldn’t fit on table saw) and I am not happy with the cut or the fit so that will require some additional work. I always cut the mortise first then cut the tenon larger by about 3/16 of an inch and trim with a # 92 Stanley shoulder plane. This gives me the ability to trim slowly and get a good tight fit. Man the slab really looks nice, I love the book matched look and I cut most of the sap wood out of the middle but there is still some minor coloration. Don’t forget to click on photos for close up. Still got about 1/3 of the slab for a matching end table….

Standing Desk

Just some pictures of my Oct-Dec 2009 project. This desk is now in my office and works great. All Cherry finished with 1/3 tung 1/3 mineral spirits 1/3 poly. All drawers have hand cut dovetails.

Legs & Base

I started working on the mortise and tenon joints for the legs.  Setting up to cut mortises that are angled are a bit more tricky than the standard straight set up. So I built a small platform at 7 degrees so that I could reverse the leg and run the hollow chisel mortiser at the correct angle. Worked ok but had to disconnect the stop mechanism on the machine because there was not much in the way distance between the base and the chisel.  

The Shop Pics

I have had a few folks ask about my shop and here you can find some pics. It’s a small basement shop but I like it.  But because of the location it certainly limits the project size (when I was about 15 or 16 I built a doghouse in the basement that was too big to get out of the house, but who hasn’t done that!). Jointer, Table Saw, and Planer are the backbone.

Shaping the legs and arriving at a final design took some time. I cut more than one template out of masonite and finally settled on a very soft curve leaving about 2 inches at the top and 2 inches at the bottom of the leg to allow for some bulk at the base. Legs were cut on bandsaw and sanded with an isolating spindle sander. Take a look, they have two straight sides and two curved sides with the idea that the curves will be on both outside corners of the leg leaving the inside corners flat for mortises. I like the 7 degree angle cut on top and bottom it will give the base another dimension when looking at the table.

What to do with the legs? As I had already indicated I wanted this table to be free from as many straight lines and hard corners as possible and after some thought and some poking around on the internet I decided on a design that included some curves and a 7 degree angle. After milling up (4 square of course) some 8/4 stock I glued up the legs to create the blanks to work from. I needed 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 blanks because I was concerned about the proportion of the legs to the slab and came to the conclusion that the legs would need to be substantial enough not to get lost under the slab. The angle also helps give the appearance of a larger leg.