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Archive for the ‘Walnut Coffee Table’ Category

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….

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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.

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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.

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The Glue Up

After looking at the pictures you know that these are two large slabs. They measure about 40 inches across and about 6 feet long. The trick was getting a glue ready edge and that took some extra hands to drag the boards across the jointer.After a few passes on the jointer and some adjustments with a hand plane I was left with two flat and square edges. No biscuits or the like required here just good old fashion glue. I did make the move to the Titebond III because I like the slower set up time and the consistency of it verses Titebond II or I. The glue has a little dark tint to it but for Walnut its great. Final note on Titebond III is that it is waterproof and the earlier models are not. Many clamps required on this glue up and after a dry fit glue up I recruited Jill and we got it done!

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This is my current project. After our current coffee table was subject to the “Thistle Kids” Jill and I decided it was time for a new table.  After some thought I really wanted to do something new and interesting. I felt like the last few projects I built were more straight line projects (don’t know why I built three rocking chairs) and I was really looking for something different. The live edge was something that I have always found neat so decided to give it a try. The trick was finding a slab that really looked nice. After some searching a came across a book matched set of 10/4 walnut cut about the size that I needed. I knew the minute I saw this set it was right for the table. Check it out…

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