- Session 5 will cover table top considerations and construction techniques. But first, we began this session with our first view and review of an assembled table frame with legs joined to the apron pieces. The legs are shaped and ready for light sanding. The back legs are attached with mortise and tenon joinery to both front and back apron parts. As described in Session 3, twin floating tenons (shop-made) were used for each joint. A plunge router was used to cut the mortises. The front legs are attached to the curved front apron using bridal joints.
- After a visual inspection of how the full scale template of the table top fits on the table frame Owain decided to reduce the overhang of the top's elliptical edge by 1/2" from the design dimensions. This modification provides improved aesthetic appeal to better show the curved table apron and leg joinery.
- Although the top could be made of a solid piece of wood or wood panel, Owain will demonstrate how he does a veneered top for this table. He explains that the veneered top will have cleaner edges of face-grain, with no visible end-grain. First, he discusses options for the substrate. A veneer core, 7-ply (5-ply Poplar) is one option. Another option is an MDF-skinned veneer core panel, which offers the best of both worlds, a flat surface with wood core that will hold screws. For this project Owain will use 13-ply baltic birch. The top will be an 8-piece sunburst veneer. Placement of the eight pieces of the sunburst are carefully marked out on the baltic birch template.
- The joints for the four separate solid walnut pieces that make up the ellipse edges are strategically placed to line up with the joints of the sunburst veneer. The thickness of the edge pieces are 1/16" proud of the baltic birch substrate. This will be made flush at a later point in the process.The four edge pieces are also oversized for fitting, accommodating the curve of the template, and cutouts for clamping points. Before glue-up of the four pieces to the substrate and to each adjacent walnut piece, two biscuit slots need to be cut for each piece. Four folds of paper are used to raise each walnut piece before cutting the slots. The matching slots for each piece are cut into the substrate without the four folds of paper. Next the miter cuts to each edge piece are trimmed to fit using a hand plane and shooting board. Now the layout is done to locate the best clamping positions onto the excess waste wood of each piece. The clamp positions for each piece are now cut from the excess material at the bandsaw. The edge pieces are now ready for glue up. Biscuits are glued into the slots of each edge piece first, followed by glue up and clamping of each edge to the substrate and to each mitered joint.
- The curved edge pieces are now trimmed on the bandsaw to ~1/16" of the layout line. The table top template is now positioned and attached to top and will be used to guide the bearing of a flush cut router bit along the curved edge, trimming the final ~1/16" flush to the template. Next, Owain uses double-faced tape to attach a thin riser to the approximate back third of the plunge router base plate, then adjusts the depth of the plunge router cut to remove the excess thickness of the edge pieces. The walnut pieces are carefully shaved flush to the substrate faces using a larger diameter, ~3/4" straight bit in the router.
- A backer veneer of walnut is now glued to each face of the substrate using Unibond 1 UA glue. Eucalyptus veneer will be used for the sunburst and will provide a nice contrast to the walnut. Owain explains the advantage of book-matching vs. not for the sunburst veneer pieces and notes that the desired chatoyance will be maximized between the sunburst pieces by using the book-matched method.
Intermediate Projects Group