Time lapse Woodworking #1: Attaching a coffee table storage shelf with dowels

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Blog entry by Canadian Woodworks posted 12-14-2010 03:55 AM 3923 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Time lapse Woodworking series Part 2: Late night wipe on rub off oil finish »

In this time lapse, i’m building a trestle coffee table from Walnut. At this point i’m attaching the underside storage to the top of the table. The underside of the top and entire storage shelf has been sanded up to 500 grit and buffed with a wool pad to burnish and clean out the pores in the wood. What a shine one can achieve from just bare wood, its amazing, silky smooth!

First I measure and drill the holes for the 2’’ x 3/8’’ dowels that will attach the top to the underside. Next I place what is called a dowel centre in a few holes, align the top and place some downward pressure. What this does is mark the exact centre where the adjoining hole should be drilled to create a tight and most importantly aligned dowel in the adjoining piece. This process is then repeated for the remaining dowels, but when I mark the next holes I align it with the dowels that have already been drilled.

Next I get ready to glue and clamp the underside to the top, but first a dry fit to ensure everything goes smoothly when it comes to crunch time. Although you have 10 minutes to work until the glue starts setting up, you do want to get things together quickly and easily to avoid headaches and some extra eye brow sweat. Also i’m on camera so things have to work (-:

I first apply glue to the end grain of the storage compartment, because end grain is like a bunch of straws the glue will be sucked into the wood after a few minutes. I will scrape away any remaining glue and apply a new layer to the now primed end grain. Next the dowels get glued into the top, glue is applied to the remaining holes.

The 2 pieces finally get assembled together for one last time, I place the shims I figured out were needed to apply the pressure where I wanted it. The clamping cauls are then put on along with clamps on each end to apply the pressure. I will remove the clamps and cauls the next day and have a fully and almost completely sanded custom coffee table top with storage.

Hope you enjoyed the time lapse, maybe next tim i’ll add some tunes. Also future time lapse upgrades include a motorized camera track….. to be continued!

This video shows a custom coffee table very similar to our last coffee table which can be seen in my projects on lumberjocks , or more detailed pictures can be seen on my custom wooden rocking chairs and tables web site

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

4 comments so far

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 3293 days

#1 posted 12-14-2010 04:08 AM

Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3709 days

#2 posted 12-14-2010 04:55 AM

That was great. Thanks for the slowed-down version (your writing). That was fun.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 3337 days

#3 posted 12-14-2010 02:45 PM

Very cool. Thanks for the play by play.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4583 days

#4 posted 12-17-2010 03:20 AM

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