Forge table

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Blog series by Dave Polaschek updated 01-12-2021 07:12 PM 10 parts 4722 reads 124 comments total

Part 1: Oak top

10-04-2020 07:21 PM by Dave Polaschek | 15 comments »

I bought a little forge for the shop, and it arrived last week. Hoping to use it for the knife swap that’s just begun. One of the things I’m short on in my shop is flat surfaces, so I decided to build a little table for the forge and associated tools to sit on (the anvil will hopefully get a stump). I dug through the pile of wood, and found a chunk of 7/4 oak, already planed smooth (so 1½ inches thick), that’s 6½ inches wide and 4 feet long. I decided a table top 16×18 inches or so...

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Part 2: Roughing out the legs

10-05-2020 06:44 PM by Dave Polaschek | 11 comments »

Today was (the first) leg day. I started with a 5 foot long piece of 8/4 ash that was about 7 inches wide. First up was getting a square edge or two to work from, so I started by planing the straighter of the two narrow edges down using my #7 jointer. It doesn’t get a lot of use, but it’s sure handy for making things flat. Using that edge as a reference, I cut the end of the board square (it wasn’t). And then I measured 40 inches from that end, and struck another line across....

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Part 3: Cleaning up the top

10-06-2020 05:04 PM by Dave Polaschek | 14 comments »

This morning I decided it was time to get the top of the table a little closer to done. I started by sawing off the excess on the ends. Next up was scrubbing across the grain to even out the slight undulations where I had clamped the board together. Forgot to take a photo. Oops! Once that was done, I started drilling the holes for the legs. I want them to go through the center of the battens, about two inches from the edge of the table. They’re going to be straight vertical, with so...

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Part 4: Roughing the legs

01-03-2021 09:28 PM by Dave Polaschek | 9 comments »

Finally got back to working on the table again today (after almost three months off). All my clamps are busy holding bookcases that got glued up this morning, and it was time to move this forward a bit. I had made some roughly rectangular pieces of ash for the legs last time. Today I felt good enough about my lathe skills to make them round. At 32” long, they’re about the longest piece I can work in my lathe. I put on the Nova chuck with the 2” jaws. That can reliably hold pieces this s...

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Part 5: Tenons on the legs

01-05-2021 03:23 AM by Dave Polaschek | 11 comments »

Short day today. Many other errands around the house. I did find time to put tenons on the legs that match the holes I drilled in the table-top months ago. The first two went well And then on the third one, I had a little oopsie. I guess the new plan is that the legs will all be two inches shorter than I had initially planned (I’ll saw the extra off the bottoms, which means no carved feet, either). Ah well. It was a good day otherwise.

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Part 6: Turning the legs

01-07-2021 11:31 PM by Dave Polaschek | 11 comments »

Got some time at the lathe today and here’s what happened: Took me almost an hour per leg, but the last one went quicker than the first couple, so there was progress. Most of the work was done with the skew, but a little with a thumbnail gouge and some with a domed scraper. Then it was time to bore holes for the stretchers. I marked a center in the worst side of each leg, and drilled with a brace and a half-inch auger bit until I heard the little tschick of the lead screw popping ou...

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Part 7: Undercarriage and attaching the legs

01-09-2021 05:19 PM by Dave Polaschek | 14 comments »

I did some work to build the undercarriage. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted the stretchers to cross over or meet in a hub, but when I test fit things, it became clear I couldn’t have them cross without bending them. So I turned a hub (from a scrap of salt cedar) for the four stretchers to meet in and bored a couple holes through it. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that the holes wouldn’t meet at right angles, but since the table-top is a rectangle, they don’t. Oh well. As Bandit sa...

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Part 8: Undercarriage

01-10-2021 09:03 PM by Dave Polaschek | 24 comments »

I started the day making four new stretchers for the undercarriage. Where these would’ve taken me all day if I had done them last week, I’ve gotten more confident at the lathe and take bigger cuts and I finished roughing all four in an hour. For each of the stretchers, I used the hollow auger to make one end a half inch. This end will go into the leg. Then I trimmed the other end to the right length and used the tapered tenon cutter to make it taper. I used the matching reamer t...

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Part 9: Starting to finish

01-11-2021 06:01 PM by Dave Polaschek | 8 comments »

Today was a fairly light day on the table. Sawed off the protruding wedges and tenons, sanded them smooth, filled a few holes with sawdust and CA, and then hit the table with a coat of BLO. Before: After: Tomorrow I’ll see if I can bend the diamond plate so it’ll fit over the top and figure out how to address the corners of it. Mostly a metal-working day tomorrow, rather than woodworking.

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Part 10: Wrapping it up

01-12-2021 07:12 PM by Dave Polaschek | 7 comments »

Today got the forge table across the finish line. I had a piece of aluminum diamond plate cut to roughly the right size, and today was the day it got attached to the table-top. First up was figuring out how to bend it. I settled on clamping the bent edge in my twin-screw vise, then using a little 2-pound maul to hammer the main part of the plate flat onto my bench. It went pretty smoothly, except on the first corner, I couldn’t figure out which way to cut off the metal for the corner, so I...

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