Grapes & Vines, Carving & Marquetry #3: Dovetail, Mortise & Tenon, Carving the Apron

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Blog entry by Dennis Zongker posted 06-12-2021 04:40 PM 1516 reads 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Table Legs Turned on the Lathe Part 3 of Grapes & Vines, Carving & Marquetry series Part 4: Glue, Bandsaw, Rasp, & Carve the Cabriole Legs »

This table needs to go up and elevator to the 78th floor, so it needs to break down

into two sections. The front apron will have a loose sliding dovetail spline joint.

The center carving on the apron is carved while the joint is together, then will be taken apart

so that it can be moved to its home when completed. This has been a really fun project so far.

Next I’ll be carving the legs with grapes and leaves & Scrolls. Thank you for looking.

Gluing up the front Apron, which is 108” inches long.

Close up of the glue up.

Routing in the dovetail loose joints

Cutting the dovetail spline

Showing the two joints that go together.

The loose joint with the spline inserted.

Routing in the mortis into the outside corners.

Cutting in the Tenons on the table saw.

Dry fitting the joints of the table.

Showing the center loose mortis & Tenons

Bandsawing out the serpentine shape of the apron.

Cutting the opposing serpentine of the apron.

Cutting around the carvings on the bottom of the apron.

Rabbiting, removing some of the waste wood above the carvings.

Carving out the waste wood around the center carving.

Stab cutting around the center carving.

Removing the waste wood around the carving.

Carving the waste wood at the clean section of the aprons.

Starting to detail carve.

Detail carving.

Drawing in the details.

Carving some details.

Completed carving before sanding, with the joint loose.

Completed carving with the loose joint together.

-- Dennis Zongker

16 comments so far

View Dutchy's profile


4215 posts in 3448 days

#1 posted 06-12-2021 04:45 PM

Thanks for sharing Dennis. Looking good.


View darthford's profile


778 posts in 3204 days

#2 posted 06-12-2021 04:46 PM

Um, wow!

View shipwright's profile


8760 posts in 4078 days

#3 posted 06-12-2021 04:54 PM

Nice Dennis,
Have fun!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3665 posts in 4992 days

#4 posted 06-12-2021 05:05 PM


Great solution for making it moveable. (Maybe you could have just removed a window and pulled it up on a l-o-n-g rope!)

-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View dclark's profile


19 posts in 1951 days

#5 posted 06-12-2021 05:24 PM

and he’s off again on another fantastic project!

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4469 days

#6 posted 06-12-2021 05:52 PM

Wow I was just talking about you Dennis with boys at work. Telling them about your work and how thoughtful you were on sending me another copy of your book! I cherish both of them. Love the project your doing, always fun to see you in action sir! Hope all is well with you and your family! We relocated out of Southern California 3 yrs ago to Nashville Tennessee. Live on 5 acres and built 1800 sq ft dream shop. Cheers Buddy!!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3665 posts in 4992 days

#7 posted 06-12-2021 07:07 PM


I went out to the shop to work and came back in to see that part of my message was missing. I put a smiley face emoji after the parenthesis and it deleted everything from that point forward.

I had said that your table will really be sensational, and that we look forward to following your progress.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9124 posts in 1992 days

#8 posted 06-12-2021 07:27 PM

another MASTER at work you guys make me feel like I’m in kindergarten LOL :<)))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

279 posts in 4205 days

#9 posted 06-12-2021 09:08 PM

Looks great Dennis, looking forward to more posts.

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View LeeRoyMan's profile


2236 posts in 1007 days

#10 posted 06-12-2021 09:42 PM

Great work Dennis. I really like seeing this kind of work, and you’re one of the best at it.

I have a couple questions if you don’t mind.
Your joint on the two pieces is very clean, how did you cut /and or dress it, (just a good cut off saw?)

Next, could you school me on your reasoning for the grain direction on your spline?

Thanks, looking forward to your next installment…

View pottz's profile


21235 posts in 2264 days

#11 posted 06-12-2021 11:37 PM

WOW,that is some damn nice joinery.thats craftsmanship at the highest level.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5680 days

#12 posted 06-13-2021 12:23 PM

Who says that real workmen can’t invent ways to get the job done.

I assume you won’t be gluing in the sliding dovetails. Or the table will be sold with the living quarters.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 5002 days

#13 posted 06-13-2021 11:38 PM

Incredible work as always. Your tutorial is such enlightenment to woodworking techniques and design. You make it look so easy!

Someday I will have you create a masterpiece for me.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4872 days

#14 posted 06-14-2021 12:03 PM

Thank you everyone for the very kind complements!!!

LeeRoyMan, I cut the but joint with a miter saw then had to hand plan it as flat as I could get it, to were each end fit nice and tight together. The wood grain on the Dovetail Spline is going with the grain of the 8/4 Walnut.

-- Dennis Zongker

View LeeRoyMan's profile


2236 posts in 1007 days

#15 posted 06-14-2021 01:37 PM

Thanks for taking your time to answer. I appreciate that.

So many areas that people just don’t see the work that goes into it.
I thought the grain on the spline was going the opposite direction, my bad.

Looking forward to the rest of the process.
(not that I could ever do it, but it’s fun to see how the experts do things)

Thanks for posting and sharing your experience.

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