Trestle Table #39: Dowels and Buttons

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 11-12-2016 04:17 AM 887 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 38: Prepared Battens and Dowels Part 39 of Trestle Table series Part 40: Layout Prior to Sanding and Finish »

I did not get this table completed today.

I took my Annie to see Arrival this morning. Aliens came to Earth to ask humans for help. I’m not sure what they needed from us. I will need to watch it again with closed captions, or download the written script… You cannot understand what aliens are saying… These aliens look like octopuses. They also write like octopuses would by spraying ink in a pool of water.. Somehow ink spots are suppose to more intelligent than letters in our alphabet. They have magic typewriters. Their ink spots look like psychological tests. Looks like a basketball hoop, or a wedding ring with a diamond. Also I believe the actors need to speak up. I swear they were whispering to themselves instead of using the microphone so they could be heard. Oh, well. I think we survived their visit; at least for the next 3,000 years. Oh my, that is enough time for humans to forget that aliens ever came to see us. Montana. They came to see Glacier National Park. They must have needed some ice for their frig or drinks. Oh, well.

Back to my Trestle Table Build…

I had hope to make my own cherry 1/4 inch diameter dowels today. I discovered that simply using my low angle block plane on a square piece of cherry just over 1/4 inches was not an easy thing to do. I worked on one of my square pieces for while. Hand holding the 3 foot long square piece in one hand and the block plane in the other was not an easy, nor a fast task. I then decided to setup my router table. I do not own a 1/4 inch or even a 3/8 inch roundover bit, but I do have a 1/8 inch radius beading bit. After running two of my square pieces through it, I learned that was not going to work at all. Silly me. I should have known ahead of time that a beading bit was not going to give me a dowel.

I decided to use the red oak dowels I had bought at Home Depot the night before. I discovered that the red oak dowels were not undersized like the poplar dowels I already had tested. For the poplar dowels a 15/64” diameter drill bit worked great. However, for this red oak dowel I had to go with a 1/4 inch diameter drill bit. I drilled six 1/4 inch holes; two into each foot and one in each cap in each leg assembly. Then I placed glue on the dowels and hammered them into place. I will let the glue dry and I will cut the ends off tomorrow.

The buttons I made from the 3/4” by 3/4” cherry board I bought at Home Depot when I also got the red oak dowels. I bought this board for making my own dowels. I did not think about using it for this table’s buttons, but they were made just right for it.

first laid out each button in pencil on the three foot long cherry piece. After laying them out, I first pre-drilled for screws that included countersinks for the flathead screws.

Next I cut each of the rabbets on my table saw using simply my combination blade and making multiple passes to cuts the waste out for the rabbet. After this I simply cut off each button from the board.

Even though I set the height of my blade to cut a 3/8 inch depth rabbet, I discovered that I really had not gotten the depth I needed. I should have used my wheel marking gauge to set the 3/8 inch depth for the rabbets and set the depth of my blade more carefully.

So I needed to cut more waste in each of these buttons. I grabbed my wheel marking gauge, set it to 3/8 inches, then marked the depth on the three surfaces on each button.

I clamped each button individually in my workbench vise and used a 1 inch hand chisel to chop away the remaining waste. Generally, I got the depth needed with two to three cuts in order to reach the marked cut line. It worked well and I got a good result.

I then clamped my sandpaper block in my vise so it was being held horizontally. Taking each button in my fingers, I sanded all of their sides so any pencil marks were erased, sanded away and all of the surfaces are smooth for use.

I made sixteen buttons. I only need six. I have extras. My buttons like great.

-- --- Happy Howie

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