The Table #1: We've Come So Far...

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Blog entry by SawMueller posted 07-15-2017 10:12 PM 837 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Where to start on this sucker? I suppose the beginning is as good of a spot as any…

Around six months ago, I said, “Wife, I shall craft you a table fit for a Queen.” Well actually, it was probably closer to, “Yeah, yeah, I said I’d make a table when I get a chance.”

I don’t have my 3D modeling program at work, so I relied on my crafty Excel skills to sketch up a rough design for the table. Now as much as I like to fancy myself a woodworker, I am really still just scratching the surface of experience, so this table is actually my first “sizable” project. Embracing my lack of skill, my design was pretty standard, simple, dare I say, “easy”.

So with my sketches and cut list in hand, I start laying things out in my basement “workshop” (10’x10’ area on the unfinished side where I cram all my materials and tools). Fast forward to lunch the next day and I say, “Self, did you think about looking at Pintrest for ideas on the table? Your design isn’t exactly groundbreaking.” Curse that inner, “oh yeah, you can definitely do that” voice. After drifting through Pintrest on and off over the next month or so, I find elements I like from a few posts and decide to smash them together.

What’s the worst that could happen? I mean I’m a real live woodworker, right?

So began design 2.0. Gone were the simple four legs and single apron. “Now we’re getting somewhere! This is going to be beautiful”, says that little voice. “I guess it doesn’t seem that difficult.” I say to myself.

I have the brilliant idea to save a couple sheets of paper, and just take some pictures of the computer screen on my phone to work off. “Look at me saving the environment”, I say to myself as I look through Craigslist hoping to find postings of trees knocked down by a recent storm. (Catch that irony?)

Fast forward another week or two and I finally have a few hours free and think, “Oh yeah, I need to make that table!” I pull some lumber and start milling. I make the main leg posts and half-lap a cross member piece. “Oh yeah, I’m really doing some work now! This thing is going to be great!”

I take a look at the dried glue result the following day and think, “Hmm, that post looks pretty wide. Did I even look at the pictures of the design yesterday?” No. No I didn’t. The design called for the posts to be 3” wide; mine are a solid 5”. “Not a big deal at all! You can just adjust the angles on the other leg parts when you’re back in Excel”, says that damned little voice.

Now I’m scratching my head trying to decide if I want to start over and sacrifice that beautiful lumber I used, or if I really want to proceed with these “fat”...err…”bulky” legs. “That lumber is too gorgeous to scrap. You have to forge ahead.” That damn voice…

So the design is tweaked again and over the next couple months, I work on some pieces of the assembly. An hour here, 42-1/2 minutes here, etc.

There are too many things to even start a list of what I’d do differently, but The Table, is nearing the end of the “Yeah, I said it’s almost done” stage.

Like I said, I’ll never make another table the same way I did this one, and the design was decidedly ambitious for my current skill set. That wood is pretty damn beautiful though.

Ropey Cherry live edged top (sanded to 220, but left with some rustic touches), Curly Cherry shelf, and Birdseye Maple everything else. (Well the little keys that hold the table top to the base are scraps from the curly cherry shelf.)

We’re not fully finished yet, but that first coat of Danish Oil always makes me smile.

-- Dylan in St. Louis -

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