Drop Leaf Table #5: A Few Things before Glue

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Blog entry by Tom posted 12-08-2019 10:04 PM 259 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Back to the Table Part 5 of Drop Leaf Table series Part 6: A Pembroke and The Season? »

With the table joints done, I have a few things to take care of before glue up. I need to taper the legs, cut out for the swing arm and put in the notches for the screws for the top. I did the leg tapers first. They taper down to 1” square. Layout is an important part for me. I really need to stop each time and make sure I am tapering the inside of the legs. Pretty straight forward, I saw and plane the tapers. It is a lot of exercise! When I get near the end of the sawing, I add a backer to avoid splitting off the waste. I work down the cut with a jack plane. I finish it with a ridiculously long 28” jointer plane. It’s the first time I have used it on a project, but it really worked well for this.

I also cut out for the swing arm in the long rails. The ends are angled to allow the swing arm to turn freely. I made a series of saw cuts down to 3/4” deep every 1” or so. I knocked out the bulk of the waste with a chisel. Then I clamped a straight edged board in the vise as a reference surface and worked down the recess with the chisel and plane.

Then I fitted a 3/4” x 1-1/2” board and screwed it in place so that the swing arms can be perpendicular without interference.

Finally, I cut the notches for the screws to hold the top in the traditional way. No magic here, just lay it out and work it down with chisels. The hole for the screw will be angled to match the notch and a little oversized to allow for expansion of the top.

Now I can glue it up and move on to the table top.

-- Tom

1 comment so far

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3937 days

#1 posted 12-15-2019 01:19 PM

Very nice work. I wish I had stuck to handwork instead of buying a lot of machine tools when I first started woodworking. That was before I found out that the work process was more fun than having a finished project. I have learned handwork since, but regret all the years of pleasure wasted. Of course now that I am old I am glad to have those machines, but handwork is so much more fun with less sawdust and noise.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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