Sofa Table from tension wood #2: Sofa table from tension wood #3

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Blog entry by cathyb posted 06-10-2018 04:53 AM 4332 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Sofa Table from tension wood#1 Part 2 of Sofa Table from tension wood series Part 3: Table Legs »

Yesterday, I finished gluing my sofa table top and shelf. For the information about the process, check the continuation of step #1.

On to the legs today, which is pretty straight forward for some of you. This is my process for these four sided legs:

First my 16 pieces were cut to length and width. I will be creating four sided legs to highlight my curly koa. Since I have a Laguna table show, which cranks towards the fence for a 45 degree cut, I always make a jig to make the job safer and more precise. As you can see, with a width of 2 and 3/8” the blade cranked to 45 degrees is too dangerous without a jig.

My jig is simply a piece of plywood with a cutout the dimensions of my leg. Simply cut the cross cuts on the table saw and then carefully rip the inset on a bandsaw. The plywood should give you an extra three inches on either end and a width of an extra four or five inches, which will ride the fence of the table saw.

Then make sure the blade is exactly positioned at 45 degrees for the cuts. I always use a small shim to wedge my piece in the jig and use duct tape for additional support.

Take your time. Carefully, cut the pieces, replacing the tape every four or five passes. When finished you will have a four piece leg.

Now I have all four legs cut and ready for gluing.

After they come out of the clamps, I will add inlay to my joints. Since I used walnut for my secondary wood, I will definitely use a walnut, preferably a darker piece to tie these elements together.

Until tomorrow…..


-- cathyb, Hawaii,

10 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


21160 posts in 4791 days

#1 posted 06-10-2018 06:36 AM

Welcome back to LJ Cathyb. I have always admired your talent and projects. Is there a reason you don’t move the fence to the other side of the blade for that 45° cut?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cathyb's profile


844 posts in 4360 days

#2 posted 06-10-2018 07:00 AM

You can’t move the fence over on a Laguna saw. The rail is only on the right side. I do think it was a mistake for them to have a right tilt blade. Certainly there is plenty within the cabinet to design it the other way. Otherwise, I really like the Laguna, especially the riving knife.

I hope you have a good weekend…

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View vonhagen's profile


549 posts in 3480 days

#3 posted 06-10-2018 12:32 PM

Hi Cathy I haven’t been on here for awhile and I can’t wait to see how this project all comes together and you know koa is my favorite Wood. A few years ago I had a order for some candle stands and the problem was the drawing called out for 2 1/4 inch thick legs out of maple and radius and I only had 8/4 lumber to work with so I ended up spinning the pieces on the bandsaw at 45 degree’s making 2 half’s then gluing them together opposite to get my 2 1/4 thickness.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View cathyb's profile


844 posts in 4360 days

#4 posted 06-10-2018 04:34 PM

I love those candle stands. Your work is always exceptional.
For my sofa table, I think I have addressed the challenge of the tension would with the lamination. My next challenge is to create some curves. This will bounce around in my brain today as I glue up the legs and attack the issue of positive and negative sides of shading with my book matching for my top and shelf.

Have a great day…


-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View Boxguy's profile


2897 posts in 3383 days

#5 posted 06-10-2018 06:23 PM

Cathy, this technique should certainly show off he grain of the Koa. Looking forward to the next step.

-- Big Al in IN

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3911 days

#6 posted 06-10-2018 07:20 PM

It’s looking good Cathy. Interesting information on the Laguna fence. Perhaps you should submit an upgrade suggestion to them?
Looking forward to your next update.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View cathyb's profile


844 posts in 4360 days

#7 posted 06-10-2018 07:40 PM

Thanks guys….I have been thinking about my trim and apron for the top piece. It definitely be will be koa, something stable to give me a break on sanding, resaw, glue, sand, shaping… Since I have the natural theme going on here and the legs are square (I really am not fond of squares), I need to pull this piece together to create unity.
I have ruled out a couple thoughts:

1. The inlay on the legs will be koa not walnut, because the darker wood would accentuate the squareness of the legs, which would be fine if this were a minimalist design, but it is not.

2. The trim on the top and shelf will be koa, the grain must not compete with the curl on these faces. I need to go through my wood pile to find those boards (my next task).

3. There must be curves in the transitions from the legs to the shelf and top.

4. The aprons must be curly koa with vertical grain to give the piece lift.

Off to the wood pile to find these piece….

Best regards….

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View DocSavage45's profile


9049 posts in 3958 days

#8 posted 06-11-2018 12:54 AM

Cathy, Late to your blog party! Thanks for your out loud thinking on design and balance.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

340 posts in 4194 days

#9 posted 06-11-2018 02:45 AM

Good to see you back Cathy. Those are nice legs and I love the choice of woods you’ve made. Can’t wait to see it done. I haven’t posted much on LJ lately since I’ve been doing repeats that have been posted already. i’m working on some new pieces for an exhibit this November for my 60th. Be well my friend.

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines, Instagram benji reyes

View cathyb's profile


844 posts in 4360 days

#10 posted 06-11-2018 05:43 AM

Hi Benji,

I was just talking about you yesterday to one of my friends, singing your praises (well deserved) and how I missed seeing your mind expanding pieces.

Today, as you are well aware, searching for the right boards for my trim work became an all day affair. It couldn’t be dark, because I would lose my focal point -the hole in the middle of the table top. I seriously was considering curly koa, but frankly there is a shortage of curly, so it became select instead.

My legs are glued up, with the added 3/8 by 3/8 inch piece in the middle to fill the void and assist in gluing.

Tomorrow, I add the inlay to the legs and work on the frame and trim for the top and bottom.

Tuesday, I need to cut mortises for my joinery and assess any revisions. So much to do, so little time….



-- cathyb, Hawaii,

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