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Art Deco TV Table

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Blog series by newTim updated 01-31-2016 07:55 AM 17 parts 21180 reads 54 comments total

Part 1: Form Follows Folly

11-22-2015 10:02 PM by newTim | 6 comments »

Or perhaps the title should be, “Form Follows Tragedy”? Here is the initial chapter of the design and construction of a most challenging project. But why would anyone ever want or need to build such a thing? What follows is the documentation of a two year journey into pattern making, wood bending, form construction, curved veneering, trim inlay, creative joinery, jig design, and the ultimate victory of patience and stubbornness over a project that fought me every step of the ...

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Part 2: Modeling for Shape

11-25-2015 02:55 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

Once I had the basic concept sketched out I needed to see the thing in the actual space. The height of the table is important for ease of use, aesthetic proportions, and to provide enough clearance along the sides to reach the chair controls. The angle of the table is important to set the angle of the chairs so they fit in the room. Yes, I actually set the chairs and divined the angle. Also important was the arc of the front of the drawers. So after making many real size 2D drawings I ...

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Part 3: Modeling for Effect

11-25-2015 03:37 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

So the thing fits the space. It looks proportionally correct. And it seems to be doing the job. But there’s a number of items that still need to be decided. The real key was the trade off between the angle of the sides, the width of the drawers, and the arc of the front in relation to each other. The smaller the diameter or arc of the front, in other words, the sharper the point, the narrower the drawers would be. And together with the angle of the sides those dimensions dictated ...

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Part 4: Put Your Best Front Forward

11-26-2015 07:49 PM by newTim | 3 comments »

FINALLY! Some real woodworking. Wood is like Bubba’s shrimp. You can steam it, bend it, carve it, laminate it, or pattern cut it and glue it together. And that’s the approach I took. Make a pattern, rough cut to size, rout to the pattern for matching parts, glue them together, and viola. You’ve got the makings of a curved drawer front. Here’s a few tips and lessons learned. Spend a lot of time up front perfecting the pattern. After rough cutting, sand the ro...

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Part 5: Veneering, The Inside Story - Make a Saddle (Pommel)

11-28-2015 04:01 AM by newTim | 7 comments »

I called it a saddle, but it is more like a pommel as in gymnastics’ pommel horse. Whatever. In order to veneer the inside of the curved drawer fronts, and ensure adequate clamping pressure at all points, I had to make a perfectly matching curved form or block to press against. While I had never done this before, I relied on memory of several of David Marks’ Woodworks TV shows and videos where he described the process and key elements. The goal is to make the block undersized ...

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Part 6: Drawers Are Everything!

11-29-2015 12:58 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

I’ll save the outside (curved front veneering) story for later. For now I decided to cover the drawer construction itself. I can’t remember the order I did things anyway. The top picture shows a fully assembled drawer and gives a good idea of where we want to end up and hints at some of the challenges along the way. On this project the drawers are everything. They dictate the angles, final measurements of the cabinet, the proportions of the top and bottom, and as you’ll...

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Part 7: Will You Join Me?

12-01-2015 08:10 AM by newTim | 3 comments »

This is one of the most interesting parts of this build. Joining the angled drawer sides to the curved drawer fronts. As always I like to start from the end so you know where I’m headed. The first picture is a bottom view of the sides connected to the fronts with a half blind sliding dovetail spline. So the question is how did I come up with this idea (not claiming originality here) and how do you get the two mortises to line up? My initial thought was to do an integral d...

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Part 8: The Hipster

12-05-2015 11:04 AM by newTim | 4 comments »

Didnt want anyone to think I’ve forgotten the blog. i took time off this week to get a new hip. i hope you enjoyed the series so far and I’ll be back with a new chapter in a day or two. In the meantime you might want to check out me other blog series.

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Part 9: Bottom's Up!

12-08-2015 06:05 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

I’m baaa-aaack! And aren’t you all so impressed? Actually doing the at-home recovery of the hip you see, and thought I’d catch up on the blog. I’ve divided the remaining drawer construction and assembly into two chapters as I have prepped plenty of pics and there’s something interesting (to me at least) in each. First we’ll cut the channels to receive the bottoms and cut the bottoms to fit. This is a great exercise in pattern design, construction, and ...

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Part 10: The Bottom of the Bottom Line

12-08-2015 05:56 PM by newTim | 9 comments »

The drawers are everything in this project. They literally define the key dimensions, the angles, proportions, and the functionality of the table. In order for the table to look right the drawers also have to line up; not only with each other, but the edges of the fronts must exactly match the edges of the cabinets. In short, square, plumb, and level and all in relation to the other parts. So the question is how to design a drawer pocket or slides that are adjustable to allow for minor va...

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Part 11: Put On A Happy Face: Another Round of Veneering

12-09-2015 06:21 PM by newTim | 3 comments »

More veneering. I actually have two veneer layers on the drawer fronts. This is not by design, rather by necessity. For various reasons the initial veneering was just not to the quality I wanted and there was some other visible damage. So the only option I could see was simply add another layer. But the question was how to do it? Many many chapters ago I showed how I veneered the inside and outside of the curved fronts using a combination of vacuum bags and clamps over a bending form ...

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Part 12: Need to Get Me Some Ribs

12-11-2015 06:16 AM by newTim | 3 comments »

Ribs. I call them ribs. Because to me that’s what they look like. You could also call them drawer handles because that is their function. At least some of them. The others are just plain ribs. You see? This is another exercise in pattern routing pure and simple. I used the same techniques and steps on these as I did on the drawer fronts and bending blocks. Make a (perfect) pattern, use it as a template to draw a few, rough cut them to shape on the bandsaw, then pattern rout t...

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Part 13: Help Your Shelf

12-19-2015 01:16 PM by newTim | 1 comment »

Sorry folks. Surgery, recovery, PT equals an unforgivable delay. One of the many critical items on this project are the shelves. They not only support the drawers, but also connect the cabinet parts and determine whether the sides are going to end up plumb, square, and parallel. So here’s the short story on the shelves. I used various items to ensure the drawers lined up relative to the sides. I used 1/16” angle aluminum that I got at the big box for spacing. I use these ...

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Part 14: This Side Up

12-19-2015 01:50 PM by newTim | 1 comment »

The top and bottom are mirror images of each other and can be cut at the same time just like the shelves. You just need to mark each one (this side up) so they stay in alignment to make up for any imperfections in the shape. To begin I made a template so I could figure out the placement of the tenons used to line up the parts in the glue up. I set the bottom drawer on the template and clamped the front and side ribs to extend the line down the side. I used another rib to define the overha...

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Part 15: Hidden Handles (Pulls)

12-21-2015 04:23 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

How do you open this darn thing? Well the handles are built in to the ribs. Or the ribs have built in handles. I guess it is just a leap of faith that if you reach for what looks like a handle or a pull there will be enough room underneath to fit your fingers. As usual, let’s start at the end. Or near the end. This is where we want to end up. Notice the bottom drawer is twice the height of each of the top three. Lots of storage in this thing. I used the same router bit to c...

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Part 16: About That Inlay

12-22-2015 02:04 PM by newTim | 2 comments »

This is yet another item that I had no experience for and no idea how to execute. I did a lot of research, lots of Googling and YouTube-ing hoping to find a nice two-point router jig to cut the curves. Sure there was an incredible amount of videos and articles showing how to cut trim inlay grooves on straight edges, but I could find nothing for the stupid curve. So this is how I did it. To create the two point guide for my trim router I threaded two small, but relatively long bolts into...

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Part 17: Straighten Out Those Ribbies

01-31-2016 07:55 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

Apologies for the time gap. I had to find my pictures. I was happy with the way the ribs turned out on this piece. Specifically how parallel each of them were and the fit of the miters. I used bending plywood to form a spacer for the curved drawer handles or ribs as I call them, and straight spacer boards ripped to the same width for the sides and backs. The front ribs were form fitted with a nice tight fit so are only glued while the sides and backs were supported with domino tenons. T...

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