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Side tables, sapele, my third bit of furniture

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Project by Steve Littlewood posted 03-05-2021 06:47 AM 775 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first attempt at nice furniture! Trying to make simple, good-solid-wood pieces that are nicer than the beat-up. 30 year old (veneered) we have. All glued dados/notches, for legs, and routered pits on underside of top for the legs to glue into. Used polyurethane glue since the joints were end-to-side or end-to-face and that is supposed to be better for these type joints (though lots of disagreements about glues – kind of like finishes!) It does foam out of joints, I wiped the join areas w water before gluing.
So, will these survive or is some kind of reinforcement necessary, and these will eventually fail at these joints? I figured not a lot of heavy use, modern glues, probably be ok, probably forever. Unless somebody sits on one.

Longer boards to joint than my last project (these tables are 28×13x23” tall). I got my first table saw, a job-site sawstop, but again some joints I finished by hand planing two boards side by side, which makes a very fine can’t-see-it joint. Though “glue-ready”-blades for table saw make great cuts I still can’t quite get the front and rear ends of cuts to not have a gap, when boards are fitted together. Is this common, takes practice, smooth pressure throughout the cut, etc, or is this fence just not stiff enough or something? (I built a sled/jig with hold-downs for cutting one straight edge but cuts not much better.) When saw-cut boards put together still has a .007 inch?gap at each end of joint, maybe one inch, something about how I’m starting and ending each cut takes just a bit more off at each end. The cuts are square, though. Corrected with careful planing, the whole edge planed just to fix that little one inch gap – I probably can’t do this for much longer boards.

5 or 6 coats wipe on poly, my domestic engineer required coffee-proof finish. The leg joints accumulated or built up finish, a visible plasticky look just at the joins in the legs, so I wonder if they will crack with movement or weather changes.

And credit to Mokuzai Furniture, the pics of their work were my inspiration.

-- Steve LittleWood





10 comments so far

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

3283 posts in 3005 days


#1 posted 03-05-2021 11:05 AM

Steve,

Very nice tables. Impressed by the shelf in leg joint. That is very hard to get right.

-- Petey

View tt1106's profile

tt1106

241 posts in 4124 days


#2 posted 03-05-2021 12:18 PM

Very nice tables. The wood is beautiful and you’ve done a great job with the finishing.

There could be a slight bit of fence deflection, depending on how much lateral force you are pushing through the cut.
If I understand the problem, you are saying that when you rip the board to it’s final length and then put the boards together, the front and the rear don’t mate. Indicating that there is a hump in the middle? I’m not an expert, but that sounds like it might be blade deflection?

I am looking at this saw, so I’d be interested in what your thoughts are some time. I was seriously considering the contractor model, but haven’t decided if I want to give up the room in my small shop.

-- -Todd

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

8798 posts in 3464 days


#3 posted 03-05-2021 02:12 PM

Beautiful work.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

3957 posts in 4583 days


#4 posted 03-05-2021 03:12 PM

You ended up with two beautiful tables. Stuff happens…

Fantastic looking wood, great finish. beautiful…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View AJ1104's profile

AJ1104

1284 posts in 2715 days


#5 posted 03-06-2021 12:28 AM

Very nice job on your tables. I also like the build details of the two shelves. As far as the issue using a glue line rip blade…, you may have encountered some wood tension that caused the boards to move a bit after making the cut. This is just a possibility if I am reading your question correctly. Again, these are two beautiful tables. Great job!

-- AJ

View Eric's profile

Eric

1234 posts in 928 days


#6 posted 03-06-2021 02:59 AM

Very nice job on those tables.

As for the cuts with the table saw, it may be possible that the blade is not an exact parallel to the fence. I always use a steel rule when I set the fence, measure from the fore and aft tips on the blade.

-- Eric, building the dream

View swirt's profile

swirt

6107 posts in 4027 days


#7 posted 03-06-2021 03:29 AM

Nice looking end tables.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View tmasondarnell's profile

tmasondarnell

150 posts in 2845 days


#8 posted 03-06-2021 03:26 PM

Gorgeous tables. You should be proud of these.

I have been using System 3 T-88 epoxy for the types of joints you are doing. I have been very happy with it. It has a 45 minute open time and is a structural epoxy that will gap fill for you.

The only other piece of advice, is that you may have some issues with the top cupping on you over time. The top and shelves are going to want move across the width and you have the legs constraining the movement They may give you some problems. That being said, Sapele is usually very stable and the width is pretty small so if they do move it will not be a hug amount.

View WeilWood's profile

WeilWood

15 posts in 40 days


#9 posted 03-07-2021 01:42 AM

Very nice, I love the shine. I love how the wood comes out in this. Next time, maybe try a contrasting wood for the legs, that would really make it POP!

View Steve Littlewood's profile

Steve Littlewood

8 posts in 52 days


#10 posted 03-07-2021 08:21 PM

“There could be a slight bit of fence deflection, depending on how much lateral force you are pushing through the cut.
If I understand the problem, you are saying that when you rip the board to it s final length and then put the boards together, the front and the rear dont mate. Indicating that there is a hump in the middle? I m not an expert, but that sounds like it might be blade deflection?

I am looking at this saw …
- tt1106 “

Exactly, just the first and last inch or so, when I mate two boards, very small/short gap. Blade deflection could be it – I have squared the blade carefully and likewise the fence, not sure which is shifting. Otherwise love the saw, seems easy to work on and easy to wheel around. The fence randomly shifts a fraction as you lock it down, sometimes will sometimes won’t, which is annoying but easy enough to manage. Thanks for your comments!

“ I have been using System 3 T-88 epoxy for the types of joints you are doing. I have been very happy with it. It has a 45 minute open time and is a structural epoxy that will gap fill for you
Tmasondarnell”

Thanks for this tip. I’ll definitely think about it, Management wants more of these.
Cupping is more worrisome, hoping these smaller tables will not have too much. Thanks for commenting.

-- Steve LittleWood

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