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Project Information

Ok, next project I will post this as a blog but since I started this way I will finish to remain consistant. I pretty much have all the rough work done for this so far. I finished the drawer and did the top this weekend. Used half blind dovetails on the front and through dovetails on the back of the drawer. The top is made up of a 2 1/2"w x 1 1/4"thick frame and a 1" Plywood field. I made the decision to use mitered half lap joints for the frame and I am pretty happy with the way they look. Though,not historically accurate I decided to use my artistic license since this is my own design. I will pin them so that it visually ties into the through mortise that will also receive a pin. I used #10 biscuits to secure the plywood frame to the frame. The field of the top sits down 1/4" and will be covered with the 3/4"x3/4" glass mosaic tiles.I ordered tile samples for my client this past week so that he can decide which tile he wants to go with. I made up 3 finish samples for him too and will send them out together for his review. Now to clean all my joints up and do one final dry fit before I take it all apart and sand and finish it before I do the glue up.

Gallery

Comments

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Those dovetails are quite impressive!
They must be hand cut, I don't believe any available jigs allow for such a thin tail.
Should look really nice once you get the tiles installed, can't wait to see it complete.
 

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Bfd,

Looking very nice. I like the mitered half-lap detail on the top - interesting detail. I've previously made some Mission style end tables and a coffee table also with inlaid tile for the tops. I think that the tile tops offer something that is a bit different from a solid wood top but still in keeping with the style.

I'll be interested to see what tile you choose and also to see the finished project.
 

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Nice table!

Did you choose the grain direction on the shelf because of the exposed end grain to the front? I've never seen that orientation before, ie, grain running front to back. Interesting.

Also, I have a similar project and was wondering how you are dealing with expansion of the lower shelf? Do you have grooves or is the lower shelf a loose fit?

Thanks!!

JC
 

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Thats going to look amazing when its finished.
 

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Hi BFD;

That's some nice work!

Lee
 

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BFB,

The table is looking good so far. The mitered half laps add a nice detail to the top. It will be interesting to see the finished product.
 

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Nice design and execution. I really like the tight looking joinery and those dovetails are outstanding. Anxious to see it with the tiles and finish on it.
 

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Looks like you are making excellent progress.
 

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"Historical accuracy" is a bit broader for craftsman-style furniture than you might suppose. Stickley's main idea was to get rid of any ornamentation that was not an intrinsic part of the design. Consequently, most of his "pre-Ellis" stuff can strike some people as pretty Spartan. Additionally, he advocated the use of whatever joinery was best suited for the job. I have a hunch he would have been puzzled by the use of "faux tenons" and such to copy the appearance of the craftsman style-I've even seen them glued on to furniture at K-Mart. Reading his articles in "The Craftsman," some of which have been posted online somewhere-or-other, the philosophy included using the lowest-cost, highest quality materials. The use of quarter-sawn white oak, while regarded as sacred by some of today's revivalists, was dictated by Stickley's desire to make quality furniture affordable for the masses (meaning me and the rest of us), and white oak happened to be the lowest-cost quality hardwood available. For people on the west coast, where redwood and douglas fir were much less expensive than in the east, he even made special designs to take advantage of the lesser weight, yet give the impression of being much more massive (I have an idea for a serving table I'd love to try out, if I ever get the chance and the time and everything else, to use some redwood that came out of my business associate's home during a remodeling, along the lines suggested by Stickley). The plywood of Stickley's day was, frankly, nothing to write home about, while much of today's output is much better made, and in some ways superior to regular wood.

The bottom line is, if the work is quality and straightforward, and the materials do the trick, it's historically accurate as far as Gustav Stickley would have been concerned, at least in my opinion.
 

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Great progress. I think you did a great job on the dovetails.
 

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hibernicvs,

Well put! interesting take on the craftsman philosophy and seeing it in a broader sense.

Hi JC,
I am using figure 8s to attach the shelf to the rails to account for movement. There are a few side tables in Stickley's current Mission offering that do have the tops with the grain direction running front to back You also see grain direction side to side with the end grain terminating into the rail. My thought was that the end grain on the shelf will be consistent with the end grain with the through mortise & tenons and the end grain on exposed end of the half lapped miter which are all seen from the front and back and not from the sides.
 

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Thanks. I have to be pretty broad-I have to justify my use of plywood and other, non-termite barf materials when I can't fit white oak into the budget, or risk ruining a nice piece of wood while learning a new technique.
 
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