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Measue twice, Cut once.... Prevent mistakes like this one

1624 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  KentS
Well summer is my busiest time of year and I never get more than one or two projects done if I'm lucky. (I can't wait for retirement so I can have more time :) Anyhow, for the past couple of months I have been in the shop trying to get this table done for my Grandparents and I got a little sloppy. I joined the apron to the legs with sliding dovetails. I usually use M & T, but I have never tried this method before so I thought I'd give it a shot. My mistake was the depth of the dovetail groove in the legs. I used my router table, fence, and stopblocks, but still one came out 3/16"th longer than the others. I never ran into this problem before and racked my brain trying to think of a solution to salvage the table. So what I came up with was to take my handsaw and cut of a bit off the dovetail pins on the aprons to level it out and glue a 1/4" strip of ambrosia maple scrap on the top of the apron. It ads a decorative touch and hide the problem. The small gaps on top of the legs will be hidden and the top will be attached with figure 8's. Does anybody else have a clever fix to a problem like this? I am not planning on making this mistake again, but you never know. It should have never happened, but when I have time to get in the shop I get a bit excited and I guess my stopblock slipped a little bit and I didn't notice. Take a look…....

Sorry the photo is so EXTREME, I haveing problems with my camera. The maple is flush and level with the legs. Any other ideas on how to remedy this. I would love any ideas. Thanks

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Hey Ben
If I understand your problem you ran the dove tail to far down the leg on one side? by adding contrasting wood to the top of the aprons it will looks like a intentional design element. exactly what I would have done it except I might have used ebony or a much darker strip , just a personal choice
based on the photo, I would cut the top 1/4 inch off the top of the legs rather than add an accent strip
I was also thinking about shortening the legs by 1/4"
Once you put the top, they would be invisible.
I f you shorten the leg to make the joint flush, you may have problem with your appron.
a1Jim has better answer for that.
I would have cut the 1/4" off the top of the legs, flushed the aprons up nice and tidy, then added a contrasting wood to the bottom of the leg to regain my height. At that point you could take off more on the bottom and add as big a piece as you like. You won't really see this fix if your top has an overhang, so if I was going to fix it this way I would have just used the same material, ran it all the way through the full length of the apron and then cut the dovetail on the add on as well. Basically, make the apron 1/4" wider. You wouldn't see the glue joint unless you were looking for it.
Thanks for the comments everyone. I thought about taking a bit off the legs and the appron was a concern for me as well. I think I made the right choice and it better be because it is already glued up and sanded. I was looking for some other fixes and got a good one confirmed by two of you, thanks again. a1Jim…...I thought about using a darker strip, but I had a long piece of scrap ambrosia maple already milled almost to spec and my top I am working on is curly maple veneer and walnut. And to be honest I didn't have a long piece of anything darker than the walnut I used for the base. We'll see how it turns out in the end. I hope to have it completed and posted for criitique within the month.

Mistake?---I don't see any mistake. Only modified design.
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