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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
the curved skirt

The original plan calls for a curved skirt along the entire edge of the semicircular table, with complex joints for the front legs and the swinging leg in the back (and a custom made wooden hinge!).

I don't have the talent for that, so I'm going to make each section into a separate piece, and join them all with pocket screws. Each section will mount to the top with pocket screws and they will connect to each other and any extra support pieces that are required with pocket screws.

In fact, I don't plan to use any glue when placing the subassembiles. So, is this cheating? Will it be too weak? Will it fall apart when the seasons change? I don't know. I wish I had the time and talent to build this with proper joinery, but I don't.

I built up the curved sections from multiple curved pieces of 3/4" lumber. Each curved piece is cut from a stock pine board, and layered up "brick syle" with non-overlapping seams to form one third of the skirt. The finished skirt height is (5×3/4") 3 3/4 inches high, a bit shorter than the original.

We start with a layout of the whole table, the semicircle, the two front legs at 60 degree spacing, and the skirt position. I made an MDF template for a section of skirt.



Three sections fit tightly on standard 6 inch lumber



Rough cut them on the bandsaw



Screw the template on to a section.



Clean them up on the router table with a straight bearing guided bit.



Next - gluing up the curved sections..
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Gluing up the apron sections..

Align the curved sections, clamp.



Keep them at a right angle!



Last time I used brads to keep the sections aligned. I think I like hearing the satisfying sound of that pneumatic nailer too much. Anyway, that idea didn't work so well when I had to trim the sections or cut a new screw pocket.

In the foreground is a little painting pad. It really saves time in spreading an even coat of glue. I wrap it with plastic wrap when it's not in use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The demilunes

Time to make the table top. Two tops actually, each a half circle. Two demilunes (half-moons). They fold together for a nice demilune wall table and swing into a full circle when the piece is converted into a game table.



Picking out the mahogany boards.



Board Buddies, don't saw anything without them.



Throw them a few biscuits for good measure. Notice the oddly colored board on the far right. This board would become my nemesis.



I tried the "tape over the joints" trick to prevent glue pickup on the boards.

In this shot, I placed the tape directly over the joint of the clamped boards and cut through the tape with a blade. Then I separated the boards and glued them up. It worked well, but I had (and still have) some blue tape that got pushed into joint.

For the other half, I put the tape as close to the edge as I could. No more tape glued into in the joint, but I had some glue pickup near the joint line. All in all it did help, and I'd do it again.



Here is the do-it-yourself router jig to cut out the half circles. It's made from scraps of this and that hot glued together. The pivot for a half circle would be right at the center of the straight edge.



This little fixture establishes a pivot point at the edge of the board.



I like to make several passes with the router, cutting a little deeper on each pass. When I get close to breakthrough, I run a jigsaw through the channel. cutting off the waste. Then its out with those cookies to trim the edge with a flush cutting bit. Doing the job in small steps lowers the anxiety level a lot.



When the two tops are ready they can be clamped back to back to make a full circle. This allows the routing of a decorative edge without worrying about breakout.

Since one of the tops flips over when used as a game table, I chose a simple symmetrical shape for the edge.

See that furry cut on the right? That's that oddly colored board. Everyone says that African Mahogany is difficult to work because it leaves stringy and furry stuff behind. I've never had trouble with mahogany doing that until this board entered my shop!
 
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