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Thread: Another coffee table

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    5,934
    Last time the base was completed, and we had a quick look at the parts together. It is not fully sanded yet, and no finish obviously. It feels very solid in the legs - I know there were some that were concerned about the 10 degree splay ....





    The - almost - last lap is here, the building of the drawer. I do not want to bore the pants off all with yet another dovetailing, so rather here are some pictures of the decisions and tasks that need to take place for a well-fitted drawer.


    The first decision was to choose the wood for the drawer front, and the panel at the other side (the drawer will open on one side of the coffee table, and the other side will be a fixed panel similar to the drawer front).


    There is just enough of the Fiddleback Jarrah for these panels. The orientation of the figure needs to be chosen, otherwise it will look like a dog's breakfast ...








    It is beautiful wood, but very interlocked. The double iron works its wonders ..





    The length is short enough to joint on a shooting board ..





    Mark the width ..





    ... and shoot to the line.


    The ends are squared ...





    I frequently read how important it is to have a backing board when shooting end grain to prevent spelching. This is not important at all. The best strategy is to score the line you will plane to, and then add a chamfer at the end. Use the shooting plane for this ...





    Now plane until the chamfer disappears ...





    No spelching ...





    The fitted drawer front ...





    ... is tight to the sides and has about 1mm gap at the top.


    The back board of the drawer, and the rear panel ...





    These are the drawer parts: the front is 19mm thick, the quarter sawn Tasmanian Oak sides are 10mm (slightly thicker than my usual 8mm as it needs to be a little beefier) and the rear is 12mm ...





    A peek at the drawer ...





    All the details in the last chapter next time.


    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    332
    Really enjoying following along Derek, beautiful craftsmanship as always

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    547
    Very nice Derek! I just do not understand what keeps those middle pins from not breaking off.

  4. #124
    Fantastic Derek.

    I really like the chamfer trick and will try it soon--the LV shooter is now perhaps my favorite plane.

    For some reason, I recalled the drawer would open from both sides, but obviously i'm mis-remembering.

    And good luck finding a purpose with the off-cuts from the draw front--beautiful wood and scraps are great but can sure pile up!

    Best,
    Chris

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Posts
    184
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Charles View Post
    Fantastic Derek.
    ... For some reason, I recalled the drawer would open from both sides, but obviously i'm mis-remembering...

    Best,
    Chris
    I assumed that the drawer was going to open from both sides also. I am waiting to see how Derek attaches the back panel now.

    Derek: I am enjoying watching your build and so far it looks great.
    Last edited by John Schtrumpf; 01-11-2019 at 9:31 PM. Reason: misspelled drawer

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    5,934
    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    Very nice Derek! I just do not understand what keeps those middle pins from not breaking off.
    Michael, the pins are held on with will power. And determination. Made by Titebond.

    Actually, once glued they may be stronger than wider aspect dovetails, because the surface area of side grain and glue is increased. I have never had a failure, but I do admit that they are as much a measure of showing off as for the aesthetic. Anyone visiting who looks at the drawer knowingly will recognise that they were handmade.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Calgary AB
    Posts
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Michael, the pins are held on with will power. And determination. Made by Titebond.

    Actually, once glued they may be stronger than wider aspect dovetails, because the surface area of side grain and glue is increased. I have never had a failure, but I do admit that they are as much a measure of showing off as for the aesthetic. Anyone visiting who looks at the drawer knowingly will recognise that they were handmade.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    And if one visualizes what is going on, the pin itself as a whole is strong. I have a dovetail box like 13x8" or something that I never glued up, I knock it apart a few timed a year, it's got half blind dovetails with these skinny pins. Holds up fine unglued and gone through holding a bottle of scotch rattling about in my bag, Derek's work with glue will hold up fine to anything reasonable and then some.

    Very nice work Derek. I'll admit I want a nice shiny shellac on that figured grain! Might be too loud for most though...

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    1,745
    Looks great, Derek. Question on your drawer design. I notice the top of the drawer face extends above the drawer sides. Is that something you leave, or plane off to fit?

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    5,934
    Hi Phil

    Some of the drawer face is to be planed off. Expansion takes place across the width (height? .. of the drawer front), which is why the sides are lower.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    5,934
    This was the model for the coffee table my nephew chose when I offered to build them a wedding present ...





    Let's see how we did ....


    Before the coffee table was assembled from the parts, I was mindful that it would be shipped from Perth to Sydney (which is the further than New York to LA). The main concern was that the container might bounce (be dropped or be handled roughly), and the weight of the heavy Jarrah top coming down on the splayed legs might cause them severe damage. (I am not concerned about the strength of the legs for normal home use - the construction is strong. More shortly).


    So, I build a table out of MDF that could be placed under the coffee table, and would take all the weight ...








    The top and base were connected with steel angle brackets ...





    Part of the strength in the splayed legs comes from the corner brackets, which act to lock in the mortice-and-tenon joint by preventing movement. These steel angle brackets further lock in the base from any possible twisting.


    The brackets are angled to 10 degrees to match the inside of the rails ...





    Incidentally, the best, and cheapest, anvil is this section of steel angle, the insides of which are lines with Hard Maple scrap, and then clamped in the leg vise over a leg ....





    The finish for the wood - Fiddleback Jarrah for the top of the carcase and the drawer fronts, and Jarrah for the base of the carcase and base/legs - was chosen for durability. It needs to be capable of resisting water marks and heat, and still have a natural appearance - not a sit-on-top finish, such as a poly or varnish. Most oil finishes are not durable enough.


    What I went with in the end was Evolution (satin), a hard wax oil by Whittle. This is a floor finish, and in the examples I saw it looked more like a waxed oil finish. The reports and reviews were highly favourable. I must say, after using it, I was completely sold. It is fantastic! The surfaces were sanded to 400 grit (Abranet), and then two coats were rubbed on with a micromesh cloth, 8 hours apart. Any residue was removed immediately. There was no grain raising that I could detect, however I did rub down the first coats with 400 grit grey mesh.


    The drawer case was waxed (only) with Lincoln Furniture Wax. This is a shellac-based wax. The inside of the drawer was finished with Ubeaut Hard Shellac diluted 50% with methylated spirits (alcohol). All of the above are Australian products. The interior of the drawer was lined in leather, which was waxed with Renaissance Wax.





    This is a close up of the Evolution. It is so much nicer in the flesh. Silky ...





    OK, to the coffee table ...


    The front, with the drawer (and the agonised-over-drawer-handle-pull-whatever) ..








    The colour, figure, and those rounded dovetails look fantastic ...





    Other end ...





    The rear has a closed panel. At the start of the project I had planned to make the drawer run all the way through, and open from each side. On reflection, this created more problems than it was worth, and so the one side was closed in with the same panel used as a drawer front ...



  11. #131
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    5,934
    The Jarrah base and splayed, tapered legs ...





    Finally the drawer ...


    The drawer stop used was the same design as used in the Apothecary Chest. This is adjustable, which enable the position of the drawer front to be fine tuned ...





    The 10mm drawer sides are Tasmanian Oak, which I find great for this purpose as it all comes quarter sawn. It is a moderately hard wood (by Oz standards). Plywood was used for the drawer bottom, as it was inset in grooves and covered in leather. Jarrah cove moulding was made to finish.








    Inside there is an inscribed brass plate for remembrance ...





    Thanks for all the contributions and discussion along the way.


    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    47
    Super work and a fun project. Your finish came out great.

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Clarks Summit PA
    Posts
    393
    Beautiful table Derek! Mark

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,318
    Very well done Derek. One can get little glimpses of the work from photos. I’m sure that in person it is far better to see. Even in the photos the finish looks excellent.
    Jim

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Goleta / Santa Barbara
    Posts
    651
    Derek,
    I again have to compliment you on both the build, the thread and end product. I am certain your nephew will be thrilled, and that all visitors to their home will be stroking and admiring it. Very nicely done, sir.
    Best regards, Patrick

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