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Thread: Project: Rustic Kitchen Table Base and Natural Edge Top (Build)

  1. #1
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    Project: Rustic Kitchen Table Base and Natural Edge Top (Build)

    I've been planning on building a "new" kitchen table for quite a few years now, but never got around to it...until this past week. Some of that delay was deciding what I wanted to build, honestly. But early in the week, while moving some material around in the upstairs of my shop to get better access to my lumber rack, a whole bunch of wood "spoke to me" like I was channeling George Nakashima or something. (one of my idols for sure and he was local, too)

    Back in 2008 when we put a 2200 sq ft addition off the back of our great room, some old barn beam material was removed when the wall was broken through and a barn wood staircase was also dismantled in favor of the new stairway. I'm a pack rat for material like that and it all has been living above the shop since waiting for a new job. As noted, those pieces "asked" (nicely, sorta) to become the rustic base for the new table and I've made it happen. (The top, which I'll do next, will be some 8/4 cherry material that's also been sitting up there for quite a few years. It may be natural edge or maybe not, depending on what I find in the boards)

    Working with old barn wood requires checking for metal for sure. I found most of it. LOL Most. Let's just say that I'm thankful for having Tersa knives in my J/P. I also tried not to take off too much from the outer surfaces of the original rough boards so that the patina that extends into the wood wasn't completely obliterated. "fresh" surfaces are oriented toward the inside so that the "show" surfaces have a little more character. Edges are chamfered rather than rounded. While this was done via machine, it still looks a little more rustic than round-over would. I'm not sanding it beyond about 100 grit, either. The base, that is. The top that comes later will be smooth as a newborn's posterior.

    All of the wood is various pine/fir material and very old. The "feet" and top table support pieces were just re-sized from a smaller piece of beam material. The vertical pieces are re-sawn from a larger piece of beam. The stretchers were made from the old hand railings that were on the staircase. I didn't bother with photos of all the stock prep...it was reasonably easy considering it was old wood, very dry and potentially "splintery" on non-refined surfaces.

    I kitted out the pieces, sanded and put the two table supports together with 14mm Dominos
    IMG_3332.jpg IMG_3335.jpg IMG_3337.jpg
    IMG_3335.jpg

    On one of the "feet" pieces, there was a bunch of metal that I just couldn't get far enough below the surface to thickness, so I decided to take the nuclear approach and dig things out with an old plug cutter at the DP. It dealt with the metal, but did leave a bunch of .75" holes that needed to be filled. I didn't have anything that cut plugs that large, so I decided to use the CNC and a tapered cutter to make them...it was a quick and easy process with only three "test" cuts to get a perfect fit. Just like when using the Lee Valley (or similar) tapered plug cutters, these "snapped" out of the wood easily with a flat screwdriver.

    IMG_3333.jpg IMG_3334.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #2
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    Assembly was easy...glue, clamps, time. I have to say that I'm really, really happy with those big 14mm dominos for work like this. I really don't "enjoy" cutting normal M&T and these puppies are darn strong.
    IMG_3336.jpg

    I believe I just mentioned that I don't have a fondness for cutting M&T...specifically the M part. It's great joinery for sure. I just don't find the process pleasurable for some reason. However, I needed/wanted to use it for the stretchers that go between the two table support assemblies for strength. I certainly could have used the Dominos here, but I haven't yet trained myself to locate a double in the middle of a flat surface. Historically, I would have touched up the chisels, drilled some holes and went to town, but I do have another tool option that's painted yellow and already used for those plugs mentioned in the last post.

    Yea...go ahead and roll your eyes. I decided to use the CNC to cut the mortices. It took more time, but it was yet another learning opportunity on the machine and (theoretically) would allow me to place them very, very accurately. (I half to mention that I wish I would have bought the taller gantry height option to provide more space under it...this was tight with the thick material) Hold down required quickly cutting some custom clamps from some .70" BB plywood which only took a few minutes.

    IMG_3338.jpg IMG_3343.jpg

    Cutting the four mortises was relatively fast. I would have liked them to be 2" deep, but had to settle for 1.5" simply because of machine constraints. That will not cause an issue, however, because the tenons are stout and will also be pinned.
    IMG_3342.jpg

    All that was left at that point was to glue things up...
    IMG_3344.jpg

    Which resulted in this very stout and rustic looking table base.
    IMG_3347.jpg

    I have a little minor sanding to do plus pinning the stretchers -- it will all get done tomorrow and provisions made for figure 8s to hold the table top. Uncharacteristically for me, I'm going to just brush an oil based polyurethane varnish on this base as I believe it will provide the coloration I want without taking multiple steps...ie...simple and easy. I'll just keep the heat turned up while it cures. I don't generally use oil based products other than BLO normally...making an exception here for the good of the project!

    I will move on to the cherry table top after the finish on the base is cured and I can take it into the house to get it out of the way. I'll add to this thread at that time.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 12-29-2018 at 5:50 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Placeholder......................
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Love the pictures, but that shop is way too clean.
    Army Veteran 1968 - 1970
    NRA Lifetime Member
    I Support the Second Amendment of the US Constitution

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Bickley View Post
    Love the pictures, but that shop is way too clean.
    Dude...that shop is filthy right now...covered in chips and sawdust! LOL
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    The base looks stout. What type of bit did you use in the router for the mortises? How tricky is the code writing process for the mortises? How good is the overall accuracy?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam c murphy View Post
    The base looks stout. What type of bit did you use in the router for the mortises? How tricky is the code writing process for the mortises? How good is the overall accuracy?
    Yea...it's stout for sure!

    The cutter is a .25" up-cut. The code is just a simple pocketing toolpath...I drew a rectangle 2" long and .9" wide and told the software to cut it 1.5" deep. The precision is "very precise"... I just had to round over the corners of the traditionally cut tenons on the stretchers so they could slip (tightly) into the mortise. That took only a few minutes with a sharp knife and a little sandpaper.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    What size router do you use in the CNC??

  9. #9
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    Looking good Jim,

    But what I really want to know is what’s the deal with the Patriots sticker on the door?

  10. #10
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    Interesting project Jim. That base looks solid!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Walsh View Post
    Looking good Jim,

    But what I really want to know is what’s the deal with the Patriots sticker on the door?
    Local high school... Not the folks up in the far northeast!

    Quote Originally Posted by liam c murphy View Post
    What size router do you use in the CNC??
    1.7kw spindle...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    Back in 2008 when we put a 2200 sq ft addition off the back of our great room
    What the fork Jim!!! You have a great room, and then you put on a 2200 square foot addition? That must be a ballroom or something. Being a coal miner from NE Pennsylvania, I know Bucks County is high class, but seriously? Mark

  13. #13
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    Mark, I grew up just east of you in Wayne County (Honesdale) where the coal had to flow through "back in the day" via the gravity railroad to get to the rivers and down toward Philadelphia via barges on the D&H Canal.

    Prior to the addition, our home was about 1900 sq ft with one full bath and three BR (two tiny and in the 250 year old portion of our home with low ceilings). We adopted two sisters from Russia in 2005 (ages 6 and 10 at the time) and that just wasn't going to cut it long term especially for bathrooms. On the sell/move vs build on analysis...which was in 2007 just as RE was tanking...it was determined that add-on was financially better since we bought the property for far below what a ~4 acre place typically sold for at that time. The addition has a guest suite, media/living room and a real front door with foyer on the ground floor and a master suite, small office and laundry on the upper floor. That added two full baths as well as space really needed for the family. It's a "typically" sized home for this area, actually.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    I find it really gratifying to make stuff out of old reclaimed wood, especially if I know the history behind it. That is my kind of project!

  15. #15
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    I agree, Art. I think that's probably why I saved this material for all these years. While I don't know the actual origin of the beams...all of that material in our great room came from something like three different barns according to the previous owners when we spoke about it years ago...it at least has a providence of being re-used twice now.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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