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Thread: New guy needs some help ID'ing the grooves in the top of the table

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan W Taylor View Post
    Is it really that important to have a tilt head mortiser? I mean if you have a fixed head, can you make it work with the 1:6 mission angle on the through tennons?

    I ask because I think I can get a very very lightly used Jet benchtop mortiser for $150-175 a couple hours away from me.
    I will offer that a good plunge router will be far more versatile than a square-chisel mortiser given you are just starting to gather tools. I have been doing Greene and Greene stuff for many years and have never owned a square-chisel mortiser. Just food for thought.

    Try not to be overwhelmed by the info being delivered by fire hose . There are a lot of elements to mission style stuff but, they are all basic; just repeated frequently. The same can be said for G&G; many basic steps yield your final result.

    G&G-Bookcase-After-(5).jpg

    Here's a basic article on making a frame and panel door. Your F&P sections would have flush surfaces and the grooves you originally mentioned are the gaps left to account for movement. The term crumb-catchers is accurate but, with a tablecloth on, all is good.

    I would pick up some poplar, maple of whatever your local quality low priced wood is and do a couple of F&P mock ups. They can be smaller in size but, use the proper dimension thickness and width for the frame parts. This will introduce you to the process. I have made full mock ups of items out of construction lumber and scraps . . .

    proto-no-drawer-1.jpg

    . . . in this case I was testing the leg details and how I would lay in the breadboard splines. I still use these methods today so the learning holds its value. Of course they rapidly fall apart due to poor mixed material and movement issues but, that's what backyard fire pits are for. The point being that a prototype built from junk still takes you through the process before you get to the expensive material.

    As to the router for mortising, I favor floating tenons when I am looking for ease of construction without sacrificing traditional joinery. I just grabbed the first one I saw and there may be better but, here is a video on floating tenon joinery. I would use this on the F&P and on the apron to leg joinery.

    Foremost, congrats on your desire to dive in to the project. I hope we can help you more as you go along.

    P.s. For dark finishes, many products will get you there. Transtint Dark Mission Brown is great if you want to dye, Watco Dark Walnut or (darker) Black Walnut is good too. All would need a top coat.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 03-24-2020 at 12:29 PM.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  2. #17
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    A traditional lfinsh would be, after assembly, the entire thing is put in a tent and fumed with ammonia. Once it gets dark enough it is pulled out and allowed to breathe for a while. Then back wax is rubbed in to fill the pores. The fuming is best done outdoors as it will rust any iron nearby including screws and hardware on the project.
    Bil lD

  3. #18
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    Ryan

    Apologies for overwhelming you.

    I'll try to expound on some of my answers.

    -Finish.
    I had stated "Fumed". Fumed is a process that used to be used to age oak prematurely. It involves setting a piece of furniture, made from white oak, in a tent with ammonia. This gives the oak a nice "patina". Legend/lore/myth is that the process was discovered by noticing that oak boards in barns had taken on a different patina due to the concentration of ammonia from livestock urine.
    I had also stated that a "wiping varnish" would be used. A wiping varnish is a type of finish, or topcoat process where a oil based clear finish is applied with a rag, or sponge. It's a very forgiving finish and easy to obtain good results. "Tru-Oil" and "Arm-R-Seal" are examples of wiping varnishes available today.
    White oak and red oak are two species of oak. For your project you want white oak, not red oak. While both of these are "oak", they do not finish the same, due to the differing grain structure, unique to each species.

    - Benchtop Mortiser.
    The mortiser you found is good for this project. The reason I recommended an angled mortiser is for the projects you want to build 5 years from now.
    Many of the Stickley/Craftsman trestle tables, lamp stands, magazine racks, footrests, etc, all have a slope to the sides. They're not square to the floor. That slope, many times for smaller objects is 1:6, meaning that for every 6" of length, or height of a side, there is 1" difference as measured from a perfect vertical, at a point 6" up from the floor. Taller pieces are 1:9. When you need to make the M&T joints, having a tilting head on a mortiser makes this easier. With the Jet you found, you would need to make an angled platform/table to control the angle. Not necessary for this current piece.
    Glenn mentioned using a plunge router, and he is absolutely correct that it is a fine method to accomplish M&T joints. I did not mention it because it requires the making and use of jigs and fixtures to control the angle and position of the router bit. None the less, it is a very good way to accomplish M&T joints.

    Someone mentioned Jeff Jewett's finishing book, for finishing help. I would add to that any books by Bob Flexnor and Michael Dresdner.

    Bob Lang is a well known author of books on the Mission Craftsman style. His books have a lot of line drawings, and some detailed schematics for some of the Mission/Craftsman style furniture. He goes into a lot of explanation on the actual construction of these type period pieces. Very valuable resources to have on hand.

    There are many books on joinery, and many you tube videos of how to accomplish them utilizing different methods. There are also many on cabinet door, and interior door construction, which is kind of what that table top is. Essentially you're making a large "door" and lying it on it's side as a table top.

    Take it one step at a time. Don't get overwhelmed with the project as a whole, but break it down into steps and go slowly. It also wouldn't hurt to have some less expensive material to make mockups and test joints, before you make the "real cuts" on the white oak. Strong hint there.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  4. #19
    First of all, to everybody...THANK YOU! I might not have quoted you, but I am taking everything you guys say in and absorbing it. I shot competitively for some years and lately have shied away from it. I already "legged out" (slang for going "Distinguished") and am a bit compulsive about things (I was an Artillery Officer). I worked in a wood shop for about six months, but instead of learning like I was supposed to, I cleaned and learned how to make windows for the owner to make stupid amounts of money off of. Plus I didn't get paid at one point for 2.5 months so I moved on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Ryan

    Apologies for overwhelming you.

    I'll try to expound on some of my answers.

    -Finish.
    I had stated "Fumed". Fumed is a process that used to be used to age oak prematurely. It involves setting a piece of furniture, made from white oak, in a tent with ammonia. This gives the oak a nice "patina". Legend/lore/myth is that the process was discovered by noticing that oak boards in barns had taken on a different patina due to the concentration of ammonia from livestock urine.
    I had also stated that a "wiping varnish" would be used. A wiping varnish is a type of finish, or topcoat process where a oil based clear finish is applied with a rag, or sponge. It's a very forgiving finish and easy to obtain good results. "Tru-Oil" and "Arm-R-Seal" are examples of wiping varnishes available today.
    White oak and red oak are two species of oak. For your project you want white oak, not red oak. While both of these are "oak", they do not finish the same, due to the differing grain structure, unique to each species.

    - Benchtop Mortiser.
    The mortiser you found is good for this project. The reason I recommended an angled mortiser is for the projects you want to build 5 years from now.
    Many of the Stickley/Craftsman trestle tables, lamp stands, magazine racks, footrests, etc, all have a slope to the sides. They're not square to the floor. That slope, many times for smaller objects is 1:6, meaning that for every 6" of length, or height of a side, there is 1" difference as measured from a perfect vertical, at a point 6" up from the floor. Taller pieces are 1:9. When you need to make the M&T joints, having a tilting head on a mortiser makes this easier. With the Jet you found, you would need to make an angled platform/table to control the angle. Not necessary for this current piece.
    Glenn mentioned using a plunge router, and he is absolutely correct that it is a fine method to accomplish M&T joints. I did not mention it because it requires the making and use of jigs and fixtures to control the angle and position of the router bit. None the less, it is a very good way to accomplish M&T joints.

    Someone mentioned Jeff Jewett's finishing book, for finishing help. I would add to that any books by Bob Flexnor and Michael Dresdner.

    Bob Lang is a well known author of books on the Mission Craftsman style. His books have a lot of line drawings, and some detailed schematics for some of the Mission/Craftsman style furniture. He goes into a lot of explanation on the actual construction of these type period pieces. Very valuable resources to have on hand.

    There are many books on joinery, and many you tube videos of how to accomplish them utilizing different methods. There are also many on cabinet door, and interior door construction, which is kind of what that table top is. Essentially you're making a large "door" and lying it on it's side as a table top.

    Take it one step at a time. Don't get overwhelmed with the project as a whole, but break it down into steps and go slowly. It also wouldn't hurt to have some less expensive material to make mockups and test joints, before you make the "real cuts" on the white oak. Strong hint there.


    Mike, thanks for the reply. You're right, it is a bit overwhelming but I am a quick study and I enjoy this. My wife is deployed, so it gives me a lot of time until I go back to work to learn and assemble tools.

    I am going to look for those books this afternoon/evening and see if I can get a hold of some copies. I am looking for a router (preferably one at a great price) and also the mortise as I deem those more important then a jointer & planer. I have trained on a heavy duty Powermatic Shaper, so I am familiar with those however would a router (w/ table) be more versatile and practical for the shade tree wood worker?

    I agree on practicing with some scrap pine that I have sitting around. Luckily I have a wood supplier here in the Savannah metro area that can supply an abundant amount of white oak that is planed/jointed for .10 extra per BF.

    Truth be told having grown up in the Midwest, I just flat out love craftsman houses and the associated furniture. Between that and geeking out over Frank Lloyd Wright houses/furniture there is plenty I want to make/keep/sell/give away.

  5. #20
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    Ryan

    The shaper versus router question has been asked many times, and there is thread currently ongoing concerning it. It comes down in the end to, it depends.
    I find the shaper an indispensable machine in the shop, but others prefer a router mounted in a table. Neither position is incorrect. Each person is different.
    The shaper is a very versatile machine. The router is a very versatile tool. Both have a place. I think in most instances, folks "just arrive" at the conclusion to move to a shaper, when they know the router is reaching the limits of what can reasonably be asked of it.
    You don't "need" a shaper for this project. A router in a table will be just fine.

    As for the "shade tree wood worker". There are some extremely talented folks on this forum that do not make their living with wood working.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #21
    Mike,

    Ironically I just finished reading that thread. I think right now, the prudent thing to do would be to go w/ the router/table combo. I know a router is a key piece of equipment and will get me by on more of my endevours for the time being. I am not shaping rails/stiles for a six light window that is 5/4 thickness here in Savannah. It simply is just not happening.

    As for the shade tree woodworker, amen to that.

    Right now, I am looking at the Dewalt fixed/plunger that is 11amp. It is on the smaller side, however I am just starting out and have to start out somewhere.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Arlington, TX
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    135
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan W Taylor View Post
    Mike,

    Ironically I just finished reading that thread. I think right now, the prudent thing to do would be to go w/ the router/table combo. I know a router is a key piece of equipment and will get me by on more of my endevours for the time being. I am not shaping rails/stiles for a six light window that is 5/4 thickness here in Savannah. It simply is just not happening.

    As for the shade tree woodworker, amen to that.

    Right now, I am looking at the Dewalt fixed/plunger that is 11amp. It is on the smaller side, however I am just starting out and have to start out somewhere.
    I have the Milwaukee 5616-24 fixed/plunger dual-base combo, and like it a lot. The dual-base kit is ~$60 cheaper at Home Depot than the Dewalt kit you are looking. It is 13 amp, and has electronic variable speed. It comes with both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets (Home Depot description notwithstanding; ordered mine from HD). The fixed base is their awesome body-grip style (for one- or two-handed use), but has two conventional knob grips too.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    20,122
    We all have our favorite routers. I find them second only to my hand planes or spoke shaves in being a very personal choice. Get a couple in your hands as the feel of them will very much influence your satisfaction. I'm a die hard Milwaukee guy as I love being able to swap motors and bases (I have some specialized bases and I just drop the 5615 or 5616 motor in as required. Just because they feel good in my hands doesn't mean they will for you. Try a few at the home center or specialty store. You'll notice one feels very different than another.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I will offer that a good plunge router will be far more versatile than a square-chisel mortiser given you are just starting to gather tools. I have been doing Greene and Greene stuff for many years and have never owned a square-chisel mortiser. Just food for thought.

    Try not to be overwhelmed by the info being delivered by fire hose . There are a lot of elements to mission style stuff but, they are all basic; just repeated frequently. The same can be said for G&G; many basic steps yield your final result.

    G&G-Bookcase-After-(5).jpg

    Here's a basic article on making a frame and panel door. Your F&P sections would have flush surfaces and the grooves you originally mentioned are the gaps left to account for movement. The term crumb-catchers is accurate but, with a tablecloth on, all is good.

    I would pick up some poplar, maple of whatever your local quality low priced wood is and do a couple of F&P mock ups. They can be smaller in size but, use the proper dimension thickness and width for the frame parts. This will introduce you to the process. I have made full mock ups of items out of construction lumber and scraps . . .

    proto-no-drawer-1.jpg

    . . . in this case I was testing the leg details and how I would lay in the breadboard splines. I still use these methods today so the learning holds its value. Of course they rapidly fall apart due to poor mixed material and movement issues but, that's what backyard fire pits are for. The point being that a prototype built from junk still takes you through the process before you get to the expensive material.

    As to the router for mortising, I favor floating tenons when I am looking for ease of construction without sacrificing traditional joinery. I just grabbed the first one I saw and there may be better but, here is a video on floating tenon joinery. I would use this on the F&P and on the apron to leg joinery.

    Foremost, congrats on your desire to dive in to the project. I hope we can help you more as you go along.

    P.s. For dark finishes, many products will get you there. Transtint Dark Mission Brown is great if you want to dye, Watco Dark Walnut or (darker) Black Walnut is good too. All would need a top coat.

    Just saw this...thank you!!!

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy D Jones View Post
    I have the Milwaukee 5616-24 fixed/plunger dual-base combo, and like it a lot. The dual-base kit is ~$60 cheaper at Home Depot than the Dewalt kit you are looking. It is 13 amp, and has electronic variable speed. It comes with both 1/4 and 1/2 inch collets (Home Depot description notwithstanding; ordered mine from HD). The fixed base is their awesome body-grip style (for one- or two-handed use), but has two conventional knob grips too.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX
    You are referring to this one right? https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwauke...6-24/100609939

    I had been looking at the smallest Dewalt...so that would be the 1-3/4 HP version.

    That leads me to ask...what is the minimum size you guys would recommend? I always have gotten the best thing possible, but when you don't know your head from your butt when it comes to this stuff...some help/advice is warranted!

  11. #26
    I would certainly make sure you get a router that takes both 1/4" and 1/2" bits. You want both a plunge and a fixed base. I have a couple DW618's and like them. In my table I have the 3hp porter cable, and have never used the base.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan W Taylor View Post
    Is it really that important to have a tilt head mortiser? I mean if you have a fixed head, can you make it work with the 1:6 mission angle on the through tennons?

    I ask because I think I can get a very very lightly used Jet benchtop mortiser for $150-175 a couple hours away from me.
    No itís not necessary.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan W Taylor View Post
    That leads me to ask...what is the minimum size you guys would recommend? I always have gotten the best thing possible, but when you don't know your head from your butt when it comes to this stuff...some help/advice is warranted!
    The quick answer is a 2-1/4HP combo kit. For more blathering, read on . . .

    The main benefit of the 5616 over the 5615 to me is the variable speed. Matching your bit speed to the task at hand yields superior results, reduces sanding/scraping effort and extends bit life. This holds true for drill bits as well. Here's general rule of thumb.

    router bit speed chart.JPG

    These figures can be tuned depending on what you are doing. If you are fluting cherry, a reduced speed can avoid burning. Cleaning up a recessed profile to eliminate the burn marks is a time suck and tedious. Better to just do it better in the first place instead.

    All that being said, I have 5615's and use them for work where I want a lighter tool, fixed speed is not a negative and of course, there's the body-grip strap which fits me like a glove. Remember what I said about routers being fairly personal tools?

    The standard answer for folks looking for their first router was "if you only get one, get a plunge". Thankfully about 15 years ago combo kits had a spike in innovation and selection. There are now several kits that come with a fixed base and a plunge base that do as well as their plunge-only cousins. Again, the choice is personal. Look for key elements like how smoothly the plunge goes down and up, where the lock lever is, how easy the power switch is to use and how the collet is operated. Here's a DeWalt 1/2" collet versus a Milwaukee 1/4" for example . . .

    collet-compare-1.jpg

    I have or have had Porter Cable, Bosch, DeWalt and Triton routers. Some have gone down the road, others remain due to their particular features for specific tasks. My mainstay is the Milwaukee variants but, someone else will have just as many or more Porter Cables.

    I never met a spindle lock that I liked except for the Triton when used in a table. I prefer the control and ease of a two wrench system but, again, this is a personal choice.

    two wrench technique.JPG

    Speaking of tables, I run a couple of Milwaukee 5625's for table use. One of these has done nothing but run since the late 2000's. The other was acquired shortly after.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 03-25-2020 at 12:42 PM.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  14. #29
    Update

    I went out and purchased the Dewalt DW 618 combo kit. I decided on this one out of the simple fact that the Milwaukee was not carried in any stores around here.

    I am about halfway through my home made router table build. I have decided to put inlay 18" steel rulers into the table on each side, as well as I am making an adjustable fence for it.

    Can you tell that I have time on my hands??? lol

  15. #30
    Join Date
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    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
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    A couple of points I'm not sure that have been mentioned: the table in question has draw or Dutch leaves. If you Google Draw Leaf table or Dutch Leaf table you should get a number of hits.

    A fumed finish isn't particularly difficult to do but the ammonia is dangerous. You don't use household ammonia; you need industrial ammonia such as what used to be used for blueprint machines. It's MUCH stronger than regular ammonia and requires appropriate PPE.

    https://www.amazon.com/Ammonium-Hydr...90&sr=8-1&th=1

    Following the fuming I would use a varnish/oil/solvent type wiping finish as it's relatively easy to apply and inexpensive to make. A basic recipe is (more or less) 10 parts oil based varnish, ten parts pure tung oil, mineral spirits to thin to a consistency appropriate for application with a rag, and about one to two parts Japan drier. The Japan drier is important in getting the finish to cure. Apply heavily with a rag, allow to soak in, wipe dry with clean rags, repeat as necessary. IMMEDIATELY DISPOSE OF THE RAGS IN YOUR BURN BARREL.

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