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Thread: Transformations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    7,421

    Transformations

    Not quite 4 weeks ago, a good friend, Rita, brought along an entrance hall table she wanted me to fit a drawer into ...





    (Note that these photos were taken in my entrance hall, not Rita's).

    It was really a boring ... okay, ugly table. I thought that the proportions were completely ugh, and the legs reminded me of detention in a classroom. The table had been a kerbside salvage by her late husband, a close friend of mine, and a very good woodworker in his own right. It had been used as a work table. Rita had just moved into a new home, and the table was used because the width of the top fitted an alcove in the entrance hall.

    I said to Rita that I would re-build the table. "But I must have a drawer", Rita emphasised.

    The wood was good Jarrah. The first step was to pull it apart. This was not so easy as simply unscrewing the clips for the top ...



    Some evil tablemaker had used a nail gun to attach the corner blocks. Pulling them out left holes in the legs.



    The legs were attached with dowels. I would never have guessed as the construction was very strong. Pulling them away caused some of the wood to tear along with it. No way to remove them other than saw the ends away.



    Deconstructed ...



    Let's begin again ..

    I thought that I would do something different with this write-up. Turn it around and start with the finished piece. That's right ... the table rebuild is complete. This will provide a picture of the end result, and we can then look at how certain parts were built. This way around might create a better understanding of where the build was going, and how it got there.

    In particular, the drawer. The drawer is a little beauty. I did scratch my head over the construction. No doubt it has been done before, but I could not find any pictures of another like it. I am sure there will be interest in the design. I am chuffed with the efficiency of it. More on this in the next article.

    For now, here is the completed table.



    The legs have been brought inward, tapered, and a 3 degree splay added to the sides.





    The top retained its width (I was threatened with death, or worse, if it was shortened) but was made shallower. A slight camber was added front-and-back to soften the outline ...



    The apron was also made shallower. The original was 100mm (4") high. It is now 65mm (2 1/2") high.



    Oy .. where's the drawer gone?! I could have sworn it was there yesterday. Aah ... there it is ...




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    This is the drawer case ...



    With drawer inserted - you need to get close up to see the joins ..



    It opens with a pull under the drawer ..



    The drawer is shallow, of course, it is just for house keys and the odd remote control. It is just 45mm (1 3/4") high on the outside and 26mm (1") deep inside. The full dimensions are 230mm (9") wide and 280mm (11") deep ...



    The sides are 7mm thick. The drawer front is 18mm (roughly 3/4").

    To maximise the internal height, the drawer bottom was attached with a groove into the drawer sides rather than using slips. Slips would have used a precious extra 3mm (1/8"). So they 6mm (1/4") drawer bottom has a 3mm rebate, fitting a 3mm groove.



    The sides and bottom are quartersawn Tasmanian Oak, which is very stable and tough. One screw at the rear, with an expansion slot, to hold it firmly. A nice, tight drawer ...



    It sides in-and-out smoothly. I love that it disappears and is hidden.

    More on the construction next time, but feel free to ask questions.



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    359
    Very, Very nice work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    20,411
    A rebirth. Great transformation.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
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    21,843
    Blog Entries
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    Great work.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,109
    That is a very nice post Derek.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL.
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    1,617
    Nice touch of class, Derek.
    Was this originally a home made table I ask because of the air nails and dowels.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Ron, I do not know if it was home made. I think not - just an example of one method of construction. It certainly was solid and would have lasted a 100 years.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,951
    You turned a utilitarian beast into a pleasant, fine looking piece of art!

    We have some Walnut furniture that looks, and is made similar to what that was to start with. It was left to us by an Uncle who took some Walnut lumber to a local factory, in the 1950's, that made school furniture. We even have Walnut school chairs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
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    1,888
    You have transformed the table into a beauty Derek. What a change. It even looks like it weighs less now then before. Thanks for sharing.
    David

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Katy, TX
    Posts
    47
    Derek,

    Please share how you cut the drawer front from the apron with virtually no kerf... What is this mad science?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Patience Steve. I will show this in detail. But it is a well known method. Nothing original there.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
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    You fooled me! When I saw the first finished photo, my first thought was "Derek is in trouble, he forgot the drawer." A few photos down I saw the drawer. <tip hat>

    I like the improved look very much; surprisingly so, but given the quality of what you do, it should not have surprised me.

    Curious how you did such a perfect cut for the drawer face.

  14. #14
    Amazing transformation. Kudos.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,702
    First class Derek. Re-making from not much is far more difficult than making original. Coming up with something that looks great is a task for a master. I’m interested in your drawer construction and also how you managed the leg joinery.
    Jim

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