Wednesday, October 17

Assembling Tables

Lots of visible progress today – other days I may make good progress, but it doesn’t look like much.

I started out by completing the spreaders; that means laying out and boring the pilot holes for mounting screws. Naturally the lay-out must be done carefully so the pilot holes will line up with the screw holes in the legs. Once the lay out lines are drawn I dimple the location of each hole with a punch so the drill bit will have a good starting point. Otherwise the end grain may pull the bit off it’s mark. To get the pilot holes bored perfectly straight I use a jig on the drill press to support then at 90° while I drill the pilot holes.

Then I apply glue and install the screws to assemble the leg sets and spreaders. While the glue sets up a bit I finish shaping the trays by rounding over the upper and lower outside edges on the router table. Then I get comfy with some sand paper and hand sand the tray rails with 100 and 150 grit paper.

Next I make the leg mounting blocks, sand them and attach them to the leg sets. Then I get the glue out again and join the leg assembly to the tray. The clamps will stay on overnight, but I will be able do more before we’re done for the day.

That “more” is to make the latch blocks. These consist of a low rail with a tab mounted cross-wise that will poke through an oblong hole in the upper spreader and snap in place to hold the legs in the open position. These are a little tricky to make because the tab must enjoy a precise fit and the rail is shaped to flow into the tab for a more finished look.

Once the latch block parts are made, assembled and sanded I glue them too onto the tables. These assemblies will now sit overnight to give the glue a chance to set up hard. I still have to plug the screw holes, but that will wait until tomorrow.

Instead I turn my attention to roughing out the parts for the stand. I found a special piece of wood with a patch of curly grain. I’ll use that part of the board for the handle for an especially dramatic look. But I’ll wait to get started on cutting those out until tomorrow. For now I’ll clean up the shop, put away the tools and go see what Marie is fixing for supper tonight.


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