Friday, December 10

Tray Tables – Latch Blocks

Today’s work will be done in two steps and I will post each separately.  First, fellow woodworkers, we will make and attach the latch blocks that hold the tray tables in the ‘open’ position so they can be carried around.

This starts with setting up the table saw with my miter fence and an ATBR blade; which stands for Alternating Top Bevel with Raker.  The alternating bevel teeth cut cleanly through hard wood and the raker tooth squares up the cut to provide a flat bottomed kerf.  I set up the saw using my template piece, then fine tune it using a piece of scrap wood cut to the same dimensions as the latch blocks.

The goal is to get a slot in the top of the block that is just the same depth as the thickness and just wide enough to provide a tight fit for the tab stock.  We want no play at all here or the tab will not stay in place.  Once I get it right I cut the slots then shape the blocks on the router table, and complete the tabs.

When all the parts are made and sanded, I apply glue and a clamp to draw the parts together.  Because of the tight fit, I need only leave the clamp on for a few minutes, then I can do the last of the shaping – rounding over the back of the tab to match the block.

The final step is to glue and clamp the completed latch blocks to the underside of the tables.  These will stay clamped up overnight.

This completes construction of the tables.  Next I will turn my efforts toward building the stand.  Stop in again and we’ll look at that.  Thanks for reading!

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