Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life.

Life in the Village and beyond, based around the interests of my life. Sunset at Telegraph Point.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Building a Rosewood Hall Table Part 1

The ukulele is progressing, but has gone on the back burner while this commission is completed.

Preparing Stock 

For this hall table I will use some very old Australian Rosewood.
It was felled over twenty years ago and has sat around all that time waiting to be turned into something beautiful.
Hope I do it justice.

The exterior of the rosewood has deteriorated but the timber underneath is quite lovely.

The bandsaw makes short work of ripping down to size.
Here I am cutting the legs.

Note the push stick on the right for assisting with the feeding when using the fence on the bandsaw.
Saves losing fingers if things slip up.

Here is the slab that will become the top of the table.

Already some interesting grain is evident and this will need to be watched to prevent tearout when working with tools.

There is a natural edge to this slab which I will preserve as the leading edge of the table top.
It is weather beaten and grungy, so it will need refining when the time comes.

In its present shape this slab is too long and will be trimmed to size, being careful to remove as much cracking and checking (see far end)   as possible.

Next step will be to mill the legs.  These will be square in section at first but will be tapered later.

The four legs are all 45mm square to begin with.

First step will be to cut these to length.

Before tapering, the mortices that will house the rails will be cut.  It is much easier to do this with square stock than with tapered stock.

Also, the rails need to be housed in mortices that are square to the rail ends.

The grain in the legs is not straight, and has a distinct sloping attitude to it.  I will use this to advantage when it comes time to taper the legs.  The tapers will follow the grain.

Next step is to cut out the front and back rails as well as the side rails.

These will be the same width and thickness.

Here I have cut more rails than I need.

there is some checking towards the ends of the individual timbers and the grain varies with the timbers used.

There is also some significant sapwood that shows some signs of  insect larval damage.

I want to use the sapwood in the design if possible, but will carefully remove any damaged sections first.

The rails need truing and the bandsaw marks need removing from the edges and faces.
Here I am using a Stanley Number 31 transitional plane as my jointer.

The edges are checked for square against a strong light.  As you can see, this edge still needs work.

The Legs

Once the legs have had their mortices cut - I use a router for this - then the legs can be tapered.
A rough taper is cut on two faces of each leg on the bandsaw.

The legs are then smoothed using the Stanley jointer once more.

Once smooth, the edges need to be dressed to prevent splintering and the base of each leg chamfered.

This chamfer stops the bottom of the leg splintering, and also creates a shadow line under the foot - adding a little elegance.

In the next part, I will dress the table top and gather all of the parts before final assembly.

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