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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Building a Rosewood Hall Table Part 2

The Table Top

Once the slab has been sized for the table top, the edges need dressing and squaring.

Once again I use the Stanley 31.  It is as long as a number 8 plane but somewhat lighter to use.
I am appreciating this in my handtools more and more.
Once the plane is taking full length shavings, then the edge is fully clean and flat.

By contrast, the front edge is still a little daggy.
I want to preserve the rough look but there will be a finish on it so the edge needs cleaning up.

I am using a carving chisel to clean out the hollows and to enhance the edge with a "natural" look.

Here is the table-top prior to final sanding.  It will stay this way until after construction is complete.

Layout of the Parts

The four finished legs now are laid out showing their taper.  There is a little sapwood in two of the legs.  I think I will try these at the front.

The four rails are laid out with their tenons almost complete.  There will be a small amount removed from the bottom of each tenon to help the edges cover the joint completely.

The piece on the right front is a strengthening rib for the middle of the frame.
It can be seen in the layout below.

A housing will be cut into the front and back rails to take this strengthening rib.
Note also that the sapwood in the rails shows continuity through the corner.  These rails will form the front and the solid rosewood coloured rail will be at the back.
I like the aesthetics of this arrangement.

Sanding and Finishing

It is much easier to do this before assembly so I try to have most of my surface preparation done prior to glue-up.

Care must be taken with the mortice and tenon areas so that the timber is not sanded out of square - otherwise there will be gaps after glue-up.

The table top will be held in place by buttons and will be fitted last.

Several coats of lacquer - with a light sanding between coats - will be all that is needed to finish the table.

Found the camera - hooray - images added above.
There are only the coats of lacquer to go.
Happy shavings to all.


  1. I like that you used the sapwood rather then hide it. I think it's a good fit with the live edge of the top.

    1. Thanks Ralph.
      Sapwood on Australian rosewood is generally not liked by furniture builders, but this time it seems to fit quite well.
      I have started another similar hall table in silky oak as the second part of this commission for our forthcoming exhibition.
      Happy shavings

  2. Incredible, as usual! It's gonna be gorgeous.

  3. Looks a lot like mahogany, but I bet it's harder. How soft is the sapwood?

    1. Thanks Toby.
      Rosewood is a beautiful timber to work and the sapwood and heartwood are about the same consistency. It is a little harder than old growth cedar but nowhere near the density of eucalypts.
      Now, if I can just find what I've done with my camera .........