Author Topic: Oval Table Construction  (Read 3462 times)

awleonard

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Oval Table Construction
« on: June 01, 2011, 11:52:36 AM »
I am considering building an elliptical shaped table.  I just finished a pair of Lolling chairs and need a table to go in between them.  I've seen several methods of building something like this, but I thought I would ask if anybody has any good tips.  I've seen lamination, brick, etc. techniques for building the skirts.  To complicate things, I want to add a drawer on each long side of the skirts.  I'm calling this a his and her table.  I'm working on a drawing.  I want to do some nice veneer on the top (radial pattern with cross banding) and use a tapered leg.  Thanks for the help.

Tony

Jeff L Headley

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Re: Oval Table Construction
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 05:59:26 PM »
Tony, Sounds like a fun project. I have found that laminating works well but it does flex back a little and moves over time but being held in place under the top it should work fine. Very rarely( I don't think I have ever seen this done on an old piece) do you see laminated period skirts. There must be a reason for this. Brick laid works well but the butt joints do show up after a few years, especially when using white pine. I would recommend poplar as a secondary wood. How are you going about laying out the oval (strings and nails or a square and blocks or?) plus are you banding your top. Cutting oval shaped banding can be an art in itself. Keep us apprised
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 10:15:22 PM by Jeff L Headley »

Mark Arnold

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Re: Oval Table Construction
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 08:26:12 PM »
Tony,

Here is a table I made about 15 years ago that sounds a lot like what you describe, save the drawers. The apron is brickwork poplar and I haven't seen much movement. The bricks on the long sides are longer than those on the ends. To lay out the ellipse, I used an oval jig and router setup. The banding on the top was inlaid into a groove that was plowed with a modified scratch stock that rides on two 1" dia. bearings. The banding was glued up around a curved form. I used double sided tape between the form and the inside curved veneer of the banding. Then I used a thin (1/16"?) slot cutter router bit with a bearing to rip strips from the banding blank. I raised the bit after each rip.

To add drawers, I would lay out their location on the first layer of bricks, insert a piece of wax paper between the first and second layers. Continue layering and before adding the last layer, make the plumb cuts with a thin kerf Japanese saw, and pop the drawer front out. Now you can add the last layer. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Mark
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Jack Plane

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Re: Oval Table Construction
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 03:59:56 AM »
That's a very pretty table Mark!

I have made a couple of pairs of semi-elliptical console tables and an elliptical centre table, using Scots Pine (dense and hard) for the brickwork. The centre table had four drawers, one at each point of the compass.

I built the centre table brickwork in its entirety and cut the drawers out afterwards. The drawers were cockbeaded, so I was able to use the sections I cut out for the actual drawer fronts.

I found with any brickwork, it pays to let it sit for a while to acclimatise before final shaping and cutting any drawer orifices.
Regards, Jack.

awleonard

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Re: Oval Table Construction
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 09:01:14 AM »
Thanks for the help!  Whew, I may have bitten off more than I can chew here.  Nothing like a challenge!  I'm finishing up a paint and putty project (built in bookcases) becuase I needed a break after those fussy chairs.  I wil post a pic of my drawing when I get it done.  Your replies give me lots to ponder.  I assume that I will need to learn hammer veneering to cover the bricks?  I've never done that before.  Looks fun though.  I have a vac setup with which I could do the laminations.  I'm not much of a purist.  Either way, I will get the chance to learn a new technique.  I try to do that with each new project.

Thanks again,

Tony

zacc

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Re: Oval Table Construction
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2011, 08:37:23 PM »
Tony:

Here is an interesting link for you: http://www.owwm.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=90484.  You may have to do some computer magic to make it work, but it's worth the time to look.

Rob

Jeff L Headley

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Re: Oval Table Construction
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 05:37:34 PM »
I do use my vacuum bag but find that it is easier to use clamps and calls for veneering most small surfaces like skirts and shaped drawer fronts.