Author Topic: A Build along Virginia table  (Read 16561 times)

Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2009, 10:48:28 PM »
Freddy, Yes Again. On small tables like these. I would be better off making several. I like pairs in case a customer would like one for each side of their bed, hopefully. So the question is how many. My answer would be what woods do I have to make pairs. I have walnut, cherry, and curly maple, don't tell anyone, but we do still have mahogany, but this table would not have been made in our area out of mahogany. Then the next question is how many pairs. We are, not a factory. One pair of each is what I have decided upon.

Freddy Roman

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2009, 09:33:37 AM »
So now the next step is cutting the rails, and I am wondering what your process is.  How I was taught at Phil's (The Furniture Institute of Mass) is to  rough cut everything a 1/2" wider and 1" longer than the actually finish dimension. Let the material sit for a couple days and then mill to the proper finish dimension.  Yet I think this can be very wasteful at times if you count all of these little pieces you cut off.  Now are these rails going to flush with the legs?


Thanks,
Fred
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Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2009, 05:48:12 PM »
Fred, I agree with all you said. Actually I would go through my scrap pile first but if I find nothing that will work I will start with a long board 8'-16' for the rails (skirt).  My first step would be to cut off one end until all the checks, if any, are gone. If the check is more similar to a split, by that I mean if the seperation goes from nothing to an 1/8" open within a few inches then it will probably continue in the future, so I will leave an inch or two extra off of the first cut. After the first cut I will measure out my pieces I need. I agree with Phil on playing room, but I'm also cheap and agree with you on wood conservation, especially at todays prices. Once I have made my first cut I can figure what length I have to work with. You will be suprised how often the piece you pick will be 1/4" to short or maybe I have unfriendly wood nymphs. I let that determine my waste. I also look at the condition of the wood is it flat is it cupped is it warped. It will probably continue doing what it has previously done. The rails are only 4" so they shouldn't move much. My tenons are 13/16" long. I have needed to seperate my pieces from the full length by a saw cut I would prefer at least a 1/4' to 1/2" extra on lenght and width. My rails are 13/16" thick but my rough lumber is a full 4/4" I will surface one side if it is thicker you could surface both sides then let it sit inside leaned against my bench so I can knock them all down when I walk by but actually to let air get around all sides. I have no sholders between the leg and rails. The shoulders on both the rail and leg is 3/8"
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 06:09:22 PM by Jeff L Headley »

Freddy Roman

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2009, 04:01:14 PM »
Just curious Jeff do you try to usually get all of the material from the same board so there isn't any color or grain matching issues.

Fred
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Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2009, 07:52:53 PM »
Fred. With these tables I am interested in the tops being out of the same board (or boards if flitch cut), the original being two glued up boards.  Then the legs being out of complementary, sometimes you work with the 8/4 you have, and then the side rails out of something similar. It would be nice if the back was out of what the sides were out of. Here is another question, I am building these tables for sale with no order. Do I want finished backs, so they can go out in a room or secondary backs so they go up against a wall.  Why waste the wood. The back is 14 9/16"( with 13/16" long tenons included on both ends) X 4" X 13/16".  I don't want to miss a sale. I will use primary wood for the back, as on the original, and plan on finishing it. As soon as I build these tables with a secondary back someone will want it to go out in the middle of the room. That's my luck. I will start to look for what will be the top and drawer front.

Freddy Roman

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2009, 01:51:18 PM »
Jeff,

I think these days if building on spec then you have to ask yourself the questions as if you were the customer.  In regards to the back being made with primary versus secondary wood, I would say primary since it isn't really that much more material.  So do you use sandpaper at all in your work???

Freddy
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Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2009, 06:17:20 PM »
Cutting the mortises in the legs. I will use a mortising attachment on a drill press( we have been using since the 60's) I will set it to match, as well as possible, my marking gauge's lines. Then cut the first mortise. As not to blow out the back side of the second mortise, from the other side, we will stick a filler piece in the mortise, previously cut, to mortise the second side. I will mortise the top front rail ( from the back side not the front side like all the others) along with the bottom rail, because of the secret drawer. I will use the mortise on the top of the front legs to excavate for cutting the dovetail of the top rail.
After fitting tenons with a bull nose plane ( to the desired fit by either removing surface from the inside or outside)the tenons are two long so I will cut a 45 degree angle on the inside of all the tenons and bevel all ends of tenons.

Fred, I will sand all exposed surfaces. I will use modern sand paper. I have not had anyone that would want to pay me the expense to grind my own glass paper. I am still looking for that client.

Freddy Roman

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2009, 08:06:12 PM »
Jeff,

In the process of fitting the tenon do you try to take off the saw and adjust as needed.  Or do you stay away a 1/32 of an inch and plane to the line. Do you take your shoulders off the saw or do you pare your shoulders by hand.  Is there a certain technique you use to see if you removed enough material from the tenon, so that the rail is perfectly flush????  Do you always 45 the ends of your tenon. 

Thanks,
Fred
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Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2009, 10:28:06 PM »
Fred, I will try to get as close as I can cutting my tenons with my saw without going to far, which means, I stay proud of my lines and trim to fit. I wish I could say I stay 1/32" away from my line, each time, but life doesn't work that way, this time yes next time I don't know. I just plan on fitting by hand with my bull nose. On this table the sides and backs are all flush. With small legs, as on this table, I would quite often 45 the inside of the tenon to get my maximum amount of gluing surface, but with that said I would not say the 45 is a common occurrence. I will bevel all ends of the tenons to avoid splitting of mortises.
Now that I have my bottom front rail mortised and fit and my top front rail dovetailed and fit I am ready to glue up. I will dry fit one last time before the glue up. Drum roll please.
But not to worry I use Elmer's white glue. Should I hang my head in shame? I think not as I glue to my hearts content, not worrying (as much) about the open time or the fact that it's 62 degrees in our shop.
My glue up process would consist of the sides first then the back and then front. Measuring from corner to corner to assure that the case is square. If all fits properly there will be no reason to clamp things. Now I can get to my other projects that hopefully will pay my wages this week or maybe next week.

Jeff Saylor

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2009, 12:13:54 PM »
Jeff,

If I understand this correctly, you are actually glueing the entire table frame up at one time?   Or are you sub-assembling and glueing the sides first, checking for square and twist,  then adding the back and front pieces?
I'v always had my students glue up the front and back assemblies first (because of the 2 front rails and drawer kicker location), check diagonals and use winding sticks to check for twist.  Then, it's very easy when they're dry to add the two side aprons, throw in the kicker (which they tenon into the front top rail and back apron) and check for square again.

Every student I have has made a table almost identical to yours.  I think it's a great starter project to get someone into basic joinery and glue-up techniques with a nice, small and inexpensive useful project as the outcome.
Jeff Saylor
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Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2009, 09:04:09 PM »
Throw away all preconceived in conceptions. I will glue up all at once. Sometimes the norm sometimes not. It all depends on the situation. I have spent enough time on these tables. I need to get them done and out the door without sacrificing joinery. With all my joints square and true there is no need to check for racking. Certainly if you don't trust your joints then check for racking.  I will check to see that all is square. I will add a little persuasion ( from clamps) if needed.
I have brought in all the wood for drawers ( primary and secondary) and my two board top.
As a ploy to keep up interest please don't forget about the hidden drawer soon to be discussed.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 09:06:28 PM by Jeff L Headley »

sbachner

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2009, 08:23:03 AM »
Thanks for doing this; I'm enjoying it!

And there's no need for a ploy to keep our interest; it's refreshing to hear how a production woodworker, descended from a long line of woodworkers, builds this table.  I especially liked the idea of secondary wood for the back rail.  Secondary wood is used for the backs of desks, secretaries, etc., so why not for a table such as this, assuming it's placed against a wall?  You'd just never hear this approach on the "hobbiest forums".

Cheers,
SteveB.

Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2009, 09:19:03 PM »
Production shop, Hmmm. I guess I am. I don't like the connotations although. Either myself or my business partner Steve Hamilton, usually build each piece or pieces from start to finish. We do, quite often, combine forces to get a project done. Especially when we want to eat this week instead of next week or buy the baby, although today it's grand baby's , new shoes.
I will need a top 16 3/4" X 19 1/2" X 13/16" finished size. I know I said 7/8" thick top earlier but I have changed my mind, so shoot me and send me to heaven.
Since I have my wood acclimated to my shop. I will plane down one face of both of the two boards for my top and lean  them against my bench until tomorrow. I will do the same to the drawer front and the drawer sides and back and bottom. The scrap of of the secondary will be used for drawer guides and bearers.
Off on another tangent. I buy poplar, as one of our secondary woods. Most lumber companies want to sell me 3/4"milled lumber for me to plane down to 7/16" thickness for sides and bottoms. So in essence I am buying 4/4 and paying them to mill it to 3/4" for me to mill down to 7/16" or occasionally to 1/2". Would I not be better off to buy 6/4" and get it re sawed in half, by the same mill, which is what I have been doing for years. I guess at getting  6/4"  I am getting charged for  8/4" prices. But half of it doesn't get carried out to the trash pile. So I think I'm better off. Who knows?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 10:35:38 PM by Jeff L Headley »

Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2009, 10:40:51 PM »
I do realize that tomorrow turned into a few days later. I do that a lot anymore, under estimate my abilities to get things done. What I think will take two days takes three. Cows got out, snow then ice and then, other paying projects, that's a good thing, got in the way.
I will get the two boards that I have gotten out for my top which have been surfaced or planed on one side and look to see their movement. If they have stayed flat then they might ( I would underline the word might but I don't know how) not move much more when I remove more surface from the other side.  If I have an 1/8" or more to remove from the thickness of the boards for my top I will do it in stages throughout the day or next day and watch their movement, cupping and warping.
Now that they have relaxed with my final surfacing to do, my boards for the top, I will hand plane one side before sending them for their finial pass through the planer. That way if they cup or warp then one side will be hand planed and I will only have this last surface to hand plane removing all machine marks. Am I faking an antique by doing so, I think not. Anyone with any expertise of antiques would be able to tell our pieces origin. I don't want our pieces to jump out that they are new. Our clients want the pieces we build to blend in with their period pieces.
With the thickness finalized 13/16" I will concentrate on gluing up the two boards.
Now for the glue joint. Throw away all of your biscuit joinery. If your glue joints aren't perfect to begin with then biscuits won't help. Do it right the first time and there will be no need for crutches. You want surface to surface contact with a bonding agent. Your glue should not be relied upon to hold a joint together by filling voids. I will plane one edge( the glue joint edge) flat and true with my jointer. Truing up with my hand plane if necessary. I will then flip the other piece and plane it's glue joint from the opposing side. This way if my jointer is out of square ( which it is not) then my glue joint won't amplify any problems and produce a barrel instead of a flat surface.
Valentine's day is coming up and all of our spouse's would appriaciate a nice gift for all the new tools which we have purchased thoughout the year. Would they like a nice hand plane or chocholate? The payoff could be greater than expected.

Jeff L Headley

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Re: A Build along Virginia table
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2009, 10:14:32 PM »
 I would like to clarify my previous post about my preparation for gluing up my two board top. Before I start the glue up with my two boards planed to thickness with rough edges I will lay them out on my trussell boards as I would like them glued up. I do like to hide my glue joints if possible. Once I have decided upon which sides will be my top surfaces I will mark them with an X or F for face with a lumber crayon or a pencil. If I have multiple tops to glue up I will draw diagonal lines across the glue joint edge. One diagonal line for the first top two diagonal lines for the second top and so on. This way I can make one trip to the jointer and edge joint all surfaces in one process. I will joint the edge of one board with the marked surface,X ,F, or? against the fence of my jointer then the next board will have the marked surface away from the fence. This way if my glue joint is at a slight angle the next board's edge will offset the angle and create a glue joint that will give me a completely flat top. That is what I meant as far as a barrel joint. A slight angle on each glue joint eventually creating a barrel. If you have a glue up of three or more boards you should do this to each joint alternating back and forth. I have noticed this also works for hand planed joints. I work hard to get a completely square hand planed edge but it seems more often than not there is a miniscule angle from my hand plane. So if I do the same thing in my vise x in (away from me ) and then x out ( towards me ) it helps to get a flat surface. I have glued up my top so I have at least a 1/2" on two sides to play with.
With my top glued up I will plane my front edge, with my jointer and then square the cross grain edge with my tables saw, truing up with my hand planes. I will hand plane my end grain edge being careful to only plane two thirds of the end grain surface in one direction and finishing the other third from the other edge as to avoid tear out.
Now for my drawer front I will need a final size of 5 1/2" X 13" X 5/8".