Maple Trestle Table, Session 19 – Refining the Sculpted Base

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better;
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again;
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together Session;
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons;
Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs; and
Session 18 – Attachment Strips and Power Carving.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks There will be much sanding today. #flairww -11:56 AM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I am happy with how this section of the leg looks. #flairww -12:02 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think I will cut the tenons flush after all. #flairww -12:05 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cut the tenon off and I’m using my block plane to trim it flush. #flairww -12:18 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I haven’t sharpened my block plane through this whole project. I can’t believe it’s still sharp. #flairww -12:20 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The block plane affords many different grips. #flairww -12:24 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When sanding, my objective is to remove all other existing tool marks. #flairww -12:27 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When shaping, I work the entire piece as one – I don’t let one section get further ahead than another. #flairww -12:29 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I will often make changes to the shape so I only move onto finer grits of sandpaper once I’ve established a shape I like. #flairww -12:30 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This area was too difficult to carve with the angle grinder. I’ll use gouges, rasps and sandpaper. #flairww -12:36 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It can be difficult to remove marks and glue in corners. I use a card scraper at a low angle. #flairww -12:43 PM May 19th, 2012

LornaBourke @FlairWoodworks Good call on trimming the tenon to be flush with leg, looks very nice. -12:45 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thank you! #flairww RT @LornaBourke: @FlairWoodworks Good call on trimming the tenon to be flush with leg, looks very nice. -12:46 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since I’m still in the initial refining stage, I am using coarse sandpaper and will sand in all ways regardless of grain direction. #flairww -12:50 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This section is now shaped. It still needs to be refined. #flairww -1:00 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This surface is far from smooth but I am happy with the shape. I’ll move on to the other leg. #flairww -1:14 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This leg needs a lot of refining! #flairww -1:20 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks 40-grit makes quick work of the uneven surface. #flairww -1:23 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m still using the first 40-grit Abranet HD sanding disc. It’s not worn out, but I’ll change it for a fresh one. #flairww -1:25 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Preliminary sanding with my sander is done. Now I’ll use hand tools to sculpt the tighter areas. #flairww -1:50 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a coarse, round rasp to carve until the point of the V disappears. I’m almost there. #flairww -1:55 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Then I use both sides of a half-round rasp to blend the surfaces. #flairww -1:59 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks By the way, I neither own, nor have any desire to own any fine rasps. Mine are all very coarse and cost about $20-30 each. #flairww -2:05 PM May 19th, 2012

sharpendwood @FlairWoodworks Really like the shaping you’ve done. Very pleasing lines…at least to me ;) -2:19 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I power-carved the legs, I left this area square. I want to sculpt it to be more round. #flairww -2:28 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh, here is the crotch area completed. #flairww -2:29 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a Kutzall burr in my drill to sculpt this tight area. #flairww -2:42 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The end of this leg is much larger than on the other leg. I’m trying to decide if I should change it. #flairww -2:45 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Any guesses as to what I decided to do? #flairww -2:47 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After cutting the bulk of the waste away, I used a gouge to roughly establish the shape. #flairww -2:58 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a flat spokeshave to refine the shape. No templates or measurements were used. #flairww -3:04 PM May 19th, 2012

roncbailey @FlairWoodworks really have enjoyed following this build. It looks outstanding! -3:22 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Both legs are sculpted. Before progressing to finer grits I need to decide if I want to do any more shaping. #flairww  -3:21 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thank you, Ron! #flairww RT @roncbailey: @FlairWoodworks really have enjoyed following this build. It looks outstanding! -3:22 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t like the square edges on the tops of the feet. #flairww -3:53 PM May 19th, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Now your talking! -3:54 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Whooo! #flairww RT @TheWoodBug: @FlairWoodworks Now your talking! -3:54 PM May 19th, 2012

tulcarvely: @FlairWoodworks what are you thinking of doing? Maybe angle bevel? or rounded? -3:57 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Probably rounded. #flairww RT @tulcarvely: @FlairWoodworks what are you thinking of doing? Maybe angle bevel? or rounded? -3:57 PM May 19th, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks having fun today I can see and making great progress sir -3:58 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @TheWoodBug It is very fulfilling to see it take shape. #flairww -3:59 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m not sure how much I want to round over the ends. I’ll start with the area nearest the legs, then work outwards. #flairww -4:01 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Having the right tools to do this type of work is important but trusting yourself is even more important. #flairww -4:04 PM May 19th, 2012

DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks looks great. -4:13 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Dyami! #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks looks great. -4:14 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Have I inspired anybody to try sculpting part of their next piece of furniture? #flairww -4:15 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This angular corner doesn’t look good to me either. #flairww -4:25 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The near-right side is rounded. I can’t stop here. #flairww -4:25 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Again, I used my round rasp to round the V. #flairww -4:31 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Some people like to undercut their tenon shoulders. It’s not a good idea if you will be sculpting the piece. #flairww -4:31 PM May 19th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworksThat joint sure looks nice tho! -4:33 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Grant! #flairww RT @gvmcmillan: @FlairWoodworksThat joint sure looks nice tho! -4:34 PM May 19th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks that’s a great point [to not undercut tenon shoulders]. Never really thought about that but will have to keep it in mind if I decide to go “round” #flairww-4:36 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m happy with the shape of this area and will do the same on the other end of this foot, then the other foot. #flairww 5:04 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks At 5:04, I’m going for a lunch break. #flairww -5:04 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made so far today. #flairww -5:05 PM May 19th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks @FlairWoodworks Really can’t wait to see this table when it’s finished. It’s amazing. -5:47 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Wow! That was the most amazing sandwich I’ve had in a long time! Toasted sourdough, guacamole… (back in the shop now). #flairww -8:04 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to start shaping the left side of this foot. #flairww-8:09 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As always, I started by defining the ankle. #flairww -8:12 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve rounded the leg. Now I’ll work on the foot. #flairww -8:22 PM May 19th, 2012

JC_McGrath @FlairWoodworks add me to the list, this looks great Chris, can’t wait to it done. Inspiring -8:30 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Awesome! Thanks, Jon! #flairww RT @JC_McGrath: @FlairWoodworks add me to the list, this looks great Chris, can’t wait to it done. Inspiring -8:31 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve rounded over the top of the foot as well as the transition into the leg. #flairww -9:10 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m happy with the foot for now, but I think the central section is too flat. #flairww -9:12 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One way to quickly (and tidily and quietly) add shape is to carve across the grain with a deep gouge. #flairww -9:18 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My random orbit sander and 40-grit paper quickly evened out the surface. #flairww -9:21 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks At the bottom of the last picture, you can see a section that needs to be faired, right at the base of the intersection. #flairww -9:21 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The centre section is a little more rounded now. #flairww -9:44 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s another picture of this end of the base. #flairww -9:50 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I turned the base around. This side does not look nearly as good without the extra sculpting. #flairww -9:55 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got one side of the foot shaped. #flairww -11:04 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I thought this was a neat picture. The left was sanded with 40-grit, the right side from a spokeshave. #flairww -11:07 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The shaping is done… next comes a lot of sanding to polish the surfaces. #flairww -11:31 PM May 19th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m done work in the shop for the day. #flairww -11:31 PM May 19th, 2012

Next time in the shop, there will be a lot of sanding!  Bring your dust mask!  Click here to leave a comment.

2 thoughts on “Maple Trestle Table, Session 19 – Refining the Sculpted Base

  1. To answer your question (late), you’re likely the inspiration for the sculpting on my last project. Demilune next :)

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