My Tripot: Shaping the Exterior

Fascinated with the form of the tripot, and interested to see what was involved in making one, I have started my own. I couldn’t think of a better way to understand and appreciate it than to make one myself.

Loosely following an article in Woodwork by Hugh McKay on his process of making a pentapot (five vessels in one), I began work on my own.

First, I played around with a sheet of paper and a compass to lay out the overall sizes of the three vessels for my tripot. I wanted their diameters to be significantly different for interest. Since most of the shaping is done on the lathe, I knew that I needed the other two pots to clear the lathe bed when any one was mounted on centres. That limited the overall size of the piece I could make. I figured that it was also important that the three pots meet in the middle, and for the walls to not overlap so much that, when hollowing them out, the cavities would meet.

Once I had a layout that met my criteria, I transferred it to a piece of 1/4” MDF which became my template. I’m not sure this was really necessary, but it was one of the steps McKay used in the creation of his pots (the template did help me when I needed to start again… more on that later).

I chose a chunk of black locust about 8” thick. At the bandsaw, I squared up the blank, ensuring both ends were parallel to each other. I carefully positioned my template on the end grain, avoiding any checks, bark, or knots that could have compromised the strength of the tripot.  With a short screw in the centre of each circle representing a pot, I fastened the template to the black locust. Carefully, I cut to the lines using my bandsaw.

Next, I determined how tall to make each pot. I had to remember to accommodate for some chucking wastage at one end, where the screws would go in to hold the face plate. Again, following the recommendation of McKay, I used a drill press and forstner bit to remove the bulk of the waste. Boring into the end grain of a hard wood was not quick, and the results were not especially clean, with stalagmites and brad point divots abounding. I quickly cleaned up the resulting surface with a hand saw and chisels.

To profile the exterior, the pot could not be simply spun on the lathe and a gouge be presented to the work unless you were impossibly good at quickly applying and removing the tool as the other two vessels off-axis came around at you. Instead, shaping is done with a router with the work mounted on an unplugged lathe. This required some jigging.

I created a plywood platform that got mounted to the lathe bed. For my smallest router, which I had chosen to use for the shaping, I built a cradle to hold it securely in line with the lathe’s axis when resting on the platform. Lastly, I cut a template for the router to follow.

For a clean cut, ease of control, and long reach, I chose to mount a 1/4” up-spiral solid carbide router bit in the trim router. With a pot screwed to a faceplate and mounted on the lathe, I used the router to estimate where to position the template to remove the minimum amount of material, while creating a fully shaped vessel without flat spots. I clamped the template with a pair of clamps and got ready to start routing.

My left hand was on the wheel controlling the rotation of the lathe, and my right hand moved the router on the platform. Taking shallow bites, I slowly worked my way around the pot as far as I could. It took patience and focus to take only small bites, and to keep the router firmly on the platform. Several times, the router caught, tipped forward, and ended up carving deep holes in the side of the pot, requiring me to re-adjust the template to remove the divots. In the end, I ended up deciding that there was not going to be enough material left to make it worth continuing.

I started again. This is where that template came in handy. I simply screwed it to a new piece of locust and cut it out again at the bandsaw. After determining the height of the pots, I cut across the tops of the pots with a coarse handsaw, then split away the waste with a chisel and mallet. This was much quicker and cleaner than using a forstner bit.

At the lathe, I took the shaping process much more cautiously. Analyzing my previous failure, I realized that I would have a better chance of success if I: clamped the router to the platform to avoid tipping; didn’t use a spiral bit to prevent the bit from wanting to pull itself into the work; used a router bit with a short cutting length and a bearing to keep the cutting part from engaging with the other two vessels; and screwed the template securely to the platform. I took all these precautions for the second attempt.

In this video, I describe my setup, and demonstrate the shaping method.

My process worked well, and the extra precautions I took were worth the effort.

After routing all three pots as much as I could, there were a few spots that the router couldn’t access. I cleaned those up with skew chisels and carving gouges.

Next up: hollowing!

21st Century Writing Desk, Complete

A textured top might at first seem the wrong choice for a writing desk, but with computers leading the writing world nowadays we think it’s a great idea.

– Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine

I completed the base for the 21st Century Writing Desk, to go with the top that I carved in November.

21st Century Writing Desk Top

The base had to be visually lightweight to avoid overwhelming the thin top. I achieved this by leaving space below the top and tapering the legs.

To allow ample space for knees, I opted to omit the front apron. I made up for the missing apron by using an H-shaped stretcher assembly positioned low on the legs.

21st Century Writing Desk

Turned around, the desk can be used as a side table as well. The long stretcher provides some more visual strength.

21st Century Writing Desk Back

I wanted to make the legs flow into the stretchers so I created curved transitions at the joints. To do this easily, I developed a process involving two common router bits and a couple simple shims. (Read about this process in the April/May 2016 issue of Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.)

21st Century Writing Desk Base

3-Month Review

I am quite happy with the desk after a few months of use. It is plenty stable and the top is big enough for my laptop computer, some wrist support, and not much else. Therefore, it does not attract the clutter with which desks are often plagued. It is also incredibly light, which makes it enjoyable (not an exaggeration) to move around from room to room.

When I work at it, I sit in my 3-Week Chair, Prototype 4 (which I badly want to revisit and further develop).

Bonus

Read the article from the March/April issue of Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement by clicking the following image.

2016_04-05_21st-century-writing-desk

Routing the Puzzle Pieces for Puzzle Table

After gluing up the four sides, my next step was to rout in the puzzle pieces.

I used three combination squares referenced off of each edge to lay out a grid, which represented the size and location of the puzzle pieces.

Puzzle Table10

Pencil can be difficult to see on black walnut, but I found that roughing up the planed surface with 120-grit sandpaper made the lines easier to see.

Puzzle Table11

I routed the jigsaw puzzle design with a 1/8″ spiral bit, doing one line at a time.

Puzzle Table12 It was very gratifying to see one surface completed.

Puzzle Table13

Next, I rolled the cube and continued routing puzzle pieces into the other faces.

Puzzle Table14

Adding Chamfers

There was certainly a little creativity and cleverness that I put into the design of this box. Because of that, I have enjoyed the process of making them. Yesterday, I had three batches in various stages of completion and began detailing one group.

Anniversary Box Open

Chamfering the Edges

The first step was to chamfer the edges. This detail makes the edges stronger, more comfortable to handle, and more tidy in appearance.

For my prototype, I simply used a file to add the 45-degree bevels to all the edges. It was a slow process – if I had to guess, I’d say it took 20-30 minutes to add the chamfers to one box.

That time requirement was too much for my timeline and budget, so I searched out a carbide chamfer bit with the smallest pilot available. I found this bit with a brass pilot at Infinity Tools. I buried most of it in a scrap piece of particle board for maximum support of the workpiece and safety.

IMG3479

The router bit helped speed things along immensely, but since each box had 68 edges which needed to be chamfered, it still took a while. When I found my rhythm, I found that I was able to chamfer the edges of one box in about 90 seconds.

Some Rejects Due to Damage

In the process of detailing, I found some problems with tearout from a previous operation. This box was rejected because of that.

IMG3480

Not All Damage Results in a Reject

In many large-scale production environments, a box like this would likely have been rejected. But this wasn’t your average production environment – I set this one to the side. I haven’t decided yet what to do with it, however.

IMG3481

Finishing the Chamfers

The router bit did the bulk of the work and created even chamfers. It did not reach into the corners, so I had to clean up the 16 corners of each box by hand, using a file.

IMG3482

I later switched to a chisel to cut the chamfers and continued to use the file to fine-tune as required.

This was a 1/4″ butt chisel that I modified, by cutting off the handle and regrinding the blade, for chopping dovetails. For this application, its short length was the greatest benefit that allowed easy one-handed control.

IMG3485

Fun Shots

While detailing the boxes, I got inspired to take some pictures with my camera and tripod.

I am a member of Inlet Artists, a group of Port Moody artists working together on a project called Hands That Shape Our Community. The project celebrates local artists with photos of them creating their art and including their hands in the photos.

DSC_7850-001 DSC_7858-001 DSC_7859-001

A Reminder

I am offering these boxes for only $50 until the end of November. This price includes shipping within North America and I am donating $5 from the sale of each box to the Canadian Cancer Society.

The Anniversary Box has a way of fascinating people who handle it and I know that, as a reader of my blog, you’ll appreciate it.

Your investment in an Anniversary Box shows your support for my blog, my career, and cancer research. I expect to ship the boxes around the end of November.

Links:

I Can Do That with Festool and Flair

Last week, I worked at the Coquitlam showroom of Lee Valley Tools Ltd. demonstrating the Festool power tools.  I was given a stack of pine and a set of plans for Megan Fitzpatrick’s Shaker-inspired Step Stool which appeared in Popular Woodworking’s column, I Can Do That.  Over the three days, I had time to build two stools.

Festool Stepstool

The design was simple – too simple.  It needed something else to elevate the project to the next level.

After some deliberation, I decided to carve some paw prints into the stool’s treads.  From the Animal Tracks guide I selected a paw print and asked another Lee Valley staff member (hi, June!) to sketch the shape proportionate to the width of the treads.  I positioned photocopies of her sketch on the treads, then taped them in place with packing tape.

To carve the design, I installed a 1/2″ core box bit in Festool’s mid-sized plunge router, the OF1400.  A smaller router would have been more agile, but I liked the idea of the additional mass which I thought would give me more control.  I set the plunge depth to about 3/16″ and routed a test piece (which you can see under the bottom step in the picture below with the photocopy still attached).

I found that I had good control plunging the bit to the full depth and moving the router around with two hands on its base.   I focused on the perimeter first, then removed the waste from the centre area.

Happy with the setup, I routed the three treads, working up to the lines of the sketch.  Then, I removed the photocopies.

Festool Stepstool 2

I wasn’t concerned with following the lines exactly, but wanted each paw print to look similar.  The shape of the core box bit didn’t leave a flat surface which I preferred.

Footprint

I found it amusing that during the course of three days demonstrating Festool products, the largest crowd I attracted was while carving these paw prints with the router, which is, perhaps, the loudest of all the tools.


In other news, I wrote two sidebars which appeared in the latest issue of Canadian Woodworking (issue #84 – June/July).  Find them on pages 12 and 30.

Wire-Brushed Picture Frame, Session 2

 On July 3rd, I started making a picture frame for a photo.  If you missed it, read Session 1 here.

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop to finish the picture frame I started yesterday. The glue has set so I’ve removed the frame from the clamps. #flairww -1:41 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The corners look stellar. #flairww -1:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks Good work there Sir! -1:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks! I’m really happy with how it’s turning out and can’t wait to finish. #flairww RT @luggermatt: @FlairWoodworks Good work there Sir! -1:44 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I trimmed the Domino splines with my flush-cut saw. #flairww -1:46 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a chisel to flush the splines. #flairww -1:48 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to rout a keyhole slot from which to hang the picture. This is the special bit I’ll use. #flairww -1:53 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This jig is for routing keyholes parallel to an edge. This frame calls for a keyhole perpendicular. #flairww -1:56 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks With a 5/8″ Forstner bit, I drilled overlapping holes to make an oval hole for the guide bushing. #flairww -2:02 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve clamped the jig in position. Now I’ll set up the router. #flairww -2:07 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve installed the bit and guide bushing. I also set the plunge depth. #flairww -2:11 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks For the cut, I’ll start with the router in the template towards the bottom of the frame and plunge to full depth. #flairww -2:12 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Then I’ll slide the router towards the top of the frame, then back to the bottom before raising the router out of the cut. #flairww -2:12 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hooked up to a vacuum, the chips were completely contained. Very nice. #flairww -2:19 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The keyhole looks strange because the stock is so narrow, but it will work as well as anything. #flairww -2:22 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now, to mount the photo! #flairww -2:24 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I attached the picture to a thin piece of corrugated cardboard with spray adhesive. #flairww -2:28 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using thin, double-sided tape to secure the mat. #flairww -2:34 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I carefully placed the mat over the photo. #flairww -2:36 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks With the frame face-down, I put in the 2mm glass and picture/mat assembly. #flairww -2:40 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks [the mitres] do look tight! -2:37 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks what router are you using? -2:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s a Milwaukee 1-3/4HP Kit. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks what router are you using? -2:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks did the Plexiglas base come with it or did you make that? -2:43 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster It came with the router. Milwaukee makes a great router kit. #flairww -2:43 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a wooden block to press in the glazier’s points. #flairww -2:50 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When pressing in the points, I use a little downwards pressure to compress the cardboard backer to prevent the glass from rattling. #flairww -2:51 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can also use “turns” like these, which screw to the frame. #flairww -2:54 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Turns are a good option for harder woods. Glazier’s points are most easily installed in softer materials. #flairww -2:54 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Small brads can also be used in place of glazier’s points. #flairww -2:54 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks What do you think? #flairww -3:00 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s a picture of a corner. #flairww-3:02 PM Jul 4th, 2012

asliceofwood @FlairWoodworks thumbs up. Looks good. -3:01 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thank you, Tim! #flairww RT @asliceofwood: @FlairWoodworks thumbs up. Looks good. -3:02 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks looks good! 3:07 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I get the picture hung, I’ll take a better shot. Shop lighting is not ideal! #flairww -3:08 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s a better photo of the framed picture. #flairww -3:36 PM Jul 4th, 2012

kring_l @FlairWoodworks looks great! -3:56 PM Jul 4th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks looks great. -5:28 PM Jul 4th, 2012

Leave a comment here.

Maple Trestle Table, Session 18 – Attachment Strips and Power Carving

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; and
Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs.

(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 And… into the shop I go! First thing I do: turn on the lights; then remove the clamps! #flairww -1:33 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll cut the tenons flush. #flairww -1:38 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because I want to do other things today, I’m not using my small, fine-toothed flush-cut saw. #flairww -1:41 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I then used a block plane to set the tenon flush. #flairww -1:43 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The base is assembled. It still needs to be sculpted. #flairww -1:50 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cut two attachment strips which will be fastened to the legs and mortised into the battens. #flairww -2:11 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The purpose of these strips is to secure the base to the top and conceal the centre two bolt holes. #flairww -2:12 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks In the finished table, only the two outermost bolts will be used. #flairww -2:12 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It took some careful layout to position the battens. Next, I’ll fasten them with screws. #flairww -2:39 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a 17/64″ transfer punch to mark the location of the 9/32″ clearance holes. #flairww -2:59 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The smaller punch is easier to use because there is no friction between it and the hole. #flairww -2:59 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The mark could be out by 1/128″ but I don’t care. #flairww -3:00 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To guide the drill bit, I used my drill press to drill through a block of scrap wood. #flairww -3:08 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks E-mails are coming in non-stop today. #flairww -3:10 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One attachment strip is mounted. #flairww -3:12 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use my cordless drill/driver to install the screws most of the way but always finish by hand. #flairww -3:17 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s a picture of the base for you to look at while I tidy up my shop a little. #flairww -3:19 PM May 17th, 2012

CashFromCraft @FlairWoodworks I find setting the cluch to be helpful when driving a number in the same operation. -3:22 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @CashFromCraft The drill’s clutch can be helpful, but I don’t find it accurate enough due to density variances. #flairww -3:24 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @CashFromCraft I have a much greater sensitivity when using a screwdriver than a power tool. #flairww -3:25 PM May 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks why not adjust the torque setting on the screw gun? -3:31 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A screwdriver allows greater sensitivity. RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks why not adjust the torque setting on the screw gun? -3:31 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Next, I’ll trace the position of the attachment strips onto the battens. #flairww -3:41 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll remove the two centre bolts which are no longer needed and rout the pocket for the attachment strip. #flairww -3:46 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ready to rout! #flairww -3:57 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My router fence slipped and caused this gouge. I’ll have to patch it. #flairww -4:21 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To fix the gouge, I first routed a straight-edged pocket. #flairww -4:31 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I turned the head of my marking gauge around to scribe a straight line. #flairww -4:33 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cut a patch and scribed it onto the batten. #flairww -4:45 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I fit and glued the patch in place. After the glue dries, I’ll trim it flush. #flairww -4:59 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to finish the patch before starting the sculpting of the base. I’ll sand the underside of the table in the meantime. #flairww -5:15 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I simply unbolted the battens to allow uninhibited sanding of the surface. #flairww -5:26 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first Abranet HD 80-grit disc lasted for almost half of the surface. The one on the bench is dull. #flairww -5:33 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is the first time I’ve used the Abranet HD discs aside from testing. What’s nice about them is they’re either sharp or not. #flairww-5:42 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That means there is no doubt about whether the discs need to be changed. #flairww -5:42 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I consumed three 80-grit Abranet HD discs smoothing the bottom. #flairww -5:49 PM May 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks that doesn’t seem like long. Mine last multiple projects. -5:49 PM May 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks wait, isn’t abranet the mesh ones? That’s what I was referring to. -5:49 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke The regular Abranet discs are mesh and seem to last longer but don’t cut as quickly as the Abranet HD. #flairww -5:50 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If I only did horizontal, flat surfaces, I would have bought a Festool sander because they have less vibration. #flairww -5:52 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks But I find the size and balance (and weight) of the Festool sanders not as conducive to sculpting, especially with one hand. #flairww -5:53 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The Abranet HD discs are more agressive than regular Abranet discs. From the HD 80-grit, I could go to regular 80 or regular 120. #flairww -5:54 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks According to this twitter feed, it’s now been one hour since I glued in the patch so I’ll go back and finish the job. #flairww -6:00 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my side rabbet plane to clean up the inside edge of the patch. My #4 bench plane flushed the surface. #flairww-6:06 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Do you know what comes next? #flairww -6:08 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yep! The attachments strips fit in the mortised battens! #flairww -6:11 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Sculping comes next! #flairww -6:12 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to trim the end of this leg so that it does not cover the bolt. #flairww  -6:14 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Cancel plans for tonight – I’m power carving! #flairww -6:29 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m wearing a long-sleeved jacket, gloves, goggles, ear muffs, and a dust mask. #flairww -6:33 PM May 17th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks tweet-along’s hidden side benefit: work timer -6:36 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Sculpting is going well so far. #flairww -6:51 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The legs are rounded at the top and transition into a rectangular cross section at the bottom. #flairww -7:42 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve finished power carving outside so I brought the base back inside where I’ll refine the shape with rasps and sandpaper. #flairww -7:57 PM May 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks what did you power carve it with? -8:02 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke I was just thinking that I should take a picture of my grinder and Arbortech disc. #flairww -8:05 PM May 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks How is it to control? Taking a grinder to wood has always intimidated me (concrete & metal I grind away on). -8:07 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke It is certainly easier to dig into wood and cause a catch (than with concrete or metal) but I have great control. #flairww -8:09 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The surface left by the Arbortech disc is far from smooth. #flairww -8:12 PM May 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I’ll have to pick up an arbortec blade and try it out. Can you recommend one? -8:12 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke Arbortech and King Arthur’s Tools are two makers of power carving wheels. #flairww -8:16 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke I use THIS ONE. The carbide cutters last a really long time! #flairww -8:17 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke If you’re serious about power carving, it’s a great way to go. It cuts in all directions. #flairww -8:18 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The Lancelot and Squire wheels don’t cut well on the draw stroke using the cutter’s face.  The edge of the cutter does the cutting. #flairww -8:19 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ready to refine… with 40-grit! #flairww-8:25 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This sharp 40-grit paper doesn’t make dust – it makes little shavings! #flairww -8:28 PM May 17th, 2012

This video shows how I use my 6″ Mirka CEROS (Compact Electric Random Orbit Sander) and a 40-grit Abranet HD disc  to sand the sculpted legs.  I normally wear a dust mask while sanding, but I I forgot while thinking about camera angles.  Use a dust mask!  The CEROS is very good at collecting dust when used on flat surfaces but not as good when sanding rounded surfaces.  The Abranet HD discs are less effective at catching dust from the regular Abranet discs.

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I’ll check on a PC [power carver] later, but is there a particular model (grit?) good for a newb? -8:30 PM May 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks excellent! -8:30 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke As far as an angle grinder, look for one that is compact and lightweight. Power isn’t really a factor. #flairww -8:54 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke Paddle switches are suppoed to be more reliable than sliders which can get clogged with dust. #flairww -8:54 PM May 17th, 2012

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks things are coming together nicely. keep it up. -8:56 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The sander does not do well on more severe convex sections. #flairww -9:01 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The foam interface pad allows the sander to handle curves like this but doesn’t fair the surface as well and is less aggressive. #flairww-9:01 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll first fair the concave sections with a rasp, then use the sander with the 3/8″ foam interface pad and finer sandpaper. #flairww -9:03 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When it comes to rasps, I like them as coarse as they come. I rely on them to establish shape, not for smoothing. #flairww -9:08 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t use templates or layout lines. Instead, I trust my eye and sense of touch. #flairww -9:11 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks All I had for lunch was a slice of tiramisu, so I think I’ll need to stop for food soon. #flairww -9:14 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A round spokeshave would work well to fair this concave curve. #flairww -9:26 PM May 17th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s where I’ll leave it for the night. #flairww -10:21 PM May 17th, 2012

Next comes more sculpting.  Care to leave a comment?

Maple Trestle Table, Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs

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; and
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons.

(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 It’ll be a short session today – I just want to get the feet glued onto the legs. #flairww -12:55 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks But first I want to cut the reliefs in the underside of the feet. #flairww -12:56 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I set up a straight bit in my router table and marked start and stop lines on the fence. #flairww -1:12 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This bit is not as long as the material is thick so I will finish the cut-out with a flush-trim bit. #flairww -1:17 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The profile cut of each foot is done so I’ll switch bits now. #flairww -1:20 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ready to rout! The Triton router makes bit changes very simple. #flairww  -1:24 PM May 16th, 2012

TheBoisShop @FlairWoodworks Love that router. I’ve got two of them myself. -1:29 PM May 16th, 2012

Bryigdocious @FlairWoodworks hah, thats a ghetto router table! -1:39 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Unlike many woodworkers, I am more comfortable using hand-held routers than table-mounted routers. #flairww -1:40 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I’m tuning the tenon shoulders for a tight fit between the foot and leg. #flairww -1:42 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This foot is ready to be glued. #flairww -1:45 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This foot gets really tight here. #flairww -1:49 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve tuned the tightness of the joint. Now I need to tune the shoulders. #flairww -1:52 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I start by flattening the top face of the foot. #flairww -1:56 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Sometimes reestablishing flat surfaces is all that is required! #flairww  -1:58 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One end of this foot still shows the saw marks from when it was milled. #flairww -2:00 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I am going to taper the sides of the feet slightly from the mortise towards the narrow end. #flairww -2:12 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could use the bandsaw but the tablesaw makes the cut easier to repeat for the other foot. #flairww -2:13 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tablesaw doesn’t quite have enough capacity to complete the cut. I’ll use a handplane to finish. #flairww -2:17 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a chisel to remove the bulk of the waste before using a block plane to bring it flush. #flairww -2:23 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One final dry fit with clamps before breaking out the glue. #flairww -2:25 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first glue-up was easy. #flairww -2:34 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I drove in the wedges with alternating taps from my small steel hammer until I heard they were fully seated. #flairww -2:46 PM May 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s all for now! #flairww -2:49 PM May 16th, 2012

 With the base fully assembled, sculpting comes next!  What do you think of the project so far?  Let me know!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons

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; and
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together

(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 I’m back in the shop working on a game plan. #flairww -11:21 AM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to start by shaping the tenons. #flairww -11:28 AM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a melamine jig to guarantee a straight shoulder.#flairww -11:33 AM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If I had a tenon saw, I would consider cutting this joint by hand. #flairww -11:34 AM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Awesome! I just found a dust collection shroud for my Milwaukee routers! #flairww -11:40 AM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Using a router is awkward. It seems faster and easier to cut the tenon by hand, even without a saw. #flairww -11:56 AM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One thing I really like about hand tools is how easy it is to be accurate. Hand tools register off knife lines. Power tools don’t. #flairww -11:59 AM May 15th, 2012

TheGravedigger: @FlairWoodworks If you’ve only got one or two to do, it’s definitely faster. -11:59 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Agreed. #flairww RT @TheGravedigger: @FlairWoodworks If you’ve only got one or two to do, it’s definitely faster. -12:00 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tenons would have been easier to cut before attaching the stretcher… #flairww -12:00 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks … but I couldn’t accurately lay out the tenons until after gluing up the stretcher. #Catch22 #flairww -12:01 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I chopped out the bulk of the waste from both edges, working down to the baselines but crowning the centre. #flairww -12:12 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I need to flatten the hump. #flairww -12:13 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m cutting the tenon close to length. #flairww -12:18 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Cutting the tenon to length allowed me to scribe a line on the end grain. #flairww -12:21 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My medium shoulder plane looks tiny on this big tenon. Even a large shoulder plane would look small. #flairww -12:24 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I can use the shoulder plane to clean up the area next to the shoulder, then any other plane to flatten the rest of the tenon. #flairww -12:26 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to clean up the shoulder next. #flairww -12:33 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To start the second cheek, I’m using a Dozuki to cut the shoulder. #flairww -12:42 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Appropriately enough, as I use the handsaw, Rage Against the Machine’s “Take the Power Back” is playing on the @993thefox. #flairww -12:43 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m chopping across the grain to avoid causing splits. #flairww -12:49 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time to flip the leg over and chop from the other side. #flairww -12:58 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There wasn’t much material to remove on this side so it went quickly. I’ll flip it over and finish the cheek. #flairww. -1:04 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I had to take a break to take care of some phone calls and emails. Just two more steps to finish the tenon. #flairww -1:31 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because the grain would cause the wood to split if I worked from the end, I cut kerfs to control splitting. #flairww -1:38 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can see that the short segments still wanted to split into the tenon. The kerfs stopped that from happening. #flairww -1:40 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There is just one more shoulder to cut! #flairww -1:45 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here, the grain runs slightly uphill towards the shoulder so I don’t need the extra saw kerfs (just one at the shoulder). #flairww -1:47 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One tenon is done! #flairww -1:51 PM May 15th, 2012

asliceofwood @FlairWoodworks nice work. Looks really smooth. -1:54 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to turn on the camera and cut the other tenon. #flairww -1:58 PM May 15th, 2012

asliceofwood: @FlairWoodworks livestream or footage for later? -1:59 PM May 15th, 2012

HalfInchShy Be sure to use a stunt double for safety! RT @FlairWoodworks: I’m going to turn on the camera and cut the other tenon. #flairww -2:00 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If you think your shop is small, try putting a camera in it! #flairww -2:01 PM May 15th, 2012

HalfInchShy switch to a telephoto lens the other is too wide #badjokes MT @FlairWoodworks: If you think your shop is small, put a camera in it! #flairww– 2:06 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Well that was a miserable filming session. I had to work in too many awkward positions to allow a decent view. (The resulting video was not worth editing and publishing.) #flairww -4:12 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As result, it took twice as long as it should have (there was also a phone call in there). I’m going for lunch. #flairww -4:13 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m back from lunch. My next task is to cut mortises in the feet. #flairww -5:20 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I drilled out the centre. I’ll chisel the rest. #flairww -5:29 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Cutting an angled, 7/8″ x 4″ mortise is slow but I’m getting there. #flairww -5:59 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And the fitting process begins… #flairww -6:13 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just discovered that the back of one of my most-used chisels is convex. Not cool. #flairww -6:17 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’ll be footage for later, provided it’s usable. #flairww RT @asliceofwood: @FlairWoodworks livestream or footage for later? -6:24 PM May 15th, 2012

Aolas @FlairWoodworks Loving your stage by stage photos. -6:24 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks for the feedback! #flairww RT @Aolas: @FlairWoodworks Loving your stage by stage photos. -6:24 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks is [the bent chisel] really that big of an issue? You’ve built some pretty nice pieces using it! Did you not lap the back when you got it? -6:25 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster The convex back made it very difficult to get plumb mortise sidewalls and meant a LOT of extra clean-up. #flairww -6:28 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I did lap the back of the chisel when I got it. I either did a poor job or it has bent/warped since then. Thoughts? #flairww -6:28 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks check your stones! They may need to be flattened. -6:29 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a diamond stone… #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks check your stones! They may need to be flattened. -6:30 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks sooooo… is it flat? -6:31 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yes. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks sooooo… is it flat? -6:31 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I checked my diamond stone two weeks ago. It is flat. Good question! Never assume! I like it! #flairww -6:32 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks maybe you just invented the first “scrub chisel” -6:35 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If only…. It’s a shallow bent-chisel. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks maybe you just invented the first “scrub chisel” -6:37 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks then, huh! Im clueless. Can steel warp without extreme temps? -6:37 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Perhaps unseasoned steel? #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks then, huh! Im clueless. Can steel warp without extreme temps? -6:37 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I know that unseasoned cast iron or improperly stress-relieved steel can warp. #flairww -6:38 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks save that chisel and reshape it with your grinder into a tiny little dovetail chisel -6:45 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve finally got one foot fitted. #flairww -6:45 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Well, I do need a long marking knife. Maybe I’ll grind a spear-point on the end. #flairww -6:46 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So now I need to cut the mortise in the second foot. #flairww-6:48 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks or just re-lap it… -6:49 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Uh… no.  See – it’s really warped. #flairww -6:51 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks ohhhh convex, the length of the blade, I thought you meant convex across the blade. I would guess it’s from chopping with it. -6:54 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster It would be sad if these chisels were so soft that they bent in use. #flairww -6:55 PM May 15th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks How the heck did that happen? You using your chisels to open paint cans again? -6:56 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @SMeekWoodworks My paint can lids aren’t on that tightly ;) -6:56 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster“@FlairWoodworks: Cutting an angled, 7/8″ x 4″ mortise is slow  but I’m getting there.” That may have something to do with it… -6:56 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Rather than drill one row of 1/2″ holes, I drilled two rows of 3/8″ holes this time. #flairww -7:12 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t have a bit larger than 1/2″ that is also long enough to pass through the foot. #flairww -7:12 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh, how I wish I already had my @FestoolUSA Domino XL. #flairww -7:13 PM May 15th, 2012

BillGriggs @FlairWoodworks I was gonna ask why but you already explained it. -7:17 PM May 15th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks You are going to love it! It’s perfect for the furniture you make. -7:18 PM May 15, 2012

FlairWoodworks @SMeekWoodworks Have you used one? #flairww -7:19 PM May 15, 2012

SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks We have one at GPD. Used it to make 33 interior doors. Pretty sweet. -7:20 PM May 15, 2012

FlairWoodworks @SMeekWoodworks How long did it take to cut all the joints? I can’t wait to get my Domino XL. But I must. #flairww -7:22 PM May 15th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks I think there was at least a day spent cutting all the mortises. Somewhere around 2000 of them. -7:24 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And the fitting of the second foot begins! #flairww -7:53 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Getting closer. #flairww -8:07 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks are you going to draw bore? -8:08 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to wedge the tenons. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks are you going to draw bore? -8:09 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ha! I got it! #flairww -8:20 PM May 15th, 2012

thewoodbug @FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster wedge on Sir. Wedge on -8:22 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s the base put together, inverted on the table top. #flairww -8:23 PM May 15th, 2012

Tumblewood: @FlairWoodworks DAMN!! That looks good!! Great job on this, Chris!! -8:26 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Vic! It’s nice to see it taking shape! #flairww RT @Tumblewood: @FlairWoodworks DAMN!! That looks good!! Great job on this, Chris!! -8:26 PM May 15th, 2012

BCcraftmaster“@FlairWoodworks: I want to wedge the tenons. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks are you going to draw bore?” Contrasting wood? -8:27 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster The wedges will be under the feet, only visible when the table is flipped upside down, so it doesn’t reallly matter. #flairww -8:28 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use carpenter’s pencils a lot in the shop, mostly for shading material to be removed. #flairww -8:35 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to cut reliefs into the undersides of the feet to make the table more stable. #flairww -8:42 PM May 15th, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks I will wait for the big stuff, looking incredible Chris, can I help with the finishing?? -8:51 PM May 15, 2012

FlairWoodworks @TheWoodBug Sure, Dan; I’d love your help. #flairww -8:52 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a framing square to mark the feet 2-1/2″ in from the edge of the table. #flairww -8:53 PM May 15th, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Nice then I get to see the finish project in person, Violet dye might be nice then you can market it as Purple heart -8:58 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A dye might look nice on the table top! #flairww RT@TheWoodBug: Violet dye might be nice then you can market it as Purple heart -9:02 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cut the ends of the feet at 5 degrees. #flairww -9:03 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Five degrees didn’t look like enough so I recut the ends at 10 degrees. #flairww -9:08 PM May 15th, 2012

Tooltutor @FlairWoodworks Looking pretty sweet. You must be so ripped now. -9:11 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just want to get the feet glued and go for dinner! #flairww RT@Tooltutor: @FlairWoodworks Looking pretty sweet. You must be so ripped now. -9:11 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My bent chisel works fine for splitting out wedges… #flairww -9:21 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks One wedge done… I don’t think I’ll be able to glue up the feet without disturbing the family. #flairww -9:22 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the four wedges cut. I’ll cut slots for them and stop there for the night. #flairww -9:40 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Last picture of the day! #flairww -9:53 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll do the glue-up next time. #flairww -9:54 PM May 15th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just remembered that I have a hollow chisel mortiser with a tilting head that would have worked well for mortising the feet. #flairww -10:23 PM May 15th, 2012

FestoolUSA @FlairWoodworks Yeah, the wait is never the fun part, Chris. Just two more weeks until it’s available. 5:05 AM May 16, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks fantastic! Coming together fast, now! 7:22 AM May 16, 2012

Do you like how the table is taking shape?  Have you ever seen chisels take curvature over time?  Let me know in the comments section.

Next time, I’ll glue the feet onto the legs!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together

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; and
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again.

(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 My first step is to drill out most of the waste. #flairww -7:29 PM May 11th, 2012

HalfInchShy Sounds like RotoRooter :) a plumbing theme tonight! RT @FlairWoodworks: My first step is to drill out most of the waste. #flairww -7:32 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve drilled out the waste. Now I’ll chop the mortise square. #flairww -7:35 PM May 11th, 2012

BCcraftmaster@FlairWoodworks go for it! (#connect4) -7:37 PM May 11, 2012

FlairWoodworks I removed most of the waste before carefully working up to my knife lines around the perimeter. #flairww -7:43 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve squared up one side of the mortise. I’m going to try a different technique to finish. #flairww -7:49 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy I do have a sink to repair later. Seriously. #flairww -7:49 PM May 11, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster I love that game! #connect4 -7:49 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I installed a flush-trim bit in my router and set it so the bearing rides on the bottom of the workpiece. #flairww -7:55 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The flush-trim bit will follow the shape of the mortise I carefully cut on the other side. #flairww -7:55 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Routing the rest guaranteed straight walls and avoided some tricky layout. #flairww -7:59 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cleaned up the round corners left by the router with chisels. Now for a test fit! #flairww -8:05 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The fit looks good so far! #flairww -8:07 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If I can’t tell if the joint is bound, I draw a line in the tenon and watch to see if it disappears. #flairww -8:13 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To prevent denting the leg, I use a scrap of wood. #flairww  -8:16 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The joint fit tightly with no adjustments required! #flairww -8:21 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And the assembly doesn’t even rock! #flairww -8:26 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That tenon is a perfect fit! Sometimes I impress (and surprise) myself. #flairww -8:29 PM May 11th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks well done, Chris. -8:33 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Dyami! #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: @FlairWoodworks well done, Chris. -8:33 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another picture of the assembled trestle, inverted on the table top. #flairww -8:39 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tenons are still proud at both ends. I may leave them that way. #flairww -8:41 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This distance is 1/2″ longer on this side but that doesn’t really matter. #flairww -8:43 PM May 11th, 2012

bltww @FlairWoodworks relative dimensioning FTW [for the win]! -8:45 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s right! Adjust to fit! #flairww RT @bltww: @FlairWoodworks relative dimensioning FTW! -8:45 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Right now, I’m mostly just standing here admiring my progress. #flairww -8:46 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The slight angle of the legs does mean that they don’t sit centred on the battens. #flairww -8:47 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks But I can fix that. #flairww -8:48 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a tape measure and level to mark the bottom of the legs where they will be cut. #flairww -8:52 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just playing around with clamps. #flairww -9:01 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks While the clamps pulled all the tenon shoulders tight, they also pulled one leg off the batten. #flairww -9:04 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think it would be easy to glue up these tenons the traditional way. #flairww -9:06 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m thinking of applying a thin glue like Chair Doctor to the assembled joint. I can put a pin through the tenon too. #flairww -9:06 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I stood the trestle assembly up on end so the gravity will help the glue penetrate the joint. #flairww -9:18 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I ensured the shoulder was as tight as possible before applying glue. #flairww -9:19 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Take a deep breath and let the glue flow! #flairww -9:22 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I applied glue to all the seams and let it penetrate. This joint is tighter than most so not as much glue is penetrating. #flairww -9:29 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There is glue here. #flairww -9:31 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And more glue here. #flairww -9:32 PM May 11th, 2012

Tumblewood PERFECT!! Looks great, Chris! RT @FlairWoodworks: It fit tightly with no adjustments! #flairww -9:34 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks For critical glue-ups, I leave them overnight and longer if feasible. I just need to ensure that all the glue doesn’t get absorbed. #flairww -9:35 PM May 11th, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Wow I thought I liked a challenge ;) -9:35 PM May 11th, 2012 FlairWoodworks Thanks, Vic! I can’t wait to start sculpting the base! (I think that’s what I’ll do. ) RT @Tumblewood: PERFECT!! Looks great, Chris! -9:36 PM May 11th, 2012

Tumblewood How will it sit? Where is the 3rd point? RT @FlairWoodworks: And it doesn’t even rock! #flairww -9:36 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I still need to add the wide feet. RT @Tumblewood: How will it sit? Where is the 3rd point? #flairww -9:37 PM May 11th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Watching this come together is so much fun! #flairww RT @TheWoodBug: @FlairWoodworks Wow – I thought I liked a challenge ;) -9:37 PM May 11th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks It’s going to be a magnificent table! RT @FlairWoodworks: I still need to add the wide feet. -9:39 PM May 11, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Yes you seem very excited! and rightly so. like a kid in a candy store or is it bull in china shop( batten oops) -9:40 PM May 11, 2012

TheWoodBug @FlairWoodworks Looking great! can not wait to see it once you start carving!!! -9:41 PM May 11, 2012

Do you like what you see?  Leave a comment!

In the next session, I’ll cut the mortise and tenon joinery for the feet.