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!

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.

Overflow, Part XI

Router bit sets with 30 assorted bits seem like a great deal and an affordable way to start your collection.  I’m sure that I’m not the only one who bought one of these sets.  They are good value if you look at the cost per bit.  However, the sets often come with moulding profile bits that are quite specific – ones that I never use.  If the bits in the photos don’t look entirely covered in dust, it’s only because I rubbed it off when I put them in the bit holder for the photo.

These seven bits are Dimar/WoodPecker three-flute, carbide-tipped bits with 1/2″ shanks.  They have never seen a router collet.  Here’s a link to their description of the bit set in PDF format.  I’ll include the awkward-to-use Lee Valley bit holder, if you like (it might make shipping more expensive).

Here are some detail pictures of the router bits and profiles.  Bonus points if you can name them all.

#1, 2, and 3 Ogee Bits

#4, 5, and 6 bits.  Oh, gee. More bits.

#7.  This is a special type of cove bit. It’s classic(al).

Okay, here’s the deal.

If you would like these bits, please leave a comment below indicating your interest by 2 am of November 8.  You get a bonus entry if you can successfully identify the seven bits using Dimar’s Profile Chart and the numbers in the photo captions.  For example:

I’ve identified the bits as follows:

1. Dovetail bit;
2. Panel-raising bit;
3. Slot-cutting bit;
4. You get the idea…

I will then draw a winner at random.  Even if you don’t get this item, remember that there is still much more I want to give away.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified as soon as I post something new!  Please tell your friends about my Overflow program.

Review the details of the Overflow program.

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 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again

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; and
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better.

 (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 Today, I’m going to continue work on the Maple Trestle Table. Follow along! #flairww -12:25 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s so nice to be working in a clean shop! #flairww -12:27 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s a picture of the clean shop! #flairww -12:30 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since I messed up one batten last session, I’m going to remake it with this maple. #flairww -12:31 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Actually, I’ll probably remake them both so they are physically identical and with similar grain and colour. #flairww -12:32 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The more I look at this board the less certain I am that it is maple. I think it’s birch. #flairww -12:34 PM May 9th, 2012

WatkinsWoodWork @FlairWoodworks It’s too clean… -12:34 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Right you are! #flairww RT @WatkinsWoodWork: @FlairWoodworks It’s too clean… -12:34 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got more maple in the corner. All the way back in the corner. #flairww -12:36 PM May 9th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks i know that game, ha ha. -12:38 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I was very lucky to find this straight-grained piece of maple behind only a few other slabs. #flairww -12:38 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Nobody else is home today so I get to crank @HailTheVillain! #flairww -12:42 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The slab is about 14″ wide. I could either take 28″ off one end or 3″ off the back. #flairww -12:46 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thinking about future use for the slab, it makes more sense to take a strip off the back. #flairww -12:48 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The slab is a little longer than my sliding table saw can handle, so I’ll use a circular saw. #flairww -12:49 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m set up to make the cut. #flairww -12:53 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I got this circular saw for my 16th birthday. #flairww -12:56 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Off to the jointer. #flairww -1:01 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The dust collector works so much better since I emptied it. #flairww -1:24 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve set up my router table to rout the shallow rabbets in the underside of the battens. #flairww -1:34 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The rabbets are now routed. #flairww -1:43 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve switched to a chamfer bit and installed a starter pin. #flairww -1:56 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The starter pin is an important safety feature that gives me leverage and control over the workpiece. #flairww -1:58 PM May 9th, 2012

McPhersonDoug @FlairWoodworks That’s cool! Looks like that could even be the original power cord [on your circular saw] too! No splices covered by electrical tape or anything. -2:04 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I routed chamfers on the other side of the battens. #flairww -2:09 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The new battens are bigger and nicer looking than the first ones. #flairww -2:10 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a square to transfer the location of the holes in the battens. #flairww -2:12 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Like new! RT @McPhersonDoug: @FlairWoodworks That’s cool! Looks like that could even be the original power cord [on your circular saw] too! -3:01 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I took a 2-hour break to finalize a post for Time Warp Tool Works.  We now return to regular programming… #flairww -4:08 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The new battens are drilled and ready to install.  [Though they appear to be different lengths, they are actually identical.] #flairww -4:35 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Another interruption – my mother, @WiseSisterFay, wants some help making a display for a show tomorrow called Your Wellness Day#flairww -4:37 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got both the battens installed now. I like how they look. #flairww -5:04 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m spending some quality time with my hand plane and cleaning up the routed chamfers. #flairww -5:10 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve cut one mortise and tenon joint between the legs and stretcher. #flairww -5:22 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to tune the tenon’s shoulders so the stretcher meets the leg without any gaps. #flairww -5:24 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a utility knife blade and shim to scribe a line around the stretcher. #flairww -5:30 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I just need to trim the shoulders to the knife line. #flairww -5:35 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks As I work, I use the stock of my double square to check that the shoulder is square or undercut. This needs work. #flairww -5:44 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m happy to have one mortise and tenon joint fit! Now it’s time for #woodchat #flairww -6:03 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Looks good! #flairww -6:05 PM May 9th, 2012

woodshaver101  @FlairWoodworks when’s that table going to be done? Cant wait to see it on its legs #woodchat -6:09 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Same here! #flairww RT @woodshaver101: @FlairWoodworks when’s that table going to be done? Cant wait to see it on its legs #woodchat-6:09 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used to think that everything had been done. Now I know that’s not true. I like to do things that haven’t been done previously. #flairww -6:10 PM May 9th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks coming along nicely! -6:20 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m really happy with how it is progressing. RT @DozersWorkshop: @FlairWoodworks coming along nicely! -6:20 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @uppercutwood You can’t find what I’m making. Anywhere. #woodchat -6:32 PM May 9th, 2012

uppercutwood @FlairWoodworks I can find it on twitter! #flairww #woodchat -6:33 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You got me. RT @uppercutwood: @FlairWoodworks I can find it on twitter! #flairww #woodchat -6:33 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This is where I left off before #woodchat and dinner. #flairww -7:37 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a level to extend layout lines representing the stretcher across the leg. #flairww -7:44 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I also marked the position of the leg on the stretcher (the two fine lines). #flairww -7:45 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I am intimidated by this tenon. There are so many angles and so few reference surfaces. #flairww -7:56 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh yeah, and not one of the reference surfaces is flat, or even concave. #flairww -7:58 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I crosscut the stretcher 1/4″ overlength. #flairww -8:05 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I needed to shim my tenoning jig to get it aligned properly.#flairww -8:13 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Using the jig as a guide, I scored the shoulder line with a chisel. #flairww -8:15 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To provide support for the router at the end of the tenon, I routed a dado and taped in a scrap of wood. #flairww -8:26 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I routed to depth at the end then removed the support piece to finish routing to the shoulder. #flairww -8:29 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The cheek is much cleaner than the tenon on the other end. #flairww -8:31 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I only have two template bits. Something in between these two sizes would be nice. #flairww -8:40 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My big template bit was too long to make the cut while referencing off the jig so I used the smaller one. #flairww -8:41 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks However, the smaller bit wasn’t long enough to complete the cut. #flairww -8:41 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second cheek is done. #flairww -8:58 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to finish cutting the shoulder and make the two end cuts. #flairww -10:01 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve finished the shoulder and laid out the remaining cuts.#flairww -10:01 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tenon is cut. Now to lay out the mortise. #flairww -10:02 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the mortise laid out on one side. #flairww -10:02 PM May 9th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve transfered the layout of the mortise to the other side. I’ll cut the mortise tomorrow so I’m done for today. #flairww -10:13 PM May 9th, 2012

Next session, I’ll cut the mortise and the joint fit!

Got something to say?  You know what to do!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL)

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; and
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top.

(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 haven’t worked on the table for four days and I’m finally getting a chance to get back at it today! Follow along with #flairww. -2:24 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I left off, I had just finished flattening the table top. Joinery between the two slabs comes next. #flairww -2:26 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve laid out on the faces where I want the mortises to be located. There will be three 3″-long mortises. #flairww -2:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since I can use the same layout for the other side, I put pencil marks on my aluminum ruler. #flairww -2:41 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The layout of the second half was ridiculously easy. Now I need to flip over the top and separate the two halves. #flairww -2:44 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Maybe I should clean up some of these plane shavings first… #flairww  -2:48 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Two bags of shavings! #flairww -2:55 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks In the shavings, I found the transfer punch I’d used when I installed the battens. #flairww -2:57 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Well, that was kind of exciting. I didn’t break a horse, but I did knock over one. #flairww -3:02 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using a socket adapter in my drill to quicky remove the lag bolts. #flairww -3:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks They’re free! #flairww -3:09 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll be using a plunge router to cut the mortises. This is easiest with the surface being mortised in the horizontal position (and the slab vertical). #flairww -3:13 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Had I been able to get a @FestoolUSA Domino XL, I could have easily cut the mortises with the slabs in the horizontal position. #flairww -3:14 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cannot imagine using a stationary machine such as a horizontal boring machine/slot mortiser to mortise these slabs. #flairww -3:15 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want really deep mortises and my Milwaukee plunge router has a greater plunge capacity than my Porter Cable. #flairww -3:17 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my saddle square to transfer the layout lines from the face to the edge. #flairww -3:21 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a large X to clearly mark which sections receive mortises. #flairww  -3:22 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I clamped a straight piece of wood to the router’s base to act as a fence. #flairww -3:25 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Why? I’m not positive that the slabs are of even thickness so I am using the face as a reference surface. #flairww -3:26 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s the distance from the face to the mortise that is important. I used the CS-2 because I’d like them to be roughly centred.#flairww -3:27 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks THAT’S where my CS-2 went! :-P Nice build; I’m having popcorn playing with Domizilla thinking how useful it would be #flairww -3:27 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Thanks :) I hope @BridgeCityTools makes you a new CS-2 soon! #flairww -3:28 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Because of the live edge, I moved the edge of one mortise. #flairww -3:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks I like how you Xed out the X for the mortise. Is that a woodworking double negative? #flairww -3:53 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks More seriously, are you going to use the router horizontally or have you mounted the slab vertically like you did before? #flairww-3:53 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy I’ve got the slab clamped vertically to a sawhorse. #flairww -3:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve routed the first set of mortises. They are 2-1/2″ deep which is the capacity of my router bit. #flairww -4:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Unfortunately, my Milwaukee plunge router requires me to hold down a stiff plunge lock lever with my thumb in order to release the plunge lock. #flairww -4:01 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My thumb is quite sore after just three mortises… #flairww -4:01 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It was a fairly slow process to cut a mortise, too. #flairww -4:02 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And now I need to set up to rout the set of mortises on the other end of this slab. #flairww -4:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can smell burnt wood from the friction of the non-fluted shank against the mortise walls. #flairww -4:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh, I forgot to mention that I’m using a 1/2″ diameter up-spiral router bit. I wouldn’t want to use a straight bit for deep mortises because they don’t clear chips as well. #flairww -4:07 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It took me over 2 minutes to rout each of the three mortises. #flairww -4:08 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I guess I’ll rout this set of mortises on my knees. #flairww -4:11 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I applied some DriCote to the router bit. It’s supposed to reduce friction and keep the bit clean. #flairww -4:15 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to see if I can defeat the sprung plunge lock on my router. #flairww -4:17 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There’s the culprit! Remove the spring and I’m a happy woodworker! #flairww -4:19 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I bolted the lever back on, positioned where it is comfortable to operate. Here the plunge is locked. #flairww -4:22 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And I push the lever down to plunge freely! #flairww -4:23 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I might have broken this handle when I knocked over the saw horse. #flairww -4:27 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hmm… when the plunge mechanism is unlocked, there is noticeable play in one column. Before… #flairww -4:32 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks … and after. I don’t know if you can see it, but I can see and feel it. Not good. #flairww -4:33 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My Porter Cable has some wiggle too. It’s not as much but still significant at the end of a bit protruding 2-1/2″ from the collet. #flairww-4:34 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide: if you want a better way to measure runout, chuck up a piece of round stock. less tricky to see/measure than a bit. -4:35 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide Good idea, but it’s plenty clear when you see it in person. I’m evaluating my options right now. #flairww -4:37 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks gotcha. got very little experience with rebuilding routers, but i know the feeling. good luck! -4:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide I’m thinking upgrade, not rebuild. I don’t think it’s a wear issue becuse it has so little use. Blame tolerances. #flairww -4:39 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks i did the same thing. went from old craftsman to new bosch. = night & day. -4:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Nice. #flairww RT @malphrusoxide: @FlairWoodworks i did the same thing. went from old craftsman to new bosch. = night & day. -4:41 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide I have a Bosch 1617EVS plunge router somewhere… gonna find it and see how it feels. #flairww -4:42 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks cool. forget which model bosch i ended up with. was working against a deadline so i didn’t get to shop around like i prefer. -4:43 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have no idea where the plunge base is. I never change the Bosch 1617 bases because it is very difficult. #flairww-4:46 PM Apr 30th, 2012

DyamiPlotke: my local tool monger has a number of used 3HP PC plunge routers in stock now if you need a new one. -4:52 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I found the plunge base and managed to swap over the router without any drama. The plunge feels good! #flairww -4:53 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Are they good? #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke: my local tool monger has a number of used 3HP PC plunge routers in stock now if you need a new one. -4:54 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The Bosch 1617EVS plunges about 2-3/8″ so it might work.#flairww -4:56 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This table will be for sale when it is complete. E-mail me if you are interested. #flairww -5:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So far the cost is a Domino XL and OF1400 :) #flairww -5:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks I have 1 I bought used & like it equal 2 my Festool OF2000 Different feel but both very nice The PC is big & well balanced -5:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

malphrusoxide @FlairWoodworks dominoXL v. domino… thoughts? worth the extra coin? -5:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide Totally different applications. For me, the XL makes more sense. But I already have the DF-500. #flairww -5:08 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @malphrusoxide So for me, yes. #flairww -5:08 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To ensure the fence is positioned the same on my Bosch router, I first plunged the bit into an existing mortise. #flairww -5:16 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ok… my Bosch router is now set up. Next question: does the switch work? #flairww -5:18 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Yes, it does work. #flairww -5:21 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here goes… mortise set 2… #flairww -5:23 PM Apr 30th, 2012

This video showed how I routed the mortises.  In this real-time video, I routed one of three mortises in this end of the slab.  There were 12 mortises in total.  (Duration – 3:07)

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks routing bits limit depth,but are precise,I tend to cut deep mortises with a mortise chisel. good luck -5:31 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks … and… done that set of mortises! #flairww -5:34 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodshaver101 How long would a 3″ long, 1/2″ wide, and 2-1/2″ deep take you to chop by hand? #flairww -5:36 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So the second set of mortises took 10 minutes… about 30% longer than the first set. #flairww -5:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Before routing this mortise, I should check that it won’t go into this cavity. #flairww -5:43 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I moved the mortise in by 3/4″ to be safe. #flairww -5:48 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since these pieces are a little awkward to turn upside-down to knock the sawdust out of the mortises, I’m using a stick to scoop chips towards the vacuum hose. #flairww -6:02 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s the third set of mortises done. I added a 1/2″ deep haunch and will do the same with the others. #flairww -6:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks I have that same set up. Do you have problems getting the motor into the bases? Is the side of your motor all scratched up? -6:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster Yes and yes! I took some fine wet/dry paper (dry) and sanded the body smooth. It’s better but not great. #flairww -6:07 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The last mortise has been routed. Now I need to clear out the mortises and make floating tenons! #flairww -6:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks My crevice nozzle, very conveniently, is a friction fit in the 1/2″ wide mortises. #flairww -6:41 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So the mortises I cut with my Milwaukee were 2-1/2″ deep and the mortises cut with my Bosch were only 2-1/8″ deep. #flairww -6:50 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to extend the bit further out of the collet (still with a full 1″ in the collet) and make the mortises deeper. #flairww -6:51 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay, NOW the routing is done. #flairww -7:05 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Like my Milwaukee, my Bosch also has a spring-loaded plunge lock. It’s not as stiff as the Milwaukee, but my thumb’s still sore.#flairww -7:06 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I found some maple for the floating tenons. The next step is to plane it to the correct thickness. #flairww -7:12 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To ensure the floating tenons were the right thickness, I planed a test piece ahead of the good stock. #flairww -7:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I then used the bandsaw to define the tenons. I’ll use a fret saw to finish the job. #flairww -8:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks But first… dinner! #flairww -8:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks that should hold good.  -8:32 PM Apr 30th, 2012

woodshaver101 @FlairWoodworks about 5 min I’m a mortise cutting mad man -8:33 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That is really fast! Can you take a video? RT @woodshaver101: @FlairWoodworks about 5 min I’m a mortise cutting mad man -8:38 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop finishing off the floating, haunched tenons. #flairww -9:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here is one tenon complete and partially dry-fit. It’s a friction fit and will be a struggle to remove. #flairww -9:24 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got the second floating haunched tenon cut as well. I think they need to be a bit thinner though. #flairww -9:39 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I ran the tenons through the thickness sander a few times to get it to the perfect thickness. #flairww -9:55 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s a big tenon! It makes XL Dominos look diminutive.#flairww -10:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now I get to put the two halves back together for a dry fit with the tenons! This is EXCITING! #flairww -10:07 PM Apr 30th, 2012

gvmcmillan @FlairWoodworks I always like dry fitting time – it’s when you really get to see if it’s going to work and what it will look like. #flairww -10:09 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @gvmcmillan I’m excited and nervous. Will my deadblow hammer be seeing a lot of work? #flairww -10:11 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks you even make tenons outta slabs! :) nah no heavy work with the deadblow… you’ve thought of everything (I think :) #flairww -10:13 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Hey – this isn’t doll furniture! #flairww -10:15 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The deadblow hammer is for scale. If this doesn’t impress you, I want to see what you do! #flairww -10:17 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first joint went together easily…. #flairww -10:19 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second side is going to need some clamping pressure.#flairww -10:21 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I wish I had some really big clamps right now. #flairww -10:23 PM Apr 30th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks Ratchet strap around the end? -10:24 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks If it comes to that, maybe… #flairww RT @luggermatt:@FlairWoodworks Ratchet strap around the end? -10:25 PM Apr 30th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks I use them a lot on the boat. Good for ‘encouraging’ big joints into place ;-) -10:26 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks With one slab butted against my workbench which was butted against the wall, I was able to use my deadblow to close the joint. – 10:29 PM Apr 30, 2012

FlairWoodworks Next, the countertop connectors are installed and tightened.#flairww -10:35 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Then the battens are reinstalled… #flairww -10:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I feel like a kid on Christmas day! #flairww -10:40 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The dry-fit tenons worked brilliantly. There’s no more than a paper’s thickness in deviation between the two slabs on the surface. #flairww-10:45 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now… should I glue it? #flairww -10:45 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to clean up the shop while I ponder that. #flairww-10:46 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks yes :) #flairww -10:46 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You’re probably right. Might be an intense glue-up! I’ll have to get some slow-cure glue. RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks yes :)#flairww -10:47 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Oh definitely a slow cure; do you have a slow-cure epoxy? #flairww -10:48 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks 5-minute? Um… no. RT @HalfInchShy: @FlairWoodworks Oh definitely a slow cure; do you have a slow-cure epoxy? #flairww -10:49 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Glue the tenons into one slab then you can take your time to get the other in position; wet w/glue slab 2s mortises #flairww-10:56 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks once in position but before pushing together, apply glue to the tenons then push like hell, man! #flairww -10:56 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy That’s definitely how I’d do it! #flairww -10:58 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks I hear my neighbors chanting ‘Chris!’ ‘Chris!’ ‘Chris!’ I think they want to see glue-up. Man up. :) #flairww -10:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy Oh, you…. #flairww -10:59 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks It was either that or a Canucks joke… #flairww-11:00 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @HalfInchShy I don’t think I actually need a slow-curing glue, thought it could make it less stressful if I have trouble. #flairww -11:01 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks On edge, the table is up to my chest! #flairww -11:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks Jolly good :-) -11:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Then do your other idea and mix your own TB Extended; first slab do as usual; second wet mortises with TB-Ex #flairww -11:03 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks When you wet the tenons just before pushing it together, use normal TB; home-brew extended wont skin in the mortise#flairww -11:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

HalfInchShy @FlairWoodworks Get your brother to snap a pic of the table on edge with you behind it or peeking through the center #flairww -11:04 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s not so easy to get this spring-loaded plunge-lock lever back reinstalled! #flairww -11:34 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Okay, it wasn’t that hard – it just took some lateral thinking.#flairww -11:36 PM Apr 30th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m done in the shop for the night. Now for some video and blog editing. #flairww -11:45 PM Apr 30th, 2012

The top is nearing completion.  The legs and feet have yet to be started.  What’s next?  In Session 10, I began work on the legs!

I would be delighted if you left a comment.

Maple Trestle Table, Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top

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; and
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside.

(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 As I work at surfacing this table top, I am reminded of this forum thread I started 4 years, 14 days ago. #flairww -2:42 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It is so nice to have a light-weight plane with a radiused iron for bulk stock removal. #flairww -2:43 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tops of the sidewalls were wearing on me (InstantRimShot.com) so I rounded them over more with a file. #flairww -2:51 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh, the rounded sidewalls are such a nice improvement! And it only took one minute to do each side! #flairww -2:53 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Somehow, my low-angle jack plane, which I bought 4 years ago, hadn’t been modified… even the shiny finish was still on the grips! #flairww-2:58 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hello rasps and 80-grit sandpaper. Goodbye uncomfortable, finished handle. #flairww -3:08 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I chucked the knob into my drill press and used 80-grit sandpaper to remove the finish. #flairww -3:13 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks To avoid damaging the 1/4″-20 threads, I first spun on two nuts which I then put into the chuck. #flairww -3:14 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t use my Veritas cabinet scraper very often but this is the perfect situation! #flairww -3:46 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can’t get much more parallel then that! #flairww -9:46 PM Apr 26th, 2012

luggermatt: @FlairWoodworks That’s ‘close enough’ ;-) looking good too! -9:49 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Matthew! #flairww RT @luggermatt: @FlairWoodworks That’s ‘close enough’ ;-) looking good too! -9:50 PM Apr 26th, 2012

luggermatt: @FlairWoodworks Anytime! I enjoy your tweets! -9:53 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Do you need a table? I don’t think it’ll fit on your boat though :) #flairww RT @luggermatt: @FlairWoodworks Anytime! I enjoy your tweets! -9:55 PM Apr 26th, 2012

Tumblewood Very nice. I’m still amazed you didn’t use router rails. Remember, I’m older and lazy to boot.

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood I’d actually planned on using a router on rails but this seemed easier (but not quicker). #flairww -9:57 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks These are the largest Dominoes available for the Domino DF-500 and they look tiny. #flairww -10:21 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I can use my router to make 1/2″-wide mortises 2-1/2″ deep. #flairww -10:25 PM Apr 26th, 2012

Tumblewood: What do you think now? Still easier?! -10:27 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It was definitely quicker than building a jig. #flairww RT@Tumblewood: What do you think now? Still easier?! -10:28 PM Apr 26th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood If I had to do it again, I’d do it the same way.#flairww -10:29 PM Apr 26th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks I think you only need them for alignment. If you glueing. Plenty of long grain IMO, or strong enough with the counter bolts. Either way. But points out my hesitation on the 500 vs the 700. Still think the 500 will handle 70% of what I’ll do. They need the M600!! That would be perfect for me!

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood There is actually not that much long grain surface. #flairww -10:50 PM Apr 26th, 2012

Jumbo mortises and floating tenons are cut next, in Session 9!

Maple Trestle Table, Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors

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; and
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens.

(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 and the next step is to find maple for the battens. #flairww -4:30 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think there might be some maple behind there… #flairww -4:38 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Well, there certainly is, but it’s too thin. It’s only 8/4 (2″ rough) and I need 2″+ surfaced smooth. #flairww -4:40 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This piece would be perfect but I need it for the legs. #flairww -4:42 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I have a general lack of straight-grained maple. Everything is nicely figured! #flairww -4:42 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I forgot that I have more slabs of this maple. #flairww -4:56 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I also forgot that I need to mow the back lawn… I’ll do that later. #flairww -4:57 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could really use another pair of saw horses right now. I’ve got 6 in use. #flairww -4:58 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Actually, I think I’ll use this piece. (I just had a mini-landslide.) #flairww -5:03 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Instead of standing lumber on end against walls, I think I might be better to lay them down and walk over them. I’m mostly kidding.#flairww -5:05 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks now that would make a sweet shape for a desk top that is pushed against a wall -5:06 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think it’s a little narrow. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: now that would make a sweet shape for a desk top that is pushed against a wall -5:06 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I was looking around the shop for my goggles. Then I remembered that I wore them to bed last night so they’re on my nightstand. #flairww -5:10 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks seeing these slabs you post are like looking at clouds for me, trying to let the shape dictate its function-5:16 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Fun! #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: seeing these slabs you post are like looking at clouds for me, trying to let the shape dictate its function-5:16 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I just used my sliding table saw to cut the two battens out of the slab – the first time I’ve used a machine during this build. #flairww -5:30 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Note that I consider the angle grinder, router, and jigsaw power tools but not machines. #flairww -5:30 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

BillGriggs @FlairWoodworks You can never have to many saw horses or clamps. -5:45 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Or friends. #flairww RT @BillGriggs: @FlairWoodworks You can never have to many saw horses or clamps. -5:46 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

BillGriggs RT @FlairWoodworks: Or friends. #flairww RT @BillGriggs:@FlairWoodworks You can never have to many saw horses or clamps. -5:49 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks You bet! #flairww RT @Black_SheepWW: @FlairWoodworks Is this lumber from a local tree? -6:15 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

Black_SheepWW: @FlairWoodworks Is this lumber from a local tree? -6:15 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I cut, surfaced, then milled rabbets on all sides of the battens so that they fit into the pockets. #flairww -6:17 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using a shoulder plane to slowly widen the rabbets until the battens fit. #flairww -6:20 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks After fitting a part to another, I mark it so I know where it belongs. #flairww -6:26 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since I’ll soon be planing the surface of the slab, I marked the edge. #flairww -6:27 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

ChrisHasFlair I’m working on a Maple Trestle Table this very minute. Follow along with #flairww Tweeting as @FlairWoodworks -6:28 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time for a quick tidy up so I’m clearing the tabletop of tools.#flairww -6:34 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to try out these countertop connectors to hold the slabs together. #flairww -6:37 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m replacing the stock bolt (top) with my own 1/4-20 bolt. It’s longer and a little beefier. #flairww -6:43 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m going to use this 35mm, carbide tipped bit to drill the holes for the countertop connectors. Great bit. #flairww -6:49 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve drilled the two holes. Now I need to rout a hole between them for the bolt. #flairww -6:56 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve got a 1/4″ bolt. Should I use a 1/4″ router bit or a 5/16″ bit to allow for some clearance? #flairww -6:57 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks 5/16″-6:59 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I agree. #flairww RT @MansFineFurn@FlairWoodworks 5/16″-7:00 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks My bit is not centred in the guide bushing so I need to not rotate the router as I make the cut. #flairww -7:02 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I could centre the bushing around the bit, but I don’t think it’s worth the trouble. #flairww -7:02 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks nah -7:03 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks 1 out of 1 woodworkers agree with me. #flairww RT@MansFineFurn@FlairWoodworks nah -7:03 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

kring_l Second that “@MansFineFurn@FlairWoodworks 5/16″” -7:03 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

@msnodgrass2: @FlairWoodworks why not something like a big butterfly?-7:15 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m finally set up to rout. #flairww -7:15 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Oh yeah! Two out of two woodworkers agree! #flairww RT@kring_l: Second that “@MansFineFurn@FlairWoodworks 5/16″” -7:16 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want the table to be able to be taken apart for ease of moving. #flairww RT @msnodgrass2: why not something like a big butterfly?-7:17 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

Tumblewood: I think this will be one if your coolest improv designs yet! -7:20 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I realized that I set up to put the edge, not the centre of the bit on the centreline. I caught it before I started routing. #flairww -7:20 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Vic! RT @Tumblewood: I think this will be one if your coolest improv designs yet! #flairww -7:21 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

Tooltutor @FlairWoodworks whew, close one. Good thing u measured twice, even if it was just in your head -7:22 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Always double-check! #flairww RT @Tooltutor:@FlairWoodworks whew, close one. Good thing u measured twice, even if it was just in your head -7:24 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Rather than reset my template, I simply switched guide bushings. I don’t have a guide bushing 5/32″ smaller but… #flairww -7:25 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks …I do have one 1/4″ smaller. The other 1/32″? Remember how my bushing and bit are not concentric? Score one for Chris! #flairww -7:26 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The first connector is installed. #flairww -7:31 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Dinner time! #flairww -7:32 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop after dinner and I’ll work on installing the second countertop connector at the other end. #flairww -9:09 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks By the way, these countertop connectors cannot be tightened with an adjustable (Crescent) wrench. #flairww -9:13 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks There is simply not enough clearance to get the wrench on, let alone turn it. #flairww -9:15 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The second connector is installed. I’m going to try to find a wrench in the garage. #flairww -9:32 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I didn’t find the right wrench in the garage but remembered that I had these on the wall of my machine shop. #flairww -9:38 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s a great set of wrenches for a woodworker. They’re all box ends with metric on one end and imperial on the other. #flairww -9:39 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The bolts are tight. They seem to work well, but I’m going to leave the clamps on for now. #flairww -9:42 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks For the battens to work according to my plan, they have to bottom out on the bottom of the routed pocket. #flairww -9:43 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks That means I need to remove some bumps from the surface before installing the battens. Where did I leave my jack plane? #flairww -9:43 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The battens are parallel (with no tuning required!) and will be my reference for flattening the table top. #flairww -10:20 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’d planned on flattening the slab with a router but since it’s almost 11pm, I’m trying something else. #flairww -10:43 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a long, straight piece across the battens and a depth stop on a drill bit to drill a grid of holes to the same depth. #flairww -10:44 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now, I just need to plane until all the drilled holes disappear.#flairww -10:45 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks The brass screw forward of the plane’s mouth prevent the toe from being driven into the blade.  Brilliant. #flairww -10:52 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Anybody want another video of me planing big slabs of maple? ;) #flairww -11:04 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time to sharpen my low-angle jack plane’s blade. #flairww-11:06 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Back in business. #flairww -11:08 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks When doing a lot of planing, I find it imperative to switch grips. Left-handed, then right-handed. Push, then pull. #flairww -11:10 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks Also, take lots of water (or Twitter) breaks. You’re allowed to take your shirt off too. #flairww -11:11 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I also like the sideways stroke, especially for wide boards or slabs. #flairww -11:12 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks This section is just about there. I’m done working in the shop for the night and going for a cold shower. #flairww -11:28 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

FlairWoodworks I think I took off 1/8″ in thickness. Maybe more. #flairww -11:28 PM Apr 23rd, 2012

Session 7 is next!