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Author Topic: Building a Walnut Table  (Read 7942 times)

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Offline WDH

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Building a Walnut Table
« on: November 03, 2008, 09:47:51 AM »
I am working on a small walnut coffee-type table for a good friend.  Here are some pics.

The construction is mortise and tenon.  The table has one drawer and a bottom shelf.

The legs are tapered below the shelf.  Here are the legs with the mortises cut and the dado for the shelf:

 



Here is the front rail with the drawer opening and tenons.

 



The tenons are pegged.

 



The drawer.  Sides are sycamore.  The back is poplar  :).

 



Dry fit with shelf.

 



I got it all glued up now.  I need to make the top, and then apply the finish!

Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Radar67

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 10:06:46 AM »
How did you fasten the shelf to the legs? It's looking good.

Let me rephrase, other than glue, did you use any other method to fasten the shelf to the legs?
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 11:02:54 AM »
Nice design, WDH!
How did you make the drawer opening?  It looks to be one piece.  I like the rabbeted drawer front. :)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 11:51:06 AM »
Gotta love that walnut.  :) Your coming along nicely with it. Nice touch to include a drawer. A shelf on a coffee table is about the best idea anyone could incorporate. I sure appreciate one on mine I made. Effective use of space I say.  8)

I'll have try the mortise and tenon one day. Wish I had a drill press though, to use Lee Valley's mortise bit.

Watch'n stuff unfold in this board sure is inspiring.  ;D

Looks like you have the top edge of the sides grooved to incorporate the movement of the top. Do you buy a special metal cleat you screw underneath the top to fit in the grooves? I've seen them used on factory furniture. I have an ash silverware chest that used them.
Move'n on.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 12:04:26 PM »
Like such...

Move'n on.

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 01:20:27 PM »
Very nice!  My question is the same as metalspinners :)
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Offline Norm

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 02:36:53 PM »
It looks great WDH. :)

Offline WDH

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 05:56:44 PM »
Terry...the shelf fits into the dado groove.  I glued it in, but to insure a permanent joint (resist racking pressure), I drilled and screwed the shelf through the front of each leg, through the leg, and into the shelf.  Then I inserted a plug the same diameter as the pegs that reinforce the tenons.  I could have pegged them with a long peg as I did the tenon, but I felt the 2 1/2 screw would be stronger.

Metalspinner/Dodgy.....I used a forsner bit to drill a starter hole in the drawer opening and used a jig saw to cut out the opening, leaving the front rail in one solid piece (minus the opening!).  It looks better as one board rather than a glued up board.

SD, you are right on.  I used a biscuit jointer to cut the slots in the inside of the rails to accept a L-shaped table top fastener just like you showed in the pic.  I really like that approach.  As well as allowing the top to expand and contract without cracking, it allows you to remove the top if you ever had a need to.  You can buy a package of 8 fasteners from Rockler for about $3.60 US.  You are very perceptive ;D.
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Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 06:45:22 PM »
I agree that the front looks better as a solid piece.  You have steady hands to cut that opening with jigsaw.  Now, you just need to buy a lathe to turn a walnut knob for the drawer pull ;D ;).
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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Offline WDH

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 06:50:27 PM »
More to come on the drawer pull ;D.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 07:47:39 PM »
It looked like the biscuit jointer was used for the grooves. I looked at it at first and said, ah the biscuit jointer, he used.  ;D
Move'n on.

Offline getoverit

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 01:02:39 PM »
This is going to be a beauty!!  Building tables is not as easy as I had once thought and I am looking forward to seeing how you get it all put together.

Thanks for sharing!
Ken
I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok, I work all night and sleep all day

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2008, 01:40:15 PM »
I got to looking at that design and I'm curious as to how wide that lower shelf is.  It's going to want to expand and contract with the seasons and will have very little wiggle room to do so.  If you decide to use this design again, you might consider mortising two breadboard ends into the legs, then mortising the shelf into the breadboard ends with tenons that are slightly narrower than the mortises.  Gluing only the center tenon in place and pegging the two outer tenons through elongated holes would allow the shelf to move without doing any harm.  Just a thought :).
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2008, 04:10:35 PM »
I see walnut shrinks a little bit more than butternut, but seems to stay in place well. I think what little the shrinkage is across that width, will only amount to 0.5 cm at most. I think there is enough give in the legs to allow this without damage. I've seen a butternut table similar in design, except no drawer, made from air dried wood. A friend of mine made it years ago and it was right beside his favorite lounge chair like a faithful dog. Actually Penny, a cocker spanial my grandfather gave him, laid regularly atop it. ;)
Move'n on.

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2008, 04:23:26 PM »
I think it will probably hold up for a long time, but after my first piece of furniture I have always paid careful attention to allowing for wood movement :-\
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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Offline WDH

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2008, 06:17:49 PM »
Like SD points out, the shelf should be far enough down the legs from the attachment of the rail to the leg at the mortise and tenon to allow for the give in the lower leg to handle the wood movement.

The shelf is about 14 1/2 inches wide.  This is the third table that I have made with this design, so time will tell.  So far, the other two have been through 3 or 4 summer/winter cycles and are doing good.  I also see this design in other commercially produced bedside tables.

I see what you are saying, Dodgy.  That is a lot more work, but it may be necessary to do all that work if there is not enough give in the lower legs to accept the wood movement.
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Offline Patty

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2008, 04:07:38 PM »
Very nice, I really like walnut. Do you have pictures of the finished project?
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Offline WDH

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2008, 06:19:59 PM »
The table is still in-progress :).  I am making the top and I have started to apply the finish to the carcass.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline wannabeonetoo

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2008, 06:58:34 PM »
Beautiful job !!! What type of walnut are you using ?? Did you mill it yourself ? The figure in the front apron looks as though it could be claro .
How does the drawer slide/ride ??
What finish are you using ???
Do you feel as though you are being interogated  ;D
 Just being nosy thats all  :D
 Steve

Offline Larry

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Re: Building a Walnut Table
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2008, 06:39:06 PM »
Metalspinner/Dodgy.....I used a forsner bit to drill a starter hole in the drawer opening and used a jig saw to cut out the opening, leaving the front rail in one solid piece (minus the opening!).  It looks better as one board rather than a glued up board.

I agree and the last drawer front I made was a glue up.  I considered a jig saw as you did to cut the opening but I didnt think my skill level was near that good....figured it would take hours to get rid of the saw blade marks.  So....Ive been thinking... again...what if you cut a rectangle pattern and used a router to cut the hole?  Clean up would be near zero unless you wanted to square the corners.

Looking forward to see the finished table...walnut is my favorite cabinet wood and looks like you are using it quite effectively.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

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