Thursday, 1 October 2009

For TK--The Table As Promised

Here is the process of the dining-room table build. If i ever get an adequate workspace, i might consider building projects that are bigger than me (there's nothing like getting pinned by the wrist under the weight of your own project at 3 am and not wanting to wake anyone to make that clear--as well as highlight the foolishness of woodworking past certain hours). Until then, there is no way that is happening! The Pieces Arrive My room mate at the time was kind enough to take me to the lumberyard and load up the parts, drive me back home, and unload them. Then i was on my own. The tall planks were to be laminated to form the tabletop. Just an aside: it is quite hellish to walk into a hardware store as a woman in the Middle East, and Israel is no exception. I will not go into detail (this time), but basically, you're probably better off bringing a guy friend, even if he wouldn't know a screwdriver from a hammer. She's a bad Mama(py)jama So, though i didn't ask for this 'service' (and after convincing the guy at the lumberyard--who was rolling his eyes at me and huffing in annoyance--that i did in fact wish to laminate the top myself), he took it upon himself to create tongue and groove joints along the edges of the boards. Cheers. Klootzak. This made it more annoying to glue up and limited my choice of grain direction. Luckily, by the time i got around to that part of the project, my mother was there and she helped me. We did the job as best we could with four clamps. Jack plane Then, laying the table across the kitchen counter and the mustard yellow antique washing machine, we flattened (or tried to, rather. An uneven surface is just part of the charm of a handmade piece. Right?) the top with my late #5 jack plane. As for the legs, i took Matt Vanderlist's advice and made the base a trestle table. Sometimes, when they went away for extended periods of time, my room mates feared i would turn their bedrooms into a workshop. I hadn't thought of it, but it turned out to be a great idea! The bed made a perfect stand for the table top, as well!
Frolich's room
Anyway, i have since moved house (or flat, rather) and i had to finish quite hastily. So, even after harassing Matt and Kari about tusk tenons and God knows what else, i ended up making regular wedge tenons. It was more like jamming some skinny wood bits into gaping crappy mortises whilst holding the supporting beam of the table up with my leg, with glue dripping everywhere. In short, it was masterfully executed, looks amazing, and was a pleasure to do.

So here's the final (i'm mortified, but i posted it for you, TK, just remember that!!) result, and more process-photos are at the bottom of the page.


  1. Outstanding work! The trestle table style was a good idea and it looks like it was well executed. I'm impressed by your innovation as well. Dovetail jig as face vise is brilliant. Using a bed as an assembly table is not something I would have thought of doing. What kind of wood is that? I'm guessing cypress from your location. What kind of finish? I'm sure the roommates loved that process.

    I'm honored with the special post. Impressive use of space and tools to make a great project.


  2. Naoms-
    The table looks amazing. Really, so great. I love the pic where you can see the washing machine! Should we tell your reading public about the stepstool I have yet to forget about...

  3. next post should be about the fountain

  4. TK-thanks! In reality, though, the thing is totally wonky, the top is flopping, and it wobbles. As for the dovetail jig, that's all i have been able to use it for, as my router is a 1/2" and the jig is for 1/4" (i did mention that to the guys at Rockler...) The wood is pine--maybe white pine? I have been trying to figure out which species is around here, though i am told we import much of our lumber from Eastern Europe!

    Denes--how much do you miss that washing machine?! As for the stepstool, i haven't forgotten, but i had hoped you did. I just attempted my first hand cut dovetails in preparation of making your stepstool! I can do a post about that...but it will be obvious that your stepstool may take a bit more time...!

    Tafs--i'm honoured that you read my blog! How you enjoying your fountain? Yes, i think i will post when i make Yael's fountain...and my own!

  5. first time i read this post. delighted to see the process you went through in creating the beautiful dining room table i so enjoy eating from!
    for naomis' readers: she is too self-deprecating- it is not wobbly and is even more impressive in real-life!

  6. Looks awesome! And pretty straight, though for a trestle table I wouldn't mind a few wobbles in the surface, but it looks pretty straight.

    And it's nice to see the Dutch language put to such excellent use. :-)

  7. Hey that table looks great and you did it with out a workshop to cut the mortises and tenons. It looks like a piece of furniture you needed right where you have it,too.