I hope the New Year is treating you well. Welcome to the 13th post in a series describing the build of a dining table.
The subject of today’s post is the central rail of the table, a component akin to a spinal column. It will eventually have other ‘ribs’ attached to it! First though, a bit of cuttin’ needs to occur. With the ‘T’-form portion on the top of the rail cut out already, I now move on to profiling the underside of the piece, the aim being to physically lighten it. I think the removal of material on the mid-section of the rail’s underside does present a pleasing appearance too – visually lightening it – however one would need go sit down on the floor to see that particular detail in the completed table.
Here’s a view of one end of the rail, the piece being upside-down:
I was really surprised later on when I compared the weight of the milled-out center rail with a piece of bubinga stock of comparable overall size and discovered that all those chips sprayed on the floor had really cut quite a lot of weight from the piece. It was astonishing! Mission accomplished as far as that portion of the work on this piece goes.
Next, I fired up the hollow chisel mortiser and processed the mortises for the battens which attach to the central rail:
Stepping back a bit, one can see all 7 of the mortises just completed:
The exposed portion of the rail in the table top, namely the top bar of the ‘T’, will terminate in the short side frame rails of the table with sword tip miters, a detail I only just added to the piece. That’s the great advantage of design and build- I can revisit the design over and over again as I build and consider the piece and as things unfold, adding new refinements and subtle alterations as the work progresses onward. The continuous feedback loop I describe is a great benefit, something lost to those who only design things or those who only make other people’s designs.