Ming Inspiration (21)

Working with a large slab of bubinga, I am designing and building a frame and panel table taking its inspiration from a unique Ming Chinese example.

Work continues apace on the apron joinery. In the preceding post I had roughed out the mortises on all four pieces, and now it was time to process the cuts for the tenons. First off I made some small trimming cuts to the end grain walls of the mortises:

I made up a jig to fix the aprons so that I could perform the cuts:

The jig incorporates captive nuts so that I can clamp the material firmly in place using a ratchet and socket:


For the two short aprons, I made up an arrangement of sawhorses, cleats, and clamps so that the jig could lean at an angle:

Cutting of the end to define the tenons and the mitered abutment could now be completed:

I actually constructed most of the above jig about a month ago, however completing the jig and then processing the 8 cuts on the 4 pieces took me a full two days of work. Here’s the two short aprons ready for the next steps:

The two longer aprons required a different set up – here’s what I rigged up:

All four pieces now through this stage:

Another view:

The slab of green wood you can see above is lignum vitae.

One issue I’ve been dealing with for weeks now has been the two slices of wood for the table top panels. Both were sliced out of the same slab and taken down to dimension at the same time. One of those pieces has been behaving quite well, and has only moved a slight amount. The other piece however has been moving quite a bit. I’ve been engaged in a dance with it on a daily basis in fact and have been a bit stressed out about it at times. I’ve moistened sides, I’ve dried sides, I’ve flipped it around. Lately, my strategy has been to dampen one side and press it down onto the floor, which seems to be helping:

The piece on the right is the table top board, while the piece on the left, also bowed and cupped slightly, is the remnant slab from which the two table top boards were sliced. My back up plan, in case the table top board on the right just won’t settle down, is to plane the remnant down to form another board – if the remnant will settle down that is! In the background you can see the other table top panel standing up- it’s the quiet and well behaved child that has scarcely been a concern at all.

Another view:

The table top board on the right is being pressed down flat by another slab of lignum vitae that I have kicking around.

Every day when I go into the shop the first thing I check is the situation with these pieces, and make frequent checks during the day to monitor the situation. Things seem to be calming down with these two pieces. Stress levels on my brain are also settling down of late.

All for today. Thanks for coming by! –>on to post 22!

Anything to add?

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: