Post 17 in a series describing the design and construction of a coffee table.
In the last post, I completed the work to join the table top frame members together. Next up, I had a few loose ends, joinery-wise, to attend to. The draw bars which connect the legs to the table shelf frame needed to be fitted up. I sized them so that they were a mild interference fit in the leg mortises. With the bar driven in with the aid of a mallet, I used the hollow chisel mortiser to prepare the fixing pin mortises:
A short while later, all four legs were fitted with their draw bars and mortised for the pins:
The next item on the ‘tick list’ was to trim the draw bars to final length. I decided to modify a jig i made previously so as to allow the legs to be fixed identically and run through the table saw:
Here are the four legs after the table saw work is complete and the draw bars shortened:
I then fitted the leg and its draw bar up to the shelf frame pieces:
A clamp ensured that the joint was fully closed up:
Then I used a hollow chisel mortise bit to mark the draw bar:
I separated the pieces, then set up a small kama-kebiki to mark the mortise lines on the draw bar, bringing the lines in 1/32″ or so from the mark left by the hollow chisel bit in the previous step. This allows for a draw-bore effect:
Some mortising took place after that, using a small drill bit to punch out the hole, and then a chisel to clean up the mortise:
The pin mortises have slightly less relish on them than I would prefer, however I believe they will be fine considering the hardness of the material and loading conditions on the joints being not especially high. To obtain the ideal amount of relish, I would have had to widen the shelf frame pieces by at least 1/16″ (1mm). Next time.
Mortising work complete, I then drove the fixing pins, komi-sen, into position:
Pin after it has been driven in:
Next, I trimmed the pins flush with the surrounding surface and cleaned off using a pass with a paring chisel:
That pretty much wrapped up the joinery work, once all four legs were similarly complete.
I then commenced the finishing work, which involved a fair amount of chisel work on the leg ‘stirrups’:
Then it was a matter of more chiseling, then some scraping, filing, and sanding, over and over again, to complete the legs. I didn’t take any photos.
It was at last time to apply oil, round 1:
Here’s my drying rack:
My apologies for the blurry pictures – the studio photos I’ll get done next week will hopefully make up for it.
And round 3 of oiling for the Wenge shelf panel:
I experimented with using the Whey based finish, but I decided I preferred the darkening imparted by the Tung oil to the bubinga, so I’m sticking with Waterlox for this project. Otherwise, the whey-based finishes were fine, no VOC’s and easy to apply, rapid drying, etc., and the next project I do involving a lighter wood, like oak, say, I will likely go with them.
All for today, thanks for coming by. –> on to post 18