Twentieth post in a series. Welcome back to this description of the design and build of a bubinga framed coffee table. Previous posts may be found in the blog archive at the right side of the page.
Getting quite close to the end of the build phase. The next step in the ‘to-do’ list was to fit my maker’s mark to the wenge shelf panel. I started off by mortising the panel in the Rockwell Radial Ram drill press, which has no issues drilling in the center of quite wide panels:
I held off drilling full depth, as I didn’t want the forstner bit’s pilot to pop through the 1/2″ thick panel. My next move was to apply some painter’s tape to the area:
With the tape down, I then used a small top-bearing router bit to take the mortise to full depth – 3/8″:
Then the holly flower could be fitted to the socket and the outline of the flower scribed onto the taped surface:
With the scribing complete, I removed the flower and pulled the tape off to reveal the housing to be cut:
Then I used a combination of two spiral carbide router bits to freehand cut the waste out:
I was well conscious of the risk of the cutting, as one slip could ruin the piece, and dis-assembly and possible replacement of the vertical grain wenge panel was simply not on the plan list. The cutting came out well however:
I checked the fit of the flower and made a few tweaks to the fit, then on goes the yellow glue:
Down goes the flower and I used a hammer and block to seat the carving:
Then I grabbed a clamp to squeeze any excess glue out from the middle:
Lastly I cleaned the glue off and let it set up.
With the inlay done, I turned my attention to assembly. The assembly sequence for the table parts is on a diagonal, and the first order of business was to fit pairs of table top frame rails together to their respective legs. In order to facillitate pulling the frame rails together around the leg’s twin tenon and drawbar assembly, I decided to make a couple of clamping cauls – you can see one fitted on the right side of the picture:
Then I tapped one of the leg/drawbar assemblies sideways into place on the long rail:
With the leg assembly all the way in, I then brought the short rail into position, sitting atop its clamping caul:
I pushed the two together as far as I could, and then it was time to clamp, or cramp, as the English prefer to say:
The clamping cauls drew things together quite well:
Now it’s time to fit the shachi-sen into place:
I drive the pins in, all four in quick sequence:
I had some apprehensions during the design phase about how tightly I might be able to seat the pins, thinking I might be risking some short grain issues, but these concerns evaporated as I was able to drive the pins in quite tightly and with no issue whatsoever. The joint drew up very well and the miter is completely tight, as I will show in the next post.
Once the pins were fully in, I used the Miyano to trim them flush:
Pegs trimmed, with some smoothing of the finish yet to come:
Here’s a look at how the top of the joint looks, the normal viewing position:
I was quite happy with the way this joint came together, and repeated the process with the other pair of table top rails and their associated leg/drawbar assembly.
More to come, stay tuned. Thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way. –> on to post 21