A Square Deal (19)

Post 19 in a series describing the design and construction of a pair of tables in bubinga. First post can be found here, with each subsequent entry linked at the bottom of the page.


I thought the next step might be pillow blocks, however it seemed better to complete the panels and then move onto fitting the miters between posts and apron assembly.

The dust panel required thicknessing and trimming to size – and squareness:

Normally I would prefer a narrower plane, but this one was ready to go and just required I concentrate a little more on pressing evenly down the middle.

Once the tongue was cut, I checked to see if it would start to fit, and it did:

Just a lick or two with a rebate plane will, uh, square that away later on. I’ve left a 1/16″ (1mm) gap all around the panel, which should be plenty considering the panel is perfectly quartersawn. You can also see one of the side panels fitted below the left hand apron piece.

Then onto the 3-way miter fitting, probably the trickiest part of the joinery work. I’ve tackled this in a variety of ways before, and what I wanted to do this time was fabricate a jig that allows the pieces to be fixed in an exact 90˚ relation to one another – at least as exact as my Mitutoyo 14″ try square would allow on wood surfaces – and then trim the miter along the slope using a router.

The jig looks simple enough but it took me most of the day to put together:

As you can see, the jig is double ended to accommodate all the possible miter directions.

A close up of a corner shows the screw adjusters I fitted to allow the individual pieces to be trimmed in a graduated manner:

By the end of the day I was able to take a few test cuts, staying wide of the lines, to see how things shaped up:

Seems to work well, though at this point the miters are still more than 0.5mm fat:

An inner corner look reveals how far down the apron assembly has to drop yet:

And looking under the apron assembly, one can see there is a bit of material to be trimmed yet:

I’ll tackle the trimming tomorrow, probably after I obtain a fresh router bit from somewhere.

All for today – things roll along and happy to have you along for the ride. On to post 20.

Anything to add?

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