A Square Deal (39)

A series of post describing the design and construction of a pair of tables in bubinga. Previous installments can be located in the ‘blog archive’ to the right of the page.


A reasonably productive session today on the coffee table cut out, with pictures to prove it no less.

The first order of business was to fit the stretchers to the legs. As the stretcher tenons were only 2~4 thousandths fat, the fitting didn’t take too long at all and came out satisfactorily. Here’s the assembly after all were fitted:

Let’s have a look around the four corners:



And 4:

These will all be pegged later on.

With the stretchers holding the legs at a fixed distance, I could confirm that the apron parts were fitting as they should:

A closer look reveals both the engagement at the 1/16″ rebate (on the lower edge of apron in the picture below) and shows the leg tenon centered on the mortise:

It’s nice when things are sitting where they are supposed to sit.

The other side:

That looked like it would fly, so onto fitting the aprons to the leg tenons:

With that more or less sorted, I spent some time constructing a paring jig to deal with the miter interfaces. Late in the day I was at the 95% mark with the trimming and could do a test fitting of the apron assembly to the leg and stretcher assembly:

Getting closer:


Corner 2:

Corner 3:

Corner 4:

Looking okay I thought for the first go-round. The floor is not exactly flat, which can throw things off a hair here and there, so when I return to work on this I’ll probably park it on top of a table saw to obtain a better reference surface.

At this point the miters remain a hair long, at least on the posts, and the apron does not seat all the way down yet onto the post’s tenon shoulders:

When I return to the scene with fresh eyes and mind I can assess where the fit is at and decide upon where the final paring has to happen to achieve a good fit. The last few percent, as usual, can take most of the time.

All for today – thanks for your visit to the Carpentry Way. On to post 40.

2 Replies to “A Square Deal (39)”

  1. Chris…Why the 1/16 rebate? I see the purpose for the other angles/tenon/mortices…but the rebate?..there are already so many surfaces that register the joint into position and to lock it in place that the added rebate just seems to be an extra step. And not to change the subject…How are the gates coming? Winters on the way! unless the gate are going to be an indoor winter project?

  2. Joe,

    many thanks for the question. That rebate is an extra step to be sure, however it has an important function. Without it, the connecting (tenoned) apron piece would have no registration onto the post, and would simply hang by its tenon on the (mortised) apron. That small rebate on the mortised apron allows the tenoned apron to come in and sit on the post end grain directly. Though the bearing surface is modest, it was, to my way of thinking, sound design practice.

    The gate project is coming along – more on that in an upcoming post later this week.


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