A Square Deal (40)

Post 40 in a continuing series describing the design and build of a pair of tables in bubinga. Previous installments, stretching back to the very dawn of time, can be found in the blog archive to the right of the page.


With losing three days this week to the trip over to Long Island, and all that associated to that, I fell a little behind with progress on the coffee table. In the past couple of days though I have managed to complete all the pillow blocks. Here are the four corner pairs:

A closer look at the four assembled corners, one at a time:




And 4:

The last one is a hair open on its rear miter, however that portion of the assembly, like all the viewing surfaces shown in the pics above, are not viewable in the assembled table so I can accept that. The photos show the pieces a bit larger than they actually are in reality.

I concentrated my efforts on getting a tight fit on the exterior edge profile interfaces:

The mitered lap joint looks simple enough but I find it is one of the more difficult joints to cut cleanly. There are eight surfaces meeting at the same time, and the four miters need to position things so that the lap surfaces will meet correctly. Too tight in the wrong place and the relish beyond the lap can snap off, too loose and you will have a gap. Miters are especially susceptible to ‘gappage’ with the slightest over-pare.

The middle pillow blocks are also cut and shaped, and I have started mortising them for their pins. The corner units have received their first coat of finish as well. The aprons have been mortised for the dabo which are to be driven through the pillow blocks (note the 3/8″ mortises on the ends of the pillow blocks). I’ve done another round of fitting with the apron to the posts, and that is getting pretty close to the mark now.

Moving along, steady as she goes. This upcoming week should see me through the remainder of cut out on this piece.

Thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way. Post 41 awaits.

2 thoughts on “A Square Deal (40)

  1. Siavosh,

    thanks for the comment and glad you like the work.

    I cut these joints with a combination of hand and machine tools. Stock dimensioning and surfacing with re-saw, jointer, planer and super surfacer. Coves cut on the router table. Lap roughed out with sliding chop saw, and finish cut with router. Mitered laps rough cut on band saw and finished by paring jig with chisel. Final fitting and adjustment by chisel and Iwasaki file. Central mortises cut by router and finished with chisel. Dabo mortises cut with hollow chisel mortiser.

    That's the sequence I am using given the tools on hand. Were I to have different tools, I would likely make different choices. There are lots of ways to do it, though I doubt an axe would suffice!


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