A Square Deal (41)

Post 41 in an ongoing series. Previous installments can be found in the blog archive to the right of the page (scroll down a bit and you’ll see it).


The past several days have been that phase of the project where myriad minor tasks need to be taken care of, one after another, most of which do not amount to any significant difference in the appearance of the pieces. So it feels a bit like I’m just revving with the transmission in neutral. In truth through, the build is nearly complete on the coffee table.

A few pics from various points along the way….

The apron assembly after temporary pegs have been fitted and the mortises for the middle pillow blocks are in:

I’m using some undersized wenge for the temporary pins:

The mortises in the aprons for the middle pillow blocks come in two configurations. Here’s the one for the breadboard end sides:

And this is the arrangment for the other two sides – the central mortise is a hair larger:

One more:

The posts have been mortised for the pegs which lock the stretchers into place:

The aprons and front leg arrises have been profiled with concave beads and the fit of the 3-way miters is 99% there:




Today a big snowstorm rolled in an an emergency was declared in Northampton, and they asked people not to drive. So, i brought a bunch of stuff home before lunch.

Time to hit the panels for the side table with the micromesh. I bought a kit with little 2.5″ squares of the material, along with a foam rubbing block. Micromesh was originally developed for polishing scratches out of aircraft windscreens. The grit goes up to #12,000, a number which does not correspond to the regular sandpaper grits. The maker of Micromesh states that at #12,000, the scratches left by the paper are invisible to the human eye.

What do you think?:

One of these things which exceeds my skill at photography:

Another try:

The other side panel:

I am happy with the results. I used paraffin oil for lubricating the Micromesh paper, and then wiped off afterwards with methylated spirits. Just needs a coat of wax. Should have the drawer parts done today as well, and maybe the pillow blocks tomorrow. Tomorrow, being Thanksgiving, likely will mean a certain curtailment in work, however I expect I will get a bit done all the same.

I wish my American friends a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way. Ready for another one? Post 42

6 thoughts on “A Square Deal (41)

  1. If I follow, your finishing regimen consists of high angle kanna, enduro-var, micromesh, then wax? Will you use the same treatment for the coffee table?

    I've had success with pure alcohol as a non-grain raising sanding lubricant, it prevents caking during finishing sanding. I believe it's compatible with both oil and water based finishes once cured.
    Mike S.

  2. Mike,

    I use single blade high angle kanna on the curly stuff. The quartersawn I use a regular kanna with sub-blade. The concave beads I hit with sandpaper and a cylindrical form.

    The finishing regime will be the same on both pieces. This is my first time using Enduro Var and I have nothing but good things to say about it.


  3. Hi,
    I've been following your blog for quite a long time now and am always terribly admirative of your work. It reminds me of the definition of “workmanship of risk” by the late David Pye.
    Continuez l’œuvre!
    François Pernod

  4. Beautiful joinery on the corners, inspiring to know it can be achieved.
    Must be a great reward fitting it all together.
    Thanks for sharing the snaps, Chris
    Gordon Millar

  5. François,

    very kind of you to say. While I do try at a lot of spots to make it much more a workmanship of certainty, the project seems to accrue a definite sense of risk as it moves along. At least my apprehension tends to grow as things move towards the finish line.

    I've always appreciated David Pye's writings as well.


Anything to add?