Colgate EALL (12)

Next item on the project list, which is now down to just a few pieces, was the table for the Japanese room’s sitting area This is an area for which I had already created a set of three benches, detailed in earlier posts. The table is unlike the benches in that it has compound splayed legs.

In the Japanese technique, the shape of the leg is modified on all four faces, changing its section from a square into a rhomboid, and thus when the leg is at compound slope, the faces of the legs are in plane with one another. This means that stretchers which are centered on the leg, and have a centered through-tenon, have that tenon emerge on the opposing face of the leg in a centered position.

The critical pice to this is shaping the leg properly. after that, the mortise and tenon lines can be laid out and one can get to work on the cut out. Here I’ve got into the rip cut on one of the leg tenons:


Followed, of course, by a crosscut:


The narrow tenon sides were also housed in, and then a bit of chisel work to clean the shoulders:


At this stage of work, I have two of the legs tenoned, and dry-fitted to the table top board:


A while later, all four legs are fitted to the top, and the mortises on the legs for the stretchers are complete as well:


After the tenons for the stretchers are cut out, I can proceed to fit them as well:


The tenons lap one another like half laps, but due to particulars with the geometry, the laps are in fact done with tenons which are somewhat less then half-height. The touch one another within the leg at one point inside the joint.

In some cases, like the compound-irregular sawhorse supporting the work in progress, the joinery is left without any attachment save for the fit between mortise and tenon. And, on the aforementioned compound-irregular sawhorse, the parts have been together and apart more than 30 times. Yet, even with such (by now) loose- fitting joints, the geometry of the form makes it hold together fine.

On other compound-slope leg structures I have made, like the support stand on a Ming-Inspired cabinet built in the past couple of years, I pegged the joints. On other ones, I have wedged the joints, in various ways.

With this one, I simply glued the connections:


A view of the top:


The next step is to finish plane the top surface, the legs and stretchers having been finish planed previously:


I have a video clip of the planing process to share in the next while. For now, a look at the result, which is a clean surface devoid of tooling marks, as is the goal in the work:


To preclude the chance of someone dinging their shin on the table top corners, I clipped them, and followed that up with a double-beveling of the table edge. The beveling was done by router then the surfaces finish planed:


The piece now finished, but yet waiting for finish:


Another view – a veritable pyramid of all-joined splayed-post structures:


There’s really not a lot one can do to protect a table top which might see use as a writing support surface, from someone pressing too hard with a ball point pen for instance. A heavy thick layer of resin like a bar table designed to be washed down, was not, however, the look I was going for. I decided to finish the top surface with 5 coats of Enduro Var, which will provide some added protection for everyday handling. Finishes are mostly for beautification, after all.

This pic was taken after the 2nd or 3rd coat, each of the coats are block sanded with #320 paper before the next coat was applied:


Again, video clips have been taken of the build of the above table, added to the previous pile of clips from the preceding latticework fabrication, and all are ready for editing, which I would hope to get to in the next week. Also next week will be my first visit to Colgate for the purposes of installation, which promises to be interesting and challenging.

Thanks for visiting the Carpentry Way. Next up is post 13

12 Replies to “Colgate EALL (12)”

    1. Paul,

      nice to hear from you and thanks for purchase of TAJCD Volume I. That’s a good start, though it does not deal directly with the topic of compound post splay, which is the purview of Volume IV. It is best to work through Volume II before getting to IV, however, as certain concepts are introduced there which will make the material in IV more readily apprehensible.

      I’ll send you Volume I in a few minutes by electronic file transfer (‘Transfer Big Files’).

      1. file was sent, to the same email address associated to your paypal account.

      1. Hi Chris…. I am going to make a table like that after you taught me the building method.. Its been a few years, but I still remember the layout.

      2. Ward – have at it, and if you get stuck on any details, drop me a line.

    1. JT, thanks so much. That’s the appeal of Japanese carpentry for me – an underlying complexity and refinement results in apparently simple structures with clean lines.

    1. Hi John,

      thanks for the question. Nope, that jig is long gone. i tried a different approach this time, however it still was not as accurate as I would like and the parts required adjustment afterwards by hand plane. I have an idea of another approach for next time though. Each round I do compound splayed work is like an experiment to find the best way to process the cuts.

Anything to add?

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