Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A table interlude

For the last ten years my computer table was an old door set up on sawhorses purchased from Lowe's in Wasilla. When I got here I set up the same old sawhorses with a top I had made for some side tables in Juneau. It was bugging me to death because it was too narrow, so it is time to make something better, thereby interrupting my dividing head work. Hence, a woodworking interlude.First step, go to Lowe's and buy some cheap 2x4. Next step is to plane the stuff.

This was an ordeal. The wood is gnarly. Well, at $2.67 for a 2x4 you can't expect much. I tapered the legs on the bandsaw,  then planed them. Even so I used every plane in my arsenal. Now, for interest, I decided to arch the crosspieces. I rigged some trammel points. The arc I wanted turned out to be a meter ten!  Here are the tramel points in action. I then cut the arches out on the bandsaw. The trammel is a total inprovisation. A meter plus is a long radius indeed. I am glad my woodworking bench is so long.

Next step: the bandsaw. Cut the arches out. My usual hate of power tools was abrogated in the interests of getting this thing done in a non-geological time frame. The results are rather ugly:

These are the pieces I cut out on the bandsaw, freehand.  They still need some manual work, so I broke out the spokeshaves.

Now we look a little better.  Here's an example. I decided to use my usual saddle joint at the ends, so I cut, by hand, the mortise and tenon. I had a lot of trouble with this. Out of practice, and wrong ryobi saw.Still, it looks OK and that is my main concern.

 So, some tediun later, we have something that looks approximately like a table frame.
 I already have the top cut out from a board that came with the house. I hate it, but 'twill do, 'twill suffice. Here's another view.

I am not proud of the saddle joints, but I am not about to redo them. Also I do not like the taper. What I don't like is the top of the joint. This is a measurement error on my part. In excuse, I did it in inches! It should be straight, at right angles to the top. Too bad. I could fix it, but I have been on this thing for a whole week, and I am getting tired of it. This, like the dividing head, is composed and not designed.

After the first coat of linseed oil this morning, the thing actually looks pretty good.

Next, the top goes on. I regard this as a temporary top just to get me out from the sawhorses. Now I can get back to the dividing head.

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