Drum roll…the Ebony pegs are made and glued into the Thorsen table. It feels like I haven’t worked on this project i ages, but it was only last weekend that I finished assembling the breadboard top for the table.
Since I had quite a few pegs to make I set up a board with all of my sandpaper grits so I could work my way down the line. This was a lot petter than just having a pile of sandpaper on the bench that I have to shuffle through over and over. Each grit is layer over a scotchbrite pad for cushioning, to help form the pillowed shape on the end of the Ebony bar.
I’m still on the fence about the “best” way to make the pegs. It seems like it would be faster to spin them against the sandpaper with a drill, although I’m not sure that is the case. I discovered that if I don’t hand sand the end using 150 grit against a flat surface there will still be marks left in the finished end from the saw I use to cut the peg off. Then spinning the Ebony bar with a drill works fine, but it leaves a finish with concentric marks, so I have to do a little hand work on the last two grits anyway. Also, the shape from spinning with the drill isn’t exactly right. I used the drill for about half of the pegs and the the rest buy hand. I think it was about the same amount of time either way.
In total, I needed 40 pegs — 24 at 3/8″ square, 8 at 5/16″ square, and 8 at 1/4″ square. You know I was glad to have these behind me. After this picture was taken I used a 1/2″ chisel to bevel the bottom edges of the sides to make it easier to start the peg in it’s hole. I made all of the pens .010″ to .015″ oversized so they are a fairly snug fit in the mortises.
Finally I glued them into the mortises. I use a coffee stir stick as a spatula to apply yellow glue in each hole, doing my best to keep it off the surface of the wood so it doesn’t screw up the finish. There isn’t anything particularly trick about installing the pegs — although I measures the mortises and made sure my pegs were shorter than the shallowest mortise. Set the peg in the hole and tap it in place with a plastic mallet. Just don’t drive it too far, or put a ding in the surface of the wood.
So that’s a wrap for the fabrication on the table. I’m going to finish it without first installing the top or lower shelf. Speaking of which, the garage floor trick work just great to straighten out the cupped lower shelf. After the glue dries for an hour or so I’ll probably apply the dye stain. The pegs are so tight that the glue isn’t even necessary, so I don’t think the moisture from the dye will cause any problems.