Blacker Serving Table Design Completed

I’ve reached a state of equilibrium with the design for my semi-reproduction of this Greene & Greene serving table from the Blacker house.  Which almost guarantees that I’ll think of three changes I want to make before I finish writing the blog post…

Blacker house serving table - Final Design?

Blacker house serving table – Final Design?

There were some missing details that I needed to fill in, including joinery and embellishments.  I think I have those done now, but I’d appreciate feedback on goth the aesthetics and the functionals.  In terms of the latter, I settled on twin 2″ wide tenons on the skirts with a wide stub tenon across the end of the skirt to prevent cupping.  The longer tenons will hold the base together, the stub tenon probably don’t be glued but is there just to prevent cupping on the wide skirts.  The tenons are offset between the sides so that the deep mortises don’t intersect.  I can think of other ways to do this joint, so I’m curious if anyone sees a problem.

Exploded view of joinery details in the "final" design

Exploded view of joinery details in the “final” design

I added in the joinery details on the table top as well.  A wide stub tenon and four 2 1/2″ wide longer tenons.  I’ll screw through the breadboard end caps into the end of the long tenons.  I added rectangular Ebony caps to indicate these locations on the breadboard ends, although I might want them a tiny bit longer.  Also new in this “final” version are the Ebony applies that join the top and breadboard end.

I had mentioned that the transition in the cloud lifts was more gradual in mine than in the original.  I tweaked it in my design to make it a bit more abrupt like the original, and I like it better.  This is a detail I might play with a little in the future.  I didn’t update the inlay design in the top, but I probably will eventually — ok there are the three changes I predicted that I’d find in talking about my final design.

I added in the inlay design on the legs — I’m pretty happy with this part.  I think it adds a lot to the style of the table.  I feel like I got the “rhythm” of the design right, although it’s not identical to the original

Details of the inlay design for the legs

Details of the inlay design for the legs

Overall I think I’ve captured the scale and feel of the original design, although it’s different in some of the details.  The inlay is a little bit of a concern, but I think if I do a practice piece or two I  can probably figure it out.  I took today off work, so I’ll be starting the finish on the Thorsen cabinet.  Maybe during drying time I’ll run down to Watsonville and pico up a couple of wide boards of Sapele for the skirts and top of this table…

 

 

 

Categories: Design | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Blacker Serving Table Design Completed

  1. How are the ebony ends going to be installed? It seems that one end will have to be free to float as the top expands/contracts?
    I can’t see the breadboard detail on the top but is it like the stretchers? ie has a shoulder inbetween the tenons?

    • Hi Ralph,

      I’ve never done Ebony splines, but here is my understanding: The groove in the breadboard end is routed slightly deeper than in the table top to allow the main section of the top to shrink. Then the spline is glued into only the main section of the table, so it just “floats” in the breadboard end, sliding back and forth as the top expands and contracts.

      This picture shows the plan for the joinery on the top better (and shows that I need to re-do the design for the inlay on the top too!). The 3/8″ long stub between the tenons is to help keep the top flat. The mortises for the tenons will be wider than the tenons, and they won’t be glued to allow for expansion and contraction. The holes for the screws that will hold the breadboard ends on will be slotted to allow for movement.

      breadboard end construction details

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