Good day in the shop yesterday, although it was a close thing. The third book in a trilogy I was reading came out recently, and when I get caught up in story the house could burn down around me without me noticing. Luckily I finished the book with plenty of daylight left.
My goal this weekend is to get the Thorsen table as finished as I can. I’d like to get it to the same state as the Thorsen cabinet I’m building so I can finish both pieces at the same time. After wrapping up the piercings the day before, my next jobs were the cloud lifts in the skirts and the waterfall leg detail. Both of these were pretty simple, mechanical tasks compared to the piercing.
First the cloud lift. No real magic here, I made a simple MDF template with some scraps to locate the skirt and toggle clamps to hold it firmly in place. I traced the outline of the lift detail onto the skirt and sawed away the waste, then pattern routed the part to clean it up. I did a sample part to see if I could route all the way across, but as you would expect on the right side there the bit is cutting into the unsupported end grain it splinters. Not a big deal, I just clean it up to the halfway point and flip the part in the fixture.
Pattern routing the cloud lift detail after sawing out the waste first
Then on to the waterfall legs. I used the same approach here, but I had to make sure that I set the fixture up so that when it was made I would always be cutting “downhill” to avoid tear out. I laid out some guidelines for where the steps on the waterfall would be, and routed them into the pattern in two steps.
First I set the fence on the router table so the bit protruded 1/8″ and set a stop block to allow the part to only reach the upper waterfall mark. Note that these layout marks are on the back of the pattern, when it’s in use the waterfall detail will be on the right side of the pattern.
Making the waterfall pattern, step 1
Now reset the fence so the bit extends 1/4″ and reset the stop block so it aligns the bit with the lower waterfall mark.
Lower waterfall step routed out
Next I used a rasp and some sandpaper to shape the outside curves, after that it was just a patter of attaching the stop blocks and toggle clamps to the base.
Outside corners of the pattern rounded over
Then I marked out the detail onto the legs in pencil and headed into the metal shop to bandsaw off the waste. This detail only goes on the inside faces of the legs, and I was terrified that I’d lose track of what I was doing and put it on the wrong face. You can bet I was very careful to triple check each leg before I sawed it.
Removing the waste on the legs
Then I put the pattern to use, clamping each leg into place and using the router to make sure the steps were identical.
Pattern routing the step in the legs
Once the steps were cut into the legs I set up a 1/8″ round over bit and went over all of the edges of the legs, the bottom edge of the skirts and the outside edges of the stretchers. The bit can’t reach the stepped faces of the leg, so I used a rasp, file and sandpaper to shape those.
Leg after pattern routing, but before rounding over the sharp edges
Edges rounded over, these are the inside faces
I’m very close to being able to glue up the table base. Everything needs to be finish sanded, and (OMG, I almost forgot!) I need to figure out how I’m going to attach the table top. I guess I’ll make some wooden buttons and carve some slots in the side like this picture. Wow, I can’t believe that almost slipped pass me.
Wooden buttons for attaching a table top (click on picture to read article)
Ok, so as I was saying… Before I can glue up the base I have to make slots for attachment buttons, and finish sand everything. I have the lower shelf already cut, I just need to rabbet the back and notch the corners to fit around the legs. The wood for the top is prepared too, I have to make the breadboard ends and mortises for 16 ebony plugs though. Sounds like a pretty full day ahead of me.
Legs awaiting sanding