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About Lucasd2002

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    : ATL-ish
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    Small projects

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  1. Thanks wtnhighlander. Very good point about the locations of the base member to avoid tipping. Interesting idea about the structure. Is this this what you have in mind?
  2. As a spinoff, the wife is interested in a bench to go with the new table. My first thought was to make the bench as a miniature version of the table (pair of gray trestles with cherry on top). However, the boss wants the bench to have a back, which (based on what I know) does not particularly align with a trestle design. First things first, I have not found traditional bench length rules. Does it make sense for the bench length to be approximately 75% of the overall table length? In stead of a trestle design, I am thinking about a more traditional chair structure (e.g., 8/4 rear leg that extends from floor up to top of back) extended to the appropriate length. My initial plan is to have 3 pairs of front/rear legs. I haven't seen a good example online of what I'm thinking, but the picture below shows an example of a bench with 3 pairs of legs. I'm thinking the back would be attached to the upper parts of the rear legs by mortise and tenon (not attached to the surface as shown in the image below). I was thinking that the stretchers/aprons would also be mortise and tenon. Any thoughts or recommendations before I start drawing?
  3. I really like that table. You make it look easy.
  4. Moving the new table into place included swapping the old table out to the garage. The old mahogany top needs to be refinished. The previous finish is probably varnish that my dad applied in the late '70s.
  5. Ha! My 5 year old performed task #1 from my list above on the front bumper of my wife's SUV while I was making this table. Luckily, she just grazed the bumper leaving a very small mark. On a more serious note, as long as she has hearing protection on, the 5 year old likes to follow me around with the shop vac and collect dust/shavings. This was probably the only task that was genuinely helpful.
  6. In the garage, my two girls enjoy: (1) hitting objects with a hammer (2) wearing dad's ear protection (3) sanding random objects with leftover pieces of sand paper (4) finding sharp objects when dad's back is turned (5) repeat steps (1)-(4) as necessary
  7. It's difficult to see from the larger image of the top, but the two breadboard ends are cut from the same piece of cherry. Both ends feature some lighter color sapwood. My thought was that these would provide some symmetry at the ends of the top. First end: Second end:
  8. We put the new table into service yesterday. First, the assistants helped assemble the base. The base has some thinned water base paint with multiple coats of GF water-based clear coat on top. The older (5 y/o) assistant signed and dated the underside of one of the upper stretchers (before the clear coat was applied). We insert the lower stretchers into the two trestle assemblies. Then, we add the top stretchers and insert the wedges into the ends of the lower stretchers. I initialed and dated the underside of the top (before the finishing process).
  9. Thanks guys. The cherry top is sitting in the driveway now soaking up some rays.
  10. Parts are ready for finish. The base (red oak) will be stained gray. I have been experimenting with GF water based stain (whitewash color) mixed with black transtint. The top (cherry) will have at least 2 coats of WDO followed by at least 3-4 coats of ARS satin. I usually let the last coat of WDO cure for at least a week before the first coat of ARS. The last real decision is whether the WDO will have any tint. Here are a couple samples - actual offcuts from the top. The sample of the left has 2 coats of WDO "natural" with one coat of ARS. The sample of the right has 2 coats of WDO "medium walnut" with one coat of ARS. Apologies for awful indoor lighting and picture quality. The picture below show exaggerated differences between the upper and lower boards (the top and bottom of each sample look much more similar in person - for both samples). I know that cherry will darken with age. However, the boss has asked for "more brown" and prefers the sample on the right. I am leaning toward the "natural" WDO (sample on the left). The main concern I have with the sample of the right (other than it may be too dark long term) is that there are some splotches on the lower board. The sample on the left seems a bit more consistent. I may be nitpicking. What say the collective? Here is the top ready for finish.
  11. The last new parts are fitted. I made 4 wedges from cherry offcuts from the top (2 at each end of the trestle assembly). The 8/4 stretchers have "angled" mortises where they pass through the trestle assemblies. I spent a few hours Saturday and Sunday planing the top to try to remove a high spot in the center board. The base is finished, but I plan to cut the stretchers now that the mortises and wedges are defined (I left them intentionally long because I wasn't sure what how the mortises would turn out).
  12. Lucasd2002


    I was a mechanical/aerospace engineer (worked at Sikorsky on helicopters). I retired around the time I finished evening law school - I now kinda fit your description as I am a patent attorney full time. Work doesn't stress me out too much (usually). I just enjoy woodworking and trying to make stuff. Lack of time is my main problem for this hobby (and not enough space for a proper workshop). My father and grandfather were much better woodworkers than I am, but it helps me remember them.
  13. Been working on the top (after taking most of the summer off). I ended up using 5 pieces of 8/4 cherry with biscuits for alignment. I wanted to challenge myself and try breadboard ends, so I routed about 1/3 of the thickness from the top and bottom at each end. Then, I cut away portions of the ends to make 3 tenons. I also use the table saw to cut a slot in the breadboard ends to match the tenon. I used a drill press and chisels to remove material corresponding to the 3 tenons (in each breadboard end). I was a little too aggressive in the offset when I drilling holes for drawboring the 3/8 dowels as 2-3 of them sounded like they snapped when I hammered them into position. I glued the center tenon only but did add glue at the end of the dowels. The outer two holes in the tenons are slotted. Seems to be ok so far. After drying and trimming/planing/sanding the dowels.
  14. Thanks guys. The pine parts shown here are not intended to be attached to the top. They are supposed to help set the distance between the two trestle assemblies and provide a (flat-ish) surface along with the upper parts of the trestles for the top to rest on. In theory, these 4 t-nuts should take very little vertical load. I did actually use CA glue when I embedded those 4 t-nuts (and I drilled small pilot holes for the barbs extending from the t-nuts). At this point, I'm happy to not have CA glue holding a thumb and index finger attached to one another. That didn't actually happen, but I'm always paranoid that it will. My plan is for the only attachments between the base and top to be between the oak trestle parts and the cherry top. However, my plan would create a similar problem that Steve described. My plan was to embed the same t-nuts in the underside of the cherry top to align with the center of the slotted holes in the trestle (shown in the 3rd and 4th pictures in my post on Friday). I counter-bored these slotted holes before I cut the angled side parts off the upper parts of the trestles. I was tentatively planning to add a third counter-bored (non-slotted) hole at the center of each of the trestle, which would provide 6 total fasteners connecting the base and top. One of my original ideas was to use s-clips (like these) to attach the top, but I was worried about having to move the clips each time the top and taken off and put back on (i.e., the wood screws creating swiss cheese on the bottom surface of the top). Realistically, I'm not sure how often the table would be disassembled. When I was planning things out the metal t-nuts sounded like a more elegant solution for attaching and reattaching the top to the base. I haven't even started milling the cherry for the top so I have plenty of time to rethink the attachment between the top and base.
  15. Trying to finish up the base. This is the current state. I added curves to the vertical parts of the trestle members and the lower stretchers. The vertical parts have through mortises for the lower stretchers. The biggest lesson learned from cutting those curves was that I overestimated my ability to operate a jig saw with thick material. I already knew that I should have a bandsaw for cuts like those, and this experience did nothing but reinforce that. Unfortunately, I do not have the space for a bandsaw at this time. The most recent change was to add the upper stretchers with lap joints. These parts are the first that are not red oak to this point (southern yellow pine). The idea is that these would be hidden by the top. I am embedding t-nuts in the top of the trestles for 1/4-20 fasteners that pass through the upper stretchers. The only task left for the base (other than sanding and finishing) is to create the vertical mortises in the lower stretchers and the wedges that will pass through these mortises and press against the outer surfaces of the vertical parts of the trestle members. The plan is to use cutoffs from the cherry for the top to make the wedges. I am a little nervous about cutting the mortises because (1) I don't want to mess up the lower stretchers and (2) I have never cut angled mortises. I guess only one of the four faces of those mortises needs to be angled, but still... After the mortises/wedges, I will start milling the 8/4 cherry for the top.