Poplar/Pine Table


Recommended Posts

I recently did a 2'x4' table out of poplar (legs) and pine (aprons).  The top is a really crappy piece of hardwood ply (either Aspen or Birch) that I managed to mangle pretty badly (I plan on replacing it at the earliest oppurtunity). 

 

The final table, with approriate clutter (and yes, that is a contractor saw I'm fixing beneath it):

 

 

I used these half-tenon thingies for the legs and aprons (the idea of which I got from a Fine Woodworking article).  I have to ask, does this add to the strength of the leg/apron joint?  I've since noticed that most FW table articles don't seem to use this.

 

 
Unfortunately, I messed up the tenon order and managed to get the aprons sticking out the opposite way they were supposed to me, which necassitated modifying two of the mortises and creating a few of these weird tenons here:
 

 
I clamped the base frame with a strap, tensioned with a clamp (not sure if you can see the clamp, and no that's not the final glueup):
 

 
I mangled the tabletop itself pretty badly; the vast majority of my tools are a thousand miles away, and the jackplane I brought with turned out to need major tuning (which I've since done).  I'm definitely going to replace the top.  Notice the veneer patch.
 

 

The only thing left to do on this project is add corner blocks (which I'm not looking forward too, given that the frame isn't perfectly square and I don't have access to a bandsaw or a scrollsaw to cut the blocks).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't beat yourself up! The table looks good, and even without seeing it in person, I can tell you a couple things about it. 

 

1) It's built with a higher quality than anything you could buy in a store at that price.

2) You are the only one who sees the flaws

 

I believe the tenon you are describing is called a haunched tenon. I've seen them used before, but honestly don't know the exact purpose for doing that. Someone more experienced could chime in.

 

Your own design, or did you work with a plan?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't beat yourself up! The table looks good, and even without seeing it in person, I can tell you a couple things about it. 

 

1) It's built with a higher quality than anything you could buy in a store at that price.

2) You are the only one who sees the flaws

 

I believe the tenon you are describing is called a haunched tenon. I've seen them used before, but honestly don't know the exact purpose for doing that. Someone more experienced could chime in.

 

Your own design, or did you work with a plan?

 

My own design.  I forgot to mention that there are also two stretchers between the apron, to support the (thin) top.  I added those to the design at the last minute (I hadn't realized I'd need them), and they're attached to the aprons with pocked screws.

 

I don't know if I'd say it's nicer than what you can buy.  It might be after I get a new top, but I must admit, I've seen some pretty nice tables at stores.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haunched tenons are used with mortices in corners.  Full length regular tenons would run into each other inside the corner leg.  Shorter tenons would be less strong.  The haunched tenon is a nice compromise - half of the tenon is full length fro strength, and half is shorter to leave space for the tenon coming in from the other side.

 

Nice table!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haunched tenons are used with mortices in corners. Full length regular tenons would run into each other inside the corner leg. Shorter tenons would be less strong. The haunched tenon is a nice compromise - half of the tenon is full length fro strength, and half is shorter to leave space for the tenon coming in from the other side.

Ooooohhh. I will probably have to try that at some point, since I've had intersecting mortises. I always just sanded the corner down a bit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work and as others have said don't be too hard on yourself.  Reflect on the work you did and learn where you can improve but just about every piece has some mistakes or areas that could have been better, that's just part of learning and refining your craft.  One suggestion I would give you that might make a difference in the tightness of your joinery is to try slip, or loose tenons.  It looks like you used a router to cut the leg mortises, with slip tenons you would uses the router to cut mortises in the aprons as well and then mill a loose tenon to join the aprons to the legs.  I find it simpler than rounding over tenons as you did on your aprons, it also really simplifies getting tight shoulders as it just becomes a butt joint rather than having to achieve a nice shoulder around your tenons.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work and as others have said don't be too hard on yourself.  Reflect on the work you did and learn where you can improve but just about every piece has some mistakes or areas that could have been better, that's just part of learning and refining your craft.  One suggestion I would give you that might make a difference in the tightness of your joinery is to try slip, or loose tenons.  It looks like you used a router to cut the leg mortises, with slip tenons you would uses the router to cut mortises in the aprons as well and then mill a loose tenon to join the aprons to the legs.  I find it simpler than rounding over tenons as you did on your aprons, it also really simplifies getting tight shoulders as it just becomes a butt joint rather than having to achieve a nice shoulder around your tenons.  

 

I've always found normal tenons easier than loose ones, but that's probably because my technique is much better on the former than the latter.  I might try it next time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.