Cliche Family Build Request


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My sister texted a picture of this desk/table thing to me over the weekend asking if i could build it out of walnut, but in different dimensions. I texted back, "sure, doesn't look too bad, but let me do some homework first". You all are my homework. First off, I haven't built much furniture, so despite this being incredibly simple, im sure it will challenge me and be a decent learning experience. Everything is pretty straight forward except for the best method to do the X cross legs, and how to cut that through mortise after my X is created. It isnt parallel to any edge on the piece, so the router guide is out. Is this a case for draw it in and then using the DP and a forstner to get it close enough for chisel clean up? The more I look at it the more I am intimidated by how I should do it. I don't even know how I would properly mark out the mortise on an angle like that. I'm hoping there's a clever method for making the mortise and X legs that I am ignorant to. 

 

As I typed that, I suppose I could use the guide rail adapter for my 1400 to use the router to cut most of the mortise. 

6015-5424XT.jpg

6015-7024XA-SP16.jpg

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Walnut is getting harder to come by around here.  Does she really want walnut (pushing $10 a board foot at my yard) or some nice looking dark wood?

The X-brace legs with tenon are deceptively simply looking but, if you are precise there should be no problem.  I would drill out the bulk of the spoil at the drill press and chisel to the final size and shape.

I can tell you that she can buy one at pottery barn or wherever for a fraction of what I would charge to make one out of walnut so if she is looking to save money I would discuss material options.  If she in fact wants a high quality piece and understands the price point it looks like a fun build. 

Your area may be better but, around here getting walnut in thicknesses beyond 8/4 is like finding hen's teeth.  Calculate your material and visit your supplier.  that way not only will you have a good extimate of cost but, you will know if you can get the material at all ;-)

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I would love to see that leg detail more closely..  It looks to me like the board that gets the mortise cut in it is solid and the other part of the let is attached to it.  Doesn't mean you have to do it that way, just the way it looks especially in the second picture.

Yes, build the leg, us a cut off piece from your actual rail to assist you in locating and marking the mortise to be cut, hog it out at the DP, and chisel to fit perfect.

Also, depending on how wide this desk is and how thick you're planning the top to be, you may want to consider sag.

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/

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12 minutes ago, gee-dub said:

Walnut is getting harder to come by around here.  Does she really want walnut (pushing $10 a board foot at my yard) or some nice looking dark wood?

The X-brace legs with tenon are deceptively simply looking but, if you are precise there should be no problem.  I would drill out the bulk of the spoil at the drill press and chisel to the final size and shape.

I can tell you that she can buy one at pottery barn or wherever for a fraction of what I would charge to make one out of walnut so if she is looking to save money I would discuss material options.  If she in fact wants a high quality piece and understands the price point it looks like a fun build. 

Your area may be better but, around here getting walnut in thicknesses beyond 8/4 is like finding hen's teeth.  Calculate your material and visit your supplier.  that way not only will you have a good extimate of cost but, you will know if you can get the material at all ;-)

Depends. The price of that piece is like $1200-1300+ tax and maybe shipping. This is sort of the tipping point where it actually is cheaper to build than to buy--maybe. Looks like they make a 70" and a 54" for the same price somehow. I think I could do the 54" and make decent money off it for $1200. In this case im not doing it for profit, so she wont be charged much beyond materials. All comes down to how many hours of labor it is in the legs. The bonus is, she wont have a piece of drift wood in her den.

5 minutes ago, TIODS said:

I would love to see that leg detail more closely..  It looks to me like the board that gets the mortise cut in it is solid and the other part of the let is attached to it.  Doesn't mean you have to do it that way, just the way it looks especially in the second picture.

Yes, build the leg, us a cut off piece from your actual rail to assist you in locating and marking the mortise to be cut, hog it out at the DP, and chisel to fit perfect.

Also, depending on how wide this desk is and how thick you're planning the top to be, you may want to consider sag.

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/

I just thought of something sparked by gee-dub mentioning thick timber. He might have a point, those legs do look thicker than 8/4. If I laminate the legs out of two pieces of 8/4, I can make the cross meet at an angled half lap joint. I think that would make it easier instead of having to do angled mortises etc. I need to pull a Shannon and bring the thing into CAD/Sketchup to see what proportions we are dealing with. The top looks like its 6/4 with maybe 2-2.5" thick legs. 

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Something about that cross joint with the through mortise doesn't sit well with me. Looks like it could be weak, since 90% of the long grain is cut, and the areas that are glued together are essentially endgrain joints. Is it really a through mortise on the original piece, or do they do some trickery and tack on a piece to make it look like it is?

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1 hour ago, PlaneAndDestroy said:

Something about that cross joint with the through mortise doesn't sit well with me. Looks like it could be weak, since 90% of the long grain is cut, and the areas that are glued together are essentially endgrain joints. Is it really a through mortise on the original piece, or do they do some trickery and tack on a piece to make it look like it is?

I agree that doing a through tenon over a half lap will take away so much wood that it will end up being weak.

In my opinion you don't want to overthink it. I would do a half lap joint for the legs, then attach the stretcher with a bed bolt in the center and drill in 3/8" dowels above and below the bolt to keep it from twisting. Once you have it built and the stretcher installed with loctite on the bed bolts, you can face glue a false tenon to the outside of the table to cover up the hardware and give it the final look.

I know some people will think that using a bolt is inappropriate, but it is going to create a very strong joint and it will be hidden once you have everything assembled. You can drill the threaded cross dowel portion of the hardware from the bottom of the stretcher and hide it with a plug.

 

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/159650/HP-Bed-Bolt-4p.aspx?gclid=Cj0KEQjw7LS6BRDo2Iz23au25OQBEiQAQa6hwBSXjZTWCG6zP5dNf7DH5zhrBzHZCrToswZ77yPAZ0YaAvVR8P8HAQ

 

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Yeah those must be caps on that stretcher. If that was a real through mortise i wouldnt put a heavy book on that table.

Personally i avoid the pinterest type stuff. My GF see this kind of thing and thinks "oh this is cute and looks easy to build" not realizing what it really is. They make it appealing by putting it in this lovely home where it matches everything.

If i were in your shoes i would redesign it, trying to capture the essence of what she likes about it but with some logical joinery.

Or if youre stuck duplicating it you could put shallow mortises on either side of the X legs, plugging the stretcher and stretcher extension into them. Maybe add some through-dowels that join it all? Lol. Atleast the legs would retain some strength.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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I agree that the half lap wth through tenon seems very weak.  I recently built one like this that was much easier because the "X" portion was simply decorative and I attached with a screw and plugged the hole.  I still have the sketch plans if you want take a look.  

IMG_0160.jpg

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17 minutes ago, Mike. said:

A man is walking down the beach and finds a genie bottle.  The genie comes out and says "you have 3 wishes"

Man:  "For my first wish I want a complete Festool kit.  Everything in the catalog."

Genie: "Done."  He snaps his fingers and the man himself in  @shaneymack shop. 

Man: "For my next wish I want the skills of David Marks."

Genie: "Done."  He snaps his fingers and all of a sudden the man is knee deep in MDF mock ups and patinated vases.

Man:  "For my third wish I want to find a way to make cheap, domestic species resemble walnut."

Genie:  Picks up his bottle and smacks the man over the head.  "Us Genies can't make miracles happen.  Now get the heck out of here before the moderators come knocking"

 

 

 

 

Man: Ouch Genie!... but I don't have that kind of money to spend right now, besides only those with keen senses will know! 

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14 minutes ago, Mike. said:

 

Man:  "For my third wish I want to find a way to make cheap, domestic species resemble walnut."

Genie:  Picks up his bottle and smacks the man over the head.  "Us Genies can't make miracles happen.  Now get the heck out of here before the moderators come knocking"

 

For me, the price is kind of a wash. My 400ish bdft of FAS 4/4-5/4 walnut cost me the labor to move it from the auction location to my house, and my 8/4 1com cost $4-4.5 a bdft. All the maple I have on hand cost me $3.75 a bdft for FAS 8/4, so you can see the price is really pretty close. Factor in a nice gel stain+my time, and i dont even know if i would save money by building it in maple. Someone recently did a project out of QSWO that was stained a mahogany tone that looked pretty sweet, but other than that I havent been drawn to stain anything. 

 

Good points to simply alter the design slightly. It's embarrassing to admit I am so one dimensional that I didnt consider that option....

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