A Coffee Table For My Wife – Part 1

My wonderful wife has watched me finish countless small projects for my shop as well as other random spur of the moments ideas all before I have really made a piece that she wanted. The start of this project dates back to September and is really only coming into full swing now.

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No, this isn’t my work. This was the piece of reference to start with. I made my trip to the lumber store and started shopping. I originally picked out some nice dark walnut and got it planed and jointed down to a handful of nice pieces. However, being told it’s not going to be dark enough and my absolute hatred of taking a beautiful wood like walnut and painting it black, I needed to make another choice for the top of it. I did however get started on turning the legs. Now in the future I would spend a bit more time on getting the same profile as the profile above but I am a very novice wood turner in desperate need of teaching so getting some of the small details on the leg was going to be hard.

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I got some time to get to the community centre lathe  and at least begin roughing out the blanks. I also starting roughing out the profile here to start and this is where I think if I wasn’t so rushed and planned out the details I could’ve had a more accurate match. Either way, I forged ahead.

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The first leg wasn’t too bad to do as you really are forming the leg you were hoping to get. However, at least with my limited skills, I definitely had to return and reshape them because I took too much wood off the next leg I turned. It was quite the task getting them all the same size and again, next time around I’ve already learned a couple tricks about copying.

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After a couple days of random time spent on the lathe I was able to wrap up the legs and get them to a point where even I am fairly happy (I pick apart my own work so this is rare).

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The next stage of the build is the stretchers for the table. I’m going to do my first usable mortise and tenon joint. Because I don’t have a hollow chisel mortiser I will be doing these all with a drill press, table saw and some chisels. I’ve seen enough router jigs to do this but for starters I’m going to go with the basic method. Before I jumped into the real thing, I figure I do a smaller scale test. This was just a couple pieces of scrap 1 1/2″ oak that I was able to cut into some very snug mortise and tenon joints. I didn’t really do the best job of the mortises because I didn’t use a guide block when I was chiseling but I will when i’m doing the table and either way, the joints fit very snugly and pretty much bang on without any overlap.

Sorry for the wait miss, I’ll have you a table before you know it!

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