Table Build Log

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Re: Table Build Log (feedback wanted)

Postby Pitbull » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:50 am

Sorry Guys for the late response.

I was on vacation with no internet access.....bittersweet. The project is moving along now.

I had to hold off anyways because I needed to order some router bits.

1) Long upcut 1/4" spiral for doing the 1" mortises in the legs
2) 1/4" beading bit for the bottom of the aprons.

Building the jig for the routing the mortise was a bit of trail and error. More error than trial in my case, but I got it in the end. I did have a FAIL with the router bit I waited a almost a week for as you will see.

This is the mortise jig I made. There are 2. One for each side of the leg. I was not able to make it as perfect alignment off the top of the leg as I wanted but was able to correct all issues with a bolt that moved the jig in and out. The mortise slot on the jig is 3/4". I am using a 1/2" bushing in the router plate and a 1/4" bit. It gives a perfect 1/2" wide mortise. The slot on the jig is 3-1/4" long and makes a mortise 3" long on the money. The apron will be 4" long. So 1/2" overhang on top and bottom and minimum 1/8" on the sides if I go with 3/4" thick apron...but I plan to leave them heavy.

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I have to tell you about a tap set that I got that is the best thing since sliced bread. Made by Greenlee and very high quality. This was used to drill and tap the wood in about 3 seconds. No joke. Definitely worth checking into if you need a set.

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This was the result of cutting the first mortise in my pine leg I did as a mockup. It could not have been more than 15 seconds of use before this happened. It hurt, because this is the bit I waited a few days for to start. It was the only 3" long 1/4" spiral upcut I could find....and it snapped like a twig. It is however, not a carbide but a HSS bit...so the cash outlay was not that bad...its the time that set me back. To their credit they have shipped me a new bit. I was taking a 1/4" deep cut when this happened...I know its a steep cut...but it was soft pine.
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So even though the new bit is in the mail I went out an just bought a another bit. This time a solid carbide. It was only 2-1/2" long so it was really tricky getting a 1" deep mortise in the legs...but I got it. When the HSS bit arrives I will put it through another test and see if it was a fluke or if they really are not strong. It seems the carbide bit went close to a 1/4" with no problems in poplar a couple times.

This is where I am at now. I just have to cut off the bottom square on the leg and start cutting my apron tenons. I should be milling the Cherry for the top shortly.
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby Pitbull » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:10 pm

So now the customer wants to dye the legs/apron rather than paint the legs/apron. I am going to have my work cut out on this one because the poplar legs are all over the place on color and different pieces of wood glued up for the blank. I let them know this was going to be difficult and can not guarantee how it will all look in the end...but they want to go forth...so I am going to do what they want. They are paying.

Had I known this in the beginning...I would have chosen maple for the legs and base as the color is much more even and easier to finish. Lots of blotch control is going to be the key here...I am going to mask it and just try and get a universal dye.

You can see here why it is going to be a challenge...different color wood and one spot that has a nickel size timbermate patch from what the router bit tore it out...at least the aprons are decent coloring.
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Here are the aprons cut to size before tenons and profiles are cut. I took care over a couple days to slowly plane down and stabilize the wood overnight. I have been left with very nice straight pieces of wood
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This is the setup I used on the table saw so that I could cut repeatable tenons. I just butted the wood against the hard side of the feather board and then worked my way back.
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Each apron was marked to a corresponding leg mortise and all the tenons were then rounded to fit in the rounded hole mortises. This was done with the Japanese rasp, a technique I learned from Charles...works very well and cuts quick. The chisel was used to clean up the very bottom where the rasp would not get.
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The fit is nice and tight, and while are of them were not perfect fitting on the ends. The edges were.
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One of the test aprons I used to test my skills before moving on to the real pieces. The pic also shows detail of the beading bit on the bottom. The slot for the table top hold down is on the back.
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Beading bit I used. MLCS #5534
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The cherry top has been stabilizing for two weeks with a little bit planed off every couple days and then clamped over night. Everything has remained very stable.
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I have sanded the legs/apron to 100 then wet it all to raise the grain. I then sanded 120 and 150. I think I will stop with 150 and start assembly. I am going to use 2 coats of CN BLotch Control and go for it.

One thing I have to mention are my 2 new best friends...my sanders. I have 2 three year old Milwaukee ROS and to be honest....they just don't work and have not for quite a while, yet I always just made do. My 12 year old Makita sander still works but it care more about hogging than leaving a nice finish. So I invested some of the money made from this commission back into tools and picked up these two sanders. I wish I had done this sooner because both of these sanders are so superior to what I have ever used.

The 6" Metabo SXE 450 (SEXY for short) is an absolute beast, but is also very refined as needed. It was this or the big Festool. I choose this based on some European recommendations and am extremely pleased with it and the savings. I used this with 80 grit to contour sand the legs and take the machine marks out of everything. It has variable speed, little vibration and is very quiet. Definitely a well made tool no doubt where it is not only variable speed but variable scratch patterns.
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This 5" Bosch 20VSK was bought to replace the 2 milwaukees. It works better than they are did and the dust collection is fantastic from the included HEPA filter box. It also came wit han adapter that allows it to hook up to my vac and the bonus is the adapter also fits the Metabo.
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby Pitbull » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:31 pm

So my next questions are as follows.

Since the customer changed the finishing on the legs/apron...I plan on using a GF dye ( still waiting on them to pick) and then some GF HP satin.

For the top they want natural cherry...sap wood or mineral streaks was fine as long as kept to a minimum. So I went through enough boards and came up with some across the 72"x40" top that will leave almost no sapwood or mineral streaks. The cherry boards have a slight difference in color among them but not drastic. There also appears that there is just a hint of curl in a few of the pieces when I wiped them all with D/A.

My question is if you were to finish this top what would you do knowing they want it to naturally change color?

Would you used any dye at all to blend the boards?
Would you use GF HP satin or GF Arm-r-seal to try and penetrate the curl on some of the boards?
Would Seal-A-Cell be better?
Has any one used arm-r-seal to get the pop and then topped it with HP?


Any advice is helpful.

Thanks-

Jason
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby rallison » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:37 pm

Jason - I have recently built a couple of small Cherry tables and I've used Charles natural cherry dye formula and I couldn't be happier. I finished off with GF High Performance. The dye evened out the different boards in the top and the final results where great.

Something to consider,
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby Charles Neil » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:16 pm

Jason, yes you can put Hp over arm r seal, just give it a couple days to dry, also do both sides at the same time, oils soaking into wood can make them move, keep it balanced
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby Pitbull » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:46 pm

What are the components for natural cherry dye formula?

Thanks-
Jason
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby cletts » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:03 am

Pitbull wrote:What are the components for natural cherry dye formula?

Thanks-
Jason


These are the recipes from Charles that I have written down:

Natural Cherry (over Equalizer): 1part Light Brown, 1 part Cinnamon, 2 parts Water (used over Equalizer sealed with 1/2 lb. cut Shellac)
Equalizer (For Cherry): 1 part Light Brown, 1/4 part Cinnamon, 1 part Distilled Water (Spraying Preferred)

Natural Cherry (without Equalizer): 1 part Light Brown, 2 parts Cinnamon, 1 part Water
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby Pitbull » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:10 pm

Thank you very much Cletts.
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby Pitbull » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:23 pm

Well its been a couple weeks. I have been working on it on and off as I could, but I figured now is a good time for an update because it is starting to wrap up.

I will start off with a mistake. I was routing out the slots on the back of the aprons when I kinda like a board get away from me and the router took a nice chunk out of it. I was able to repair it by routing out an area then chiseling it square and epoxying in a block from a similar color piece of poplar. Once sanded it was very undetectable. The flash on the camera reveals it somewhat...but the naked eye would have a hard time seeing it. Once the color was on...it was gone forever. I could have cut another piece and re did it...but this method saved me material and an easy hour or more of labor to redo the whole apron.

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Next up came the install of the legs and aprons. I decided I would go with a round pin instead of a sqaure...just seemed to fit the design better on this table. I choose purple heart to give a good contrast. I started by doing the smaller aprons into the leg....I learned...that was the hard way. I had to mess around a whole lot more and do a balancing act with the long aprons. Oh well. It went together just fine in the end. The titebond 3 though made it a very fast paced glue up...more so than I would have liked. Btw, this glue was done over a period of 3 days from beginning to end.

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Before I glue everything I I sanded to 150. Then was very careful about getting all the squeeze out off. After the clamps came off I wet it then scuffed with a 320 pad. Then came the first coat of CNBC...allow to dry overnight ,scuffed with 320....then the next coat allow to dry over night...scuff with 320.

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The result was a nice and smooth base that hopefully would not blotch once I started color. GF Medium Brown. With that out of the way attention could be paid to the top. I started to bring everything down to final thickness, final width and near final length. A process that has been on going for over 3 weeks now. Might be a little excessive...but I will tell you this. My boards are FLAT. After working out the layout I found I had a couple of pieces that had some decent figure...so I moved those to the center of the table. There was just a little bit of sapwood once I was done that I could not cut out for the dimension I wanted. All in all the grain is looking good.

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I left some chalk marks on areas I will address on the final sanding process.

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Detail of the little bit of sapwood left...nothing major but annoying enough
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I usually just edge glue boards together and call it a day. But the length here is over 6 feet with the cherry boards. I decided to use 5 dowels between each piece to get perfect alignment and take away some of the headache. Sure, it was a little extra work...but I can say it was one of the easiest glue ups I have ever done. The end result was boards widths of far less than 1/64 out of alignment from beginning to end.

The dowel jig of choice for me is the Jessem, and yes...it is a fantastic tool worth every cent. Build quality second to none.
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When gluing up these boards I did only 2 at a time. I wanted to make sure I paid attention to detail and made no mistakes. So at this point I had 6 boards whihc are now 3....soon to be one big top.
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Today I sprayed the color. GF Medium Brown. What I though was going to take me an hour took me over 2. You all know how that goes. But I will tell you this. The blotch control...controlled! Look back at my earlier pics of these leges and all the different colors. Everything blended very easy. I sprayed heavy, wiped back wit ha wet cloth and used a q-tip and foam brush to get in the cracks. Attention to sanding detail and application detail left me with a color that looks very uniform....something that had me very worried since it was originally going to be a painted base and built that way.

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Well next up is getting the top together and the clear coats on the base. Still need to make my corner brackets and table top holdowns for the apron slots. All on all...its the home stretch now. The only thing I am surprised about is that I can not really make out the purple heart pins from the poplar...I am hoping the clear will bring that contrast back I was looking for.
Last edited by Pitbull on Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Table Build Log

Postby BeachBum » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:34 pm

The table is turning out really nice, love the pics and write up.
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