Monday, July 4, 2011

an expanding cherry card/dining table

pull up a chair ... this is going to be a long one ... i had started out to write a general discussion of expanding tables since we've had a run of them lately. but, once i looked through the pictures for the table we (mostly) finished last friday afternoon, i decided to write just about that one. we have still got a little fine tuning to do and i may do a few more formal photos if i have the time ... we'll see. i have a lot of pictures of this one already, but it was a really interesting project ... click on the photos to enlarge them ... here we go ..
one of the leaves and the center pedestal leg ...
my client started by combining two of our more interesting and challenging table designs. for the top, he chose the center and edge inlay patterns from this table we made in about 2001 or 2002.
and then he changed the pedestal to this one from our walnut and gilded tooled leather poker table ... here's the cad drawing of the combined design
ahhh ... where did we start? ... with the column i guess
octagonal glue up with 'eased' corners, precut on the table saw before gluing to eliminate the 'points of the octagon so it will just swing over the bed of the lathe ...
i had to demo this technique as will had never turned with the floor mounted tool rest ... i'm a little rusty, but still willing and mostly able ... while will and i were turning the center column, trevor cut three pieces of 3/4 ply, stacked them up and veneered the edges....then he made and glued up the top and bottom veneers and popped them into the veneer bag ... the buttresses are three glued up 3/4 pieces of cherry stacked and fitted to the round column .. by this time, we had already cut the column in half using a variation of our cylinder cutting jig from this post ...
we added some glued up tops to the half columns and six saucer feet to the bottom and at the point below, it was ready for the runners and the top ... note the grooves ... more on them later.the wood for the top was a spectacular matched set of curly cherry boards from irion lumber
trevor cut the 31 x 62" halves on the cnc, and at the same time routed the pockets for the center inlays. he made the borders in a block and sawed them up into 1/10th" thick strips for the center inlay border.those are installed with brads and tape all around the central recesses
and on the leaves too ...
by this time, will had started the blocks for the edge inlay ... we needed about 25 lineal feet of it total ..
it's a fussy one ... you don't get to level up the center block except for a little hand sanding so every piece has got to be dead on for thickness before you glue up the cores of the blocks ...
not quite good enough ...
here's a stack of completed 'cores' awaiting the addition of the .1" thick walnut borders. you get 5 or 6 slices per inch of block ...
once they're applied, the edge is routed and the .07" thick slices of the blocks are installed into the routed grooves with masking tape and flushed up with the table edge when the glue is dry the next day ..
and then it was back to the center inlay. we started with the block of big leaf male burl i bought on my last trip to berkshire products ... they had a ton of maple burl there.
trevor first cut thick, slightly oversize triangles and then sliced them into .1" veneers which he could then bookmatch as he fitted them up ... not counting the edge strips there are 40 triangles of burl in the two halves of the top and the 3 leaves ..
looks hard ... is. kind of, and time consuminghere's the pattern
the curved aprons were glued up a half at a time with big jorgensen band clamps around an mdf 'form' that trevor cut from an old spoilboard from the cnc.then we milkpainted the aprons and saucer feet, black over barn red, sponged and steel wooled and paper toweled them and put the whole thing back together ...

any questions?

actually, there is another subtle complication that almost stumped us but we finally got it and i have to detail that in a separate post later so i don't forget how we did it .. ... like i said, it almost stumped us. it has to do with making the runners open the table base with the little aluminum strips we added to these stock moin runners and the slots in the top of the base that you see in one of the photos above ....
but really, that's enough for now ... 45 minutes of blog writing is my mucho max ...

10 comments:

mckenzie said...

lovely work guys.

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Jeff Branch said...

Beautiful table. How long did this take to get to this point?

Jason Herrick said...

This is just plain sick! WOW! Your in-depth explanation is very much appreciated. My only one question as to not take too much of your time is in regards to the brads used on the inlay? Any more info you might have there would be GREAT!. I asume they are for alignment? You guys keep me on my toes and inspired. THANKS!

TheHouseTherapist said...

Hi Dan,
Great blog post and inspiring, as usual. I really enjoy reading your blog posts and all of the detail you go into about creating each piece of furniture. Very informative. This table is gorgeous! Congratulations on another beautifully designed piece! BTW - hope you had a very happy birthday!
Best,
Ceil P
http://www.CeilPetrucelliInteriors.com

Dorset Custom Furniture said...

thank you all for your comments and i'll try to answer your questions ...
it's finished now and there was approximately 175 hours of labor involved, start to finish ... and jason, the little brads are nailed in next the the strips of inlay when they are glued in and then bent slightly toward the edge of the recess so that the inlays glue up tightly to the table top itself and then pulled out later. and, thank you ceil. i had a nice birthday ... number 64 this year ..

Brian Q said...

Wonderful work on the table. I'm looking forward to the upcoming runner write up.

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