Friday, February 22, 2008

A Round Expanding Table

4/7/08 ... We finished this one up a few weeks ago but it's not leaving for a minute and I just got around to taking the pictures and adjusting the photo images. Great project. As usual, more complicated and more pieces than I thought, but a still a great project, nonetheless ..... Click to view ... Story below ...

The finished table in the closed position

With the four 18" leaves

Underview showing the concealed leg and the runners ...

2/22/08 We started the design work for this project back around Thanksgiving and we're now well on the way to wrappng it up. It will sit in the formal parlor of a fine, vintage 1840's, Philadelphia townhouse. The photos are posted from conceptual work through the present in reverse order with the most recent at the top. Double click the photos for better viewing. The table is built using figured mahogany and will have black painted details and ebony and burl inlays. It will be a 39" round in the closed position and will open to 112" to seat 10-12 comfortably.

We were about to apply the final coats of finish to the table top when I realized I HAD FORGOTTEN THE ABALONE TRIANGLE INLAYS !! It was kind of nerve wracking inlaying them into the nearly finished top, but they came out fine and are definitely a nice, eye catching addition to the overall design ...

INlaying the triangles process....

Rough rout with 1/16th" bit
photos above show the marking, routing and hand fitting inlay process

3/9/08 ... Close up of the top with the completed edge inlay, ready for final stain on the mahogany.

In this picture, the pieces have been firstcoated with stain and the inlays have been masked off in preparation for the final color on the mahogany. You can see the finish sample of the final color in the foreground and the black apron details nested within the leaves. the other black column details and moldings are in thefar background. All of a sudden it dawns on me that there are A LOT of pieces in this table.

Inlaying the edge detail.

Showing the length of each piece of edge inlay.

2/27/08 We're now working on the burl center inlay for the main table and for the leaves. The small half circles we can glue to the table with clamps , but the leaves will go in a vacuum bag press so the the larger area (11 x 18) can be clamped with more consistent pressure.

Fitting up the pie shaped pieces of the center inlay.

Clamping the fitted inlay to the table.

Fitting up the inlay for the leaves 2/27

The table as it is today 2/22 with a photoshopped on apron and painted molding detail

My son Will, rough bending the inlay pieces for the circlular ebony inlays with a shop made 'hot pipe'. He could, with just the hot pipe and careful control of the heat, bend the kiln dried ebony, or most any other thin wood, into a radius slightly larger than the pipe itself. We learned this technique from the guitar makers catalog, how to books, and a little experimenting. The .35" burl line is cut, not bent.

A close up of the inlay process. This is actually the third step, as each layer is glued in, one piece at a time, using the nails to temporarily force the pieces into place until the glue dries. The blocks for the edge inlay are in the backgroound.

End view of the whole table with the triple outer inlay border (ebony/burl/ebony) set.

The table in the open position, without its center leg

The split pedestal with its center leg and shop fabricated column locking mechanism

Gluing up the tapered column

Checking the column piece cutting jig with an mdf mockup

Sketches of possible inlay designs...First table, top left is the one we're building.

The parlor with the proposed table photoshopped in

The parlor patiently awaiting its table


chicowoodnut said...

That is a sweet looking table. Thanks for the tips on the ebony. It looks like you know what you are talking about.



precious said...

I think this is what I need at home. It is hard to obtain lots of tables in a small house. We need it always since we always have visitors.
dining set

dancilhoney said...

Thanks for the great post! I sold my old country rectangular table several years ago and bought a black round dining table sets and I love it! Best thing I ever bought. said...

Thanks for your post, very useful information.

Expandable round dining table said...

Table with the video really looks great :)