It’s nice to have some extra help around the shop, but he’s so excited to start working that I’m glad that my floor is covered with sawdust and shavings 🙂 .
The actual construction phase is nearly done but so far, none of the major parts have had glue applied. This was a good decision as it was necessary for me to insert and remove web-frame parts a number of times to get the fits just right, especially for the dividers, which I had some slight difficulty with. For any professional woodworkers reading this post (why would you be? 🙂 ), I’m sure you’ll have a chuckle, but at the time it sure seemed like a straightforward process…..
Yes, more mortise and tenons! This is my goal: When the next major earthquake hits Switzerland, like the big one near Basel in 1356, I want someone digging through the rubble to come across this cabinet and say “Wow! The building is gravel and dust but this cabinet held together like a steel safe! I think I’ll take it home.”
I really like frame and panels. For their size and weight they can make a piece of furniture incredibly strong, and they look nice too! The joinery used to make a frame is also one of my favorites, the humble mortise and tenon. While dovetails are the traditional mark of the skilled craftsman, I think mortise and tenons should be right up there with dovetails. Unfortunately, I think the M&T gets a bad rap because they are just as difficult to do as dovetails and yet, in most cases, will remain unseen.
After a brief foray into a coffee table project for my son, I come back to the pieces I have rough milled into parts for a liquor cabinet. A good feeling for how the wood is acclimating and how it might further move can be determined a week or two after the first rough dimensioning.
So, my son and granddaughter will be arriving soon and I’d really like to finish this coffee table in time for their arrival, not counting the oil finish, so I’ve put in a couple late nights and most of a weekend.
Wood is always surprising to me; when selecting the five boards for the top, one of them was a much lighter shade than the others, enough so that I asked my son if it would be alright to have this one piece down the middle (it was). By the time I had finished planing them to final dimensions, the difference was not so striking and, foreshadowing, once the oil finish was applied you couldn’t really tell the difference.
So this coffee table is coming along pretty well and I’ve made good progress the last few evenings. Every so often I’ll stop for a drink or to rest my feet (Someday, I’ll have a wooden floor to stand on. Or not.) and I’ll look ahead, thinking about the steps to come and if there is something that can be done easier now than later.
This goes without saying (therefore, we have to say it) however, there have been many times when I’ve thought that the next step was clear only to find out that something would have been easier done before the glue was applied.
So I wanted to make my son Alan a coffee table out of wicker but he declined….. (sorry, private joke 🙂 ). He did like the idea of using recycled barn wood like I just did with Bruce’s Trestle Table and I figured I had enough left without having to raid the pile of timbers again so we decided on a simple, common design such as this, but not quite as beefy:
There will also be a shallow drawer to hold some magazines, a laptop etc. This is a project I’m doing in parallel with the Liquor Cabinet as the wood for that one acclimates.
So, sparing you the details, it’s come about that I’ll be building a liquor cabinet for a colleague. Something that will hold 2 shelves of tallish (33-35cm high) bottles of spirits, a row of 8 bottles of wine and still have room for a drawer with about 14.5cm of usable space. Here is the front view sketched on graph paper (the only way I can draw a straight line without a ruler).
A small, relaxing project for those stressed at work…..
So I needed something fun that I could make in order to try out the venerable tapered mortise and tenon joint. That, and a chance to practice some basic turning skills.
Forewarning: this is more of a pictorial post with captions rather than a full-on article of “how I did it”.