Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Work continues on the demilune card table

This week in the 9 month program at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, we students are rushing around and staying late to get our curves projects completed by the end of the week.

For me, that has meant a lot of hours working on the demilune card table I'm building as well as a few rush orders of last minute supplies (like ultrasuede for the playing surface and holly string inlay).

So here are a few more pictures showing the progress of the table. In this one you can see I've finished cutting the dovetails and the apron and rear rail are now together.
Rear table rail dovetailed into the demilune apron

Here is a view of the wooden hinges that make up the gate-leg table joint. I wouldn't cut them this way again (especially in white oak!!!).
Gate leg table joint

So those little blue bits in this photo are a rather big mistake. They were on the back of the veneer and are used to hold it together until the white veneer tape dries. You must take them off before you glue your veneer down. if you don't, you'll need to chisel off your veneer to remove them--that's what you see here.

A little hide glue and a bit of hammer veneering to fix it up and voilà, she is as a good as new (of course it took about 3 hours to chisel it all off and get new veneer back on it).
Hammer veneering the table apron

And this last photo shows the inlay going on (or is it in... I don't know). The inlay is a commercial inlay I bought at Rockler. On the right you see a finished bit, on the left, the place where the next bit of banding will go. You might ask what that big black arrow is for in the leg joint--that's to keep me from cutting the wrong edge of the apron.
inlay banding on the table apron

That's all for now--should have more pictures on Friday as that's when the project is due (not that mine will be completely done as I won't have the Ultrasuede or the string inlay by then.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Demilune Table Apron

Wow, when I settled on this project I thought it was going to be fairly easy--that hasn't really been the case. As I've been working on this project many things have come up that I totally didn't foresee as I set out. But, if you are going to take on something that will stretch you as a woodworker, this is definitely the place to do it. All of the instructors and staff are so supportive and the great energy you get from your fellow students is really encouraging.

This group of photos shows the evolution of the apron as it goes from a bunch of straight pieces of wood to a curved, veneered table apron.

The brick-built apron. You can see that the front has already been run by the shaper to curve it.
Brick built curve

Here's the apron now that it's been cut with both the inside and outside curves.
The table apron

And here it is with a couple layers of mahogany veneer applied to it. The finished apron will have a fancy veneer put on after all of the joints and such have been cut.
Veneered apron

This picture shows the back of the table apron with its dovetails cut.
Getting ready to dovetail in the back of the table apron

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Curves and veneer

Our current project in the 9 month class here at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is a table--but not just any table--it needs to have a veneered surface and feature some sort of curved element.

Now some folks find this kind of open field exciting and come up with all sorts of ideas. I, on the other hand, really struggle with so much design freedom. I cast about trying to think of furniture that I personally want (which is not much)--so finally, after some forced sketching, meager designs, and much frustration, I come up with something that isn't really what I want, but more designed to explore areas of building that are new to me.

So... that being said, I'm building a folding demilune card table with as much federal styling as I have time for. Right now I'm brick building the apron out of poplar and will veneer it later this week. Pictures to follow soon!