Home > Coffee Table > What was I thinking? Coffee table top.

What was I thinking? Coffee table top.

There is a certain amount of skill required to produce a high quality mistake. Over several years I have continue to practice these skills and have developed a healthy resume:

Shelf installed upside down, mortise hole in wrong place, cut board on wrong line , marked line on wrong board, cut wrong board, installed table top upside down, there are more mistakes too numerous to mention. There are also the mistakes that only I can see…you know the ones that you have to point out to people and they always say, “I would have never known”. Finally after years of research there is a new mistake that I can add to my resume:

Glue the wrong board into the table top! In the photograph the second board is much darker than the rest (photo does not do it justice at all.) This is really not the type of mistake you should try at home, please leave it to the professional mistake makers….the board that was supposed to go here is still sitting on the bench ready to go………now where’s that saw!



1 hour later…..On second thought that board doesn’t look so bad

2 hours later…. Maybe if I begin to plane it I’ll get a better look at it.

4 hours later… Now that I have all this time into it, why cut it up?

Smoothing the table top was really fairly easy. Most of the work was done with my Stanley # 4. Once I had isolated some of the problem areas on the board I grabbed my cabinet scraper and card scraper and cleaned up all of the areas of funky grain and areas that I had tear out. The cabinet scraper that I used came from Veritas and once I figured out how to effectively sharpen the blade and turn an edge, I had some beautiful shavings. In fact when I completed planing and scraping, sanding was done with the one piece of paper shown in the picture.

I sawed the top to size and then grabbed a hand plane to smooth the edges. With a very sharp blade it always amazes me how well a hand plane cuts across the grain on the edges of the board.



Categories: Coffee Table
  1. September 30, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I’ve always said the difference between a good woodworker and a so-so one is being able to hide your mistakes –well done!

  2. September 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

    When I make mistakes I often write it off as “artistic expression” and “such is the nature of the workmanship of risk” as ol’ David Pye would say. Good work though and the “Flaw” is well hidden. Cant wait to see the final results.

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