Home > Cherry Coffee Table > Shaping the Rails – Coffee Table

Shaping the Rails – Coffee Table

The rails for this table have a couple of design elements that are straightforward to cut but a bit of a fiddle to sand. I took my time to avoid additional finishing work. The curves change the look and feel off the table and I added a couple pictures at the end of the blog showing the before and after pictures of the side rails.

Following all the normal steps for side rails, dimensioning, cutting and fitting tenons, I added value to the boards at each step. Woodworkers understand that the time to make a mistake is early in the process. Each step or change adds value (time and effort) to the piece and a mistake becomes more costly.

Next came marking the curved shape. In my secret stash of old patterns I kept the original coffee table pattern so I used it along with a straight edge to draw a pencil line.

The corner of the curve is simply a 7/8” hole. I made a little jig for my drill press and drilled from both sides to have a clean hole. Next the curve along the length was sawn at the band saw. There’s many other ways to do this and in my prior build I use and a saw and chisel to removed the wast and a spoke shave to clean up the curve. Both methods are quick and relatively easy. I don’t think there was much difference in the time to clean up the curve.

Cleaning up the edges is made easier with care in the drilling and layout, I used a spoke shave, scraper and sand paper wrapped around a dowel. Below is a picture showing the impact of the curves on the rails. I like both versions they just provide a different feeling. Next I’ll show the making of the shelf which is in the photograph above.

Categories: Cherry Coffee Table
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