Author Archive

Walnut Side Table Top Update

April 25, 2022 Leave a comment

As several of you pointed out the last post concerning the crack in the side table top was unclear and incomplete. I must have accidentally sent it out over the weekend before I finished writing. Here’s the full story….

The underside was chamfered to lighten the appearance of the top. While I was using the router clamps were used to hold it in place. Unfortunately I did not ensure that the top was fully supported and after completing the routing and putting the router away the top cracked. It is a clean break over most of the length with a jagged edge on one end. I do not have pictures of my poor clamping method which consisted of a couple of boards underneath to allow the router to travel around the outside without touching the table top. I certainly should have used a better method.

Categories: Uncategorized

Walnut Side Table – Top Cracks

April 24, 2022 4 comments

After gluing up the Table Top, rough sawing the circular outline, routing and then chamfering I guess the glue joint on the table decided it had enough.It’s a clean break most of the way down the glue line so I just added a little more glue worked it into the joint and clamped it up. Not a bad problem to solve!

Categories: Walnut Side table

Circle Jig for a Router

April 20, 2022 Leave a comment

I have on completed two circular projects, the first an Arts and Craft Side table and the second a similar design out of Walnut. The first attempt at cutting a circle was made using a jig and band saw and I was none to impressed with he result. Here’s a link to that blog post and If I recall correctly the limited amount that I write of that experience tells you it did not go well. When a similar project came up for the Walnut side table I took a little more time to research and come up with a plan that would have better results.

The jig I used was in a fine woodworking article, 4 Jigs for a Fixed Base, September-October 2014. It’s fairly simple and consists of a plywood arm with the Router mounted on one end and a pin that becomes the pivot point for the arm. Taking some 1/2” plywood I drew out the arm and cut it out with he bandsaw and drilled the necessary holes.

Making the Pin

The jog looks like this when it is ready for action. I wasn’t quite sure how to connect it to the table top and departed drilling a hole directly into the top. Instead I mounted a couple of trips of blue tape to the table top and another couple of strips to a block in which I drilled the pivot hole and used superglue between the tape. That way I could peel the block off the top and leave not trace. It worked great.

although the jig worked and I was able to make a nice circular edge I do think that the jig was a little lose around the pin. when i use the jig again I think I will reinforce the hole to ensure it remains steady.

Categories: Jigs

Walnut Side Table – Top

April 16, 2022 Leave a comment

Looking through various books and images I’ve been considering the impact of changing the edges of the table top. When I made the Arts and Craft Side table a few years ago the top was approximately 7/8” thick and I wonder about the impact of a different edge. Many authors discuss “lightening” the look of the top with chamfers.

Before we work on the edges let’s get the top built. Using the smaller jointing sled mentioned in one of my previous posts I Milled up stock for the top and glued them together.

Next I planed the top flat (one day I’ll do a better job in the glue up and have less work to do). Reviewing my notes from the Arts and Craft Side table it was obvious that I had a heck of a time with the circular top. There’s several ways that I could tackle it, Bandsaw, router, hand saw so I spent a little time researching alternatives and came to the conclusion that I will trim with my bandsaw and using my router to fine tune the circle. Using a Fine woodworking article a jig was made and the top trimmed into a circle. If you are a Fine Woodworking Member or have access to a library here’s the article: 4 Jigs for a Fixed Base, September-October 2014.

I trimmed the circle first with a flush cutting bit and then I followed along with a chamfer pit. The Chamfer posed a minor problem since the hole was smaller than the router bit. I had to make a quick base to take care of the problem.

I’ll write more details on the jig and how I attached it in another article.

Categories: Walnut Side table

Walnut Coffee Table Top Refinish

April 10, 2022 Leave a comment

The finish was Shellac, covered with water based poly. Used many times without a problem, however this time it looked like there was cracking and scratches across the top.

My best quests is there must be something that interacted with the polyurethane so It all needs to return to bare wood and start again. Not what I wished to do but I need to correct the finish.

Categories: Uncategorized

Walnut Side Table – Rounded Tenons

April 7, 2022 1 comment

Several years ago I had the opportunity to take the 9 day foundations class from Paul Sellers. It was an incredible experience and one that I doubt will be available in the future. Paul has moved onto Woodworking Masterclasses and Common Woodwork as a platform to reach a larger audience. One of the projects in this class involved through tenons and a lesson in the versatility of the hand plane. If you have never tried rounding over end grain, pull out a board, sharpen up your plane and give it a go.

Working end grain requires a sharp blade. A few minutes on the diamond plates and the plane was ready to go. Working across the tenon I take small slices of wood working up and down the tenon until its rounded over. Watch for tear out on the ends although they will later be chamfered with a chisel. When the tenon looks balance a file or sandpaper can be used to smooth out the finished product.

The final act of the rounded tenon is chamfering the ends. This removes any tear out and gives a nice finished look. Using a chisel it only took a couple of hits with a mallet and they are complete. And if you chip out by the tenon a little superglue may just handle the problem.

Walnut Side Table – Legs

March 29, 2022 3 comments

As I looked for designs and possible dimensions for the table I came across an article and really liked the design and the challenge of using a Bridal Joint. I also like the original design used a few years ago with the exposed through mortises. I have used the exposed joints on a couple of projects from Paul Sellers, Coffee Table and Arts and Craft Side table. Use the links if you want to go to those project pages. I think that the table should use both joints. It also will allow me to try a couple of things that I have not done previously.

The article that I saw the bridal joint was actually a video series #193 Sept/Oct 2007. I also looked at other sources.

I spent some time making sure that the grain worked for the project and then squared everything up. I found the card shaper handy with the tear out that I’ve been experiencing. Anyone used one of the high angle frogs in heavy tear out?

The mortiser again made quick work and only a little clean up was needed with a chisel. Next the bridle joints which I did with hand saws and my band saw. I measured very carefully and it paid off, only minor plane work on the tenon to get it all together.

Categories: Uncategorized

Walnut Side Table – Lumber

March 22, 2022 Leave a comment

There are always a few additional boards left over when completing a project, these boards could sit on a rack for years collecting dust. Perhaps a small table could put them to use?

Several years ago I gathered up various pieces of White Oak from a coffee table build and built a round table that has been exactly what was needed in our living room. With a few modifications I’ll do the same with the Walnut. Legs first then moving on to the other parts of the table.

Categories: Walnut Side table

Shelix Planer

March 20, 2022 4 comments

I have typically flattened one side of a board using traditional bench planes and used a Delta 22-560 Planer to flatten the other side. This has sped up my work process and kept me sane when I have limited shop time. I’m guessing the planer was purchased 20 plus years ago and I have been extremely happy. Sometimes I consider a larger planer but in reality the 12 1/2” has worked fine and it is very rare that I use a board that it can not handle. Over several years I have been watching many people install helical cutter heads in their planers and claiming better performance and lower noise.

Over the last couple of years the typical planer blades that I have purchased have disappeared and the blades purchased recently wear quickly. Many years ago Delta was the go to planer but this has quickly been overcome buy the Dewalt Planers. Subsequently knives are harder to find and I think most manufacturers focus on the higher volume sales for the Dewalt Planers. Where does that leave the owners of the Delta tools? Poor knives, new Planer or new cutter head.

Maybe I will look at larger pieces of equipment in the future but for now, I am content with the lunchbox planer. The Dealt planers have a good reputation but why change what I already have for a similar system. I opted to install a new Shelix cutter head and ordered it a few weeks ago.

I took about four hours to remove and install the new head and along the way I have a few observations. Tools the average home owner may not have….15/16 wrench, and a bearing puller. Most home wrench and socket sets stop at 7/8”, fortunately I had the larger wrench and more importantly a bearing puller. Why I have that, I don’t recall, but it has sat in the bottom of the tool chest for years. The instructions were a little shaky and there are none for my model, but between instructions for other brands I figured out what needed to be done.

Once complete I took it for a test run immediately smelling burning plastic and managed to locate a couple of pieces of plastic. And a hole in the pulley guard.

Obviously something wasn’t right and after a little search I realized that the nut that came with the nut on the new head was a different thickness and rubbed on the guard. I contemplated looking for a different nut but instead opted to put a couple of shims to push the guard above the nut.

Overall the installation process was ok, but I wouldn’t want to take it on without the right tools and some mechanical knowledge. The instructions definitely leave something to be desired. The cut quality is excellent and for that I’m happy with the product.

Categories: Tools

Tidy Shop

March 19, 2022 Leave a comment

The sound was normal, the swish of the plane communicating its sharpness and performance, air blowing through the vent with a sigh of warmth, a hammer’s tap as someone builds a garden shed. Turning around, looking for the source of my discomfort, it hit me like a sudden scent of danger….my shop is a mess!

There are three projects in different stages of production, boxes that have not been put away from a move a year and a half ago, drawers left open from hastily grabbed tools and a great need to sweep the floor, oh and a full dust collector and trash can.

I did not see it coming but my mind sounded the alarm through a sense of discomfort that something needed to be done and it need doing now. A couple of hours later the bench and table saw were clear and the floor swept but there was more that needed doing.

Categories: Uncategorized