A Week of Miscellany

This week I worked a variety of tasks on the Child of the Hunter coffee table. There are a number of interdependencies that require simultaneous resolution while responding to the natural shape of the top. After last week's glue-ups of the end assemblies for the stand, I spent some time fine tuning the fit of the leg-to-side-stretcher joinery. That was followed with a review of the top planks to set the final locations of the cross beams that rest atop the side stretchers.

I did final machine milling and squaring-up of the cross beams and followed that with boring the dowel pin holes that set the position on the side stretchers. With that done it was time to continue milling and thicknessing of the top planks.

I only have a 6" jointer in the studio, so to flatten the first side I need to make a quick jig to run the plank through the 15" wide surface planer. Below, you can see the 1/4" MDF scrap that I used for that. To support the plank above the MDF, I applied dots of hot melt glue in a reasonably tight pattern to level and compensate for the curves in the bottom surface of the plank.

After the glue cooled and set up, I ran the planks through the surface planer to flatten the first side. I then removed the MDF, scraped away the hot melt glue, and milled the second surface flat and parallel to the first. This second thicknessing pass brings the planks to about 1-1/4" thick. It's important at this stage to continue allowing air to circulate around all sides to equalize moisture conditions across the entire plank. Before doing that, I took the picture below to show it's getting close to flat; just a very small amount of movement after this milling operation!

Next, I milled the center slats to slightly oversized width and height and laid them out with spacers next to the top planks to confirm the grain graphics and that everything is still a go.

A couple days after the previous time, I once again re-flattened the wide top planks; this time, down to 1-1/16" thick, close to the final design thickness of 15/16".

Next week, I plan to focus on the stand joinery that involves final surface prep as a part of the fitting process. Until then...

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig