Thursday, November 8, 2007
Hi campers. Tomorrow moring will be my last window to purchase timber for the dining table if there is a hope of completing the project in the next couple of weeks. First, I must define the unit of measure. We will default to the old sawyers measure of quarter inches. Henceforth, when I say 5/4 that translates to 1 and 1/4" thickness of lumber. The reason they saw 5/4 timber is that after finishing, a board will end up at 1" or 2.5cm in thickness. The material I choose is cherry. It is an excellent wood to work with, but has two drawbacks; pitch pockets, and cracking. This means that the finished piece will likeley have a 'birthmark', and that there is quite a bit of waste with this material. Both are acceptable to me. I have access to 4/4, 5/4 and 8/4 timber. I will choose 5/4 for the top which will provide a finished dimension of 1". A table with this thickness will allow several resurfacings and last approximately 250 years. Boards of this thickness come in random widths between 4" (10cm) and 6" (15cm). There is approximately 25% wastage in the final dimensions after finishing, therefore to accomplish 37" in final width, I will require between 9 and 10 shorts (5-6' length) or 4-5 long boards (cut in half). The legs of the table will be made of 8/4 and I need enough for 4 at 30" in length. The stretchers will be made of 4/4 cherry and be mortised into the legs. This weekend I intend to plane and joint the timber. Before finishing the timber must be aclimatised to it's final home. This involves stabilization in humidity. I have not at this time been able to create a final drawing of the table, but the plan is to accomplish that while the timber is drying. Basically, I am envisioning a simple table with a champher on the underside. Tapered legs with lambs tounge detail. Light stretchers. If I can manage, I will add a curve to the stretchers. There will be no joinery detail except for pins (round) that lock the mortises. The finished table will hopefully be light, yet strong. The finished product will be much like the repro shaker table photos on our blog. The difference is that this table will be hand made and be 'soft' to the hand and strong.