Saturday, October 25, 2014

in and out......

My time in the shop flew by tonight. I thought only a few minutes had passed but when I peeked at the clock it was 5 after 5.  I knew I was concentrating but I must have become one with what I was doing.

one of the scroll feet
This has occupied a great deal of my thoughts today. I spent a fruitless lunch time searching the WWW for a threaded caster. There are a lot of "shop" casters threaded for 5/16-18 but they are totally inappropriate for this table. A few sites I visited had what they called "threaded" studs but they weren't threaded. The studs had a spiral twist to them, not threads for a nut to receive. So I struck out there.

I did get a tremendous offer from Bob Easton to make bun feet for this table.  After I came up dry on the casters I spent some time doodling and making the base sans the scroll feet and with buns. The idea is growing on me and I may go that way.

I spent a few minutes looking at this threaded hole over trying to decide if I wanted to attempt to remove it. I chickened out because it would probably not come out, piss me off, and it would get flying lessons, break or get badly dinged, and I would then blubber like a baby. Or it could be that I couldn't find my gear puller.

ten minutes I won't get back
There is a thick coating of poly all over this foot. I got most of the foot scraped to bare wood except for this face here.  After a couple of more minutes and I got most of this face scraped too. I'll have to spend some time putting new edges on my scrapers this weekend. I'm sure that one scraper, properly sharpened, will do one entire foot. The scraper I used on this one needs some work and it did this one ok.

I planed the tops of all four of the feet and a quick check of them showed they are pretty close. However, the front edge at the top isn't straight on 3 of them. I'm not sure that it will be a problem as it will be underneath the base and not readily seen. Unless you get up close and  personal with the floor.

used the bandsaw
This is the short piece of the base and I was able to saw most the face glued board off. I'll get the rest of it later with my handplanes.  The other half is way to big and won't fit underneath my bandsaw guides.

planing the short width piece first
I'm using the groove to gauge how much I should plane off. This mahogany planes like a dream come true. Even going against the grain wasn't that bad.

has a slight bow
It's hard to see in this pic but there is a slight bowing of this board at the far end. I think I'll be able to clamp it out when I do the glue up.

the bigger half is straight end to end
my best joint line ever
Planing theses two boards is where I lost all track of time. I spent most of the time planing each one straight and square. When I put the two together I could see daylight in the joint so  had to plane some more. I finally got a gap free, no daylight showing, glue joint from end to end. My best time ever for doing something like this with handplanes only.

I can't glue them together yet
I have got to repair these two splits on the edge. I don't want to plane anymore off this short width board. I want to keep as much of the original as I can. As it is I planed off a bit more than 1/4" between the two boards. I'll glue these and hold it in place with tape.

scrubbing time
I could have ripped this board off but ripping this would have been a first time experience for me. I didn't want to chance my practice going out into La-La land. I don't know how long it took me to scrub plane this board off but I had a good time doing it. I can see why mahogany was a prized wood for woodworking. Even the scrub planing went off like a dream.

not what I thought it was
I thought this was a knife or a gauge line made by whoever built this table. Turns out it was made by me over sawing when sawed the rail off.

see the bump in the circle?
I don't have to glue a very wide piece in this at all. I can get by with a 1/2" piece but I'm  doubling that and gluing a 1" strip in.  I hope to do that tomorrow.

found a test spot
The space here doesn't look like it was slathered with poly and I was right. I spilled some alcohol here and when I wiped it up I took off the finish. One wet spot I left was gummy and sticky so I'm pretty sure that the original finish on this table was shellac. I plan on using shellac as my finish too.

I did a quick check of the cork when I first got to the shop and it wasn't 100% flat. And since I don't have the contact cement I put it on the laundry table. I'll let it go for another 24 hours. I want to get this done this weekend too.

accidental woodworker

more useless trivia
Who was Alexander the Great's teacher?
answer - Aristotle

Friday, October 24, 2014

forced decisions......

Sometimes you don't have choices. You must accept what you are dealt and play that hand. On the flip side you can say that there is always at least two choices, a yes or a no. In my case a yes would be move forward and make new and a no would turn this into firewood.

I am committed to restoring this table. I don't what to see the look of disappointment on my wife's face again.  I saw how eager she was when I first reluctantly agreed to see if I could restore this. I'd much rather see her smiling then down in the dumps. And last night she showed me a picture of where the restored table is going in daughter #1's apartment. It's now been carved in stone as happening.

something went here
My wife doesn't remember what, if anything, went in this hole. I think there are two choices here. One choice is that this was a pad/foot of some sort. The second one, and the one that gets my vote, is that this was for a caster.

it's 5/16-18 thread
This is a big threaded insert that was meant to carry the weight of the table. I thought this was a bigger bolt and I had picked out a swiveling pad from Lee Valley based on that error. Now that I know the size of the insert I won't be using my choice from Lee Valley as it's too big. They also didn't have anything in 5/16-18. McMaster-Carr has a large assortment of pads in a bazillion different thread sizes.

The one thing that McMaster-Carr doesn't have is furniture style casters in 5/16-18. I'll have to look around on the WWW antique sites and see what they have. I had planned on using pads to level the table because I'm re-using these feet. With pads I won't have to go nutso trying to get all four of them exactly the same height. However, I still have this nagging belief that casters were used here.

bead detail on the drawer side
split runner on the left side
drawer runner detail
This is a rough sawn piece of mahogany that is the drawer guide and it also keeps the drawer from tipping up/down as you pull it out. It's just nailed on. Simple and effective.

I tapped the loose corner free with my knuckles and I saw this. These are machine cut dovetails. I thought for sure that they were hand cut but there is no mistaking the rounded pins.  This also explains why the dovetails are loose.

the back of the drawer
The drawer fell apart on me. I picked it up to turn it around (sans the left side) and it collapsed on me. The tails broke off on both ends of the back.

the drawer is toast
 Along with the tails breaking off on the back, the sides didn't fare much better.  I don't see how I can fix or make new dovetails with what I have here.

poly on the bottom too
There is poly on the bottom edge of the drawer. I was hoping that this would have been neglected and I could have used the alcohol to see if shellac was the first finish applied.

scraping down the drawer front
 There is a cascade of drips and runs from one end of the drawer to the other. It looks like I will be scraping down the entire table and refinishing it.

15 minutes
This mahogany scrapes very easily. The poly was applied over the original finish(?) so it is coming off without any problems. This took me this long because I went slowly as I didn't want to alter the curve at all.

the back minus it's tails
There is no way to repair this. I can't glue the tails back on and I can't saw new ones as that would make the drawer too small. I thought of making a rabbet joint for the half blinds but I not only don't like that look, I don't think it's appropriate neither. The drawer box was originally dovetailed and the replacement one will be dovetailed too.

Choices to be made again here too. No matter what the choice is on the drawer, I will be keeping the front and applying it to whatever the drawer box ends up being. For the drawer box do I just make a it out of pine or use mahogany like the original?

My first inclination is make the new drawer out of 1/2" pine and apply the front to that. But the original drawer was made out of mahogany. Even the bottom was mahogany albeit it wasn't solid mahogany but veneered with mahogany on both sides. The original being all mahogany, even the bottom, I'm being tugged in that direction .  I'll probably be making the new drawer out of mahogany but it'll have a birch plywood bottom.

drawer detail

This part of the drawer guide is a glued on strip of wood. I had first thought that the drawer sides, including this, were one solid piece of wood. I'll be copying this detail on the replacement drawer.

pocket holes and screws attach the top to the base
one in the front but not the back
There are two access holes in the front but on the opposite side at the back there aren't any. There is only one pocket hole and screw at the back right in the middle. There are 5 pocket holes total and there are only 2 screws. 3 of the pockets are empty and from the look of pocket hole it's been that way for quite a while. I'm sure the four corners posts being screwed to the bottom of the top are helping more than they should to keep the base and top together. I really want to avoid at all costs removing the base from the top. I'll definitely be keeping happy thoughts on that.

drawer doesn't stick out too much
What a difference between the two. I think starting with fresh bare wood will help me a lot. My lack of knowledge and experience means I can't make that bad of a mistake doing this.

cork for my wife's corkboard
This is some curly stuff. I forgot to get the contact cement when I was at Wally World tonight. Got cat food and kitty litter and walked right past the stuff.  I'll put some weight on these two pieces and see if 24 hours will flatten them. The plan I have is to contact cement the two pieces together and use hide glue to secure that sandwich to the frame.

I'm square on all four corners

Once I get the cork flat or flat enough to work with, I'll be able to use my square to cut the cork to fit the frame.

accidental woodworker

more useless trivia
How many acres are there in a square mile?
answer - 640