Saturday, May 10, 2014

The end is near...

Writing a blog is an amazing thing; someone from Colorado wrote to me, asking about this coffee table I'm trying to building... and wanted to see more about the process of figuring out the angles for the base. Ummm... I'm good at geometry, but explaining this is a little tough!

This is purely seat-of-the-pants woodworking, and I am more or less winging it along the way. Armed with a bevel and some scraps of wood - it's relatively easy to establish the angles. 

In this picture, the end closest to the camera is done. 

The other one needs a few more pieces to complete its arc. The piece of tape marks the end point, 

and I use a few scraps of plywood, to establish the angles I need to cut. I decided to approach this end a little differently, since I was running low on wood.

 I used the last wide piece to create one end, and only needed to fill in the middle to complete this.

  This shows the last piece left to cut. 

With a bevel, it's easy to determine the angles for each end. Well... easy is a relative term, right? Once I determined the angles, I tilted the table saw blade and cut the last board - with different angles on each end. 

It fit in perfectly, but I'll tell you - cutting the last board gives you a knot in your stomach. 

Remember that TV commercial years ago with the diamond cutter in the back seat of a car, hoping he wouldn't make a mistake when the car hit a pothole? That was what cutting this board felt like. 

All that was left was rabbeting the bottom, and cutting some Domino slots.  Gluing was easier this time - but never completely problem free. 

Using a combination of strap clamps and bar clamps, I coaxed this piece together.  It's an understatement to say that the glue-up is a little tricky.  

The best part of my afternoon was seeing this long line of glue squeezing out along the joint - ensuring a terrific joint. The two ends are done, 

and with a little luck - this piece will be done soon. (Didn't Ellen Ripley say that in Aliens, just before all hell broke loose?) Stay tuned for the finished piece...

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