Sunday, November 14, 2021

Back to my ceramic roots... sort of...

Back  in the day, I used to make a ton of ceramic tile - utilizing the amazing glazes that came from Mastering Cone Six Glazes... a book that changed my (ceramic) life.  I was mixing my own glazes, and developing some variations of the Waterfall Brown glaze that was featured so prominently in the book. 

I was completely focused on developing a blue and a green version of this glaze - and my experiments were pretty successful. Here are my blues 

and a couple of greens - both colors compliment wood so well. 

I made this tile medallion using a green version of this glaze many years ago, and frankly, I'd forgotten about it. I'd inlaid it into a walnut tabletop, and it was floating around my shop, moved from shelf to shelf, awaiting the perfect project. 

So when one of my friends spotted it and asked if I could turn it into a table, it was the true definition of serendipity.  We agreed on a few design decisions (size, and the addition of a drawer and a shelf) and away I went.  

Now - I've made dozens of tables - maybe hundreds - who knows?  One of the first things I consider is grain. (Thanks to The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking!) Seriously - if you want to become a better builder, you need to read this book. 

The legs were first - one inch boards laminated to highlight bookmatched pieces of wood, since I couldn't find solid lumber that was a full 2" thick. Not only do I mark where they will eventually land (left front, right front, and so on...)

 but I mark the edges that all be tapered. The white lines indicate the surface that will be shaved. 

Taper jigs make short work of this! I've always felt like taper jigs are a little dicey for a novice, but it seems like everyone I know owns one of these cheap $20 aluminum jigs. My advice - build your own, using toggle clamps, and make a safer version. There are thousands of plans out there for safer ones. 

Once tapered, I set the legs on the top, which allowed me to choose the right overhang. 

Some measuring, cutting and a few hours later, This table was coming together quite nicely.... here's a shot before the top and the drawer face were attached. 

And finally - the finished table - a lovely foyer table that will greet my friend every time she walks in her front door.

 I am finally getting caught up on some projects that have been in the pipeline for a while - am SO psyched to start a few new ones.  I need to start researching guitar humidors, as that's my next build. 

Stay tuned...