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Maple Entry Hall Table by Chris Tsutsui

This contemporary solid hardwood maple table was constructed with mortise and tenon joinery and waterproof Titebond III glue. Mortise and tenon joinery has been time proven to be one the strongest methods of joinery in fine woodworking. Hard Maple is extremely durable, and after finishing reveals an iridescent 3-dimensional depth to the grain. The board I found at the lumber yard was underneath an entire pallet of hard maple.  A kind employee at Austin Hardwoods was kind enough to remove the pallet with a fork lift so I could get the boards I wanted for this table.  The 6/4 (1.5" thick) hard maple board was about 10 feet long and 14" wide.

Features:

bulletNickel Plated Figure 8's for attaching table to aprons and allowing table top movement.
bulletFinish: Two coats of Seal a Cell with three coats of water based polyurethane satin top coat.
bullet1/4" recess in the upper portion of the aprons and legs.
bulletGentle tapers on the inner sides of the legs
bullet4 board table top construction with alternating grain pattern

Materials:

bullet6ea Figure 8 connectors typically used to connect an apron to a surface.  Part Number 13K01.50 from Lee Valley.
bulletAustin Hardwoods: ~20 Board Feet of Hard Maple 6/4 for table top and aprons.
bullet~10 Board Feet of Hard Maple 5/4 for legs.
bulletGeneral Finishes Seal a Cell
bulletPolyurethane Satin Water based "clear" coat.

Tools:

bullet12" planer
bullet6" jointer
bullet10" table saw
bulletSeveral 3' bar clamps and 4' pipe clamps
bullet14" Band Saw to cut leg tapers and rough cut apron curves
bulletTenoning Jig on table saw
bulletHollow Chisel Mortiser
bulletRouter Table with 1.5" straight cut pattern router bit
bulletForstner bit for figure 8 recessed holes
bulletRandom Orbit sander with 150 grit and 220 grit sand paper
bullet0000 fine steel wool
bulletChisel for undercutting and modifying tenons

 

I saw David J marks make a Cherry Inlay table on the DIY channel.  I started throwing together some sketches and my table has slightly different dimensions and tapered legs, but no inlay.  I decided to go with hard maple because it will withstand abuse and suit the design of the home.
The tenons were made with a Delta tenoning jig on a table saw.  The shoulders of the tenons were cut with a band saw and the cheeks were cut with a table saw.  Final shaping was done with a chisel.

One tip is to never cut too deep when cutting the shoulders of your tenons. If anything, cut a little less than what you should and if there's a little extra material to remove you can remove it with a chisel.

To taper the legs I first made a jig to draw identical lines on all 4 legs. I then used my bandsaw and rough cut the tapers with a steady hand and smooth movement. The trick to free hand cutting a straight line is to look where the saw will go next and don't stare at the exact point where the saw is cutting at.  Last I cleaned up the bandsaw teeth marks with a couple passes on my 6" jointer.
Spread titebond 3 woodglue evenly with your finger or a rubber roller.  Use too much glue and there will be a mess of squeeze out.  Use too little glue and the glue will dry before you can clamp and not set right.  To remove squeeze out, I scrape the beads off with a putty knife after the beads have somewhat dried.  You can then clean up the glue lines with a card scraper and random orbit sander.
The trickiest part is getting the the aprons and legs to match perfectly and just involves practice and precise measuring.  If some parts do not line you you can modify the mortise, or clean up the uneven edges with hand tools and sand smooth.

Decorations:

bulletCylinder shaped string wrapped table lamp and picture frame (Crate & Barrel)
bulletCast Iron tea light candle holders (Ikea)
bulletPolished solid Aluminum 12" Bowl (Nordstrom)
bulletModified Coffee Twig Table Runner (The Great Outdoors)

 

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Last modified: 03/24/10