Archive for October, 2017

2017 Fall Wood Working Project Multimedia Room Table

This is the most satisfying wood working project I’ve done to date. I’m really enjoying this piece on a daily basis. I apologize if I’m a bit proud of it.


We had a non-ideal table setup in our media room that I cobbled together a couple years ago.  This time I wanted something with 3 shallow drawers in front with no knee hazards and a large snack try that pulled out in back for big bags of chips and pop corn etc.. And this time the joinery and finish work were going to be less “utilitarian” looking.

The table top has a Bar Top Epoxy finish and the rest is Arm-R-Seal over SealCoat.  There is a book matched piece of Bird’s Eye Maple in the center with Ebony accent strip, framed with highly figured quarter sawn white oak and banded in Ribbon Sapele.

The snack tray bottom is Curly Maple with Bird’s Eye Maple front and back and sides of white oak.



The picture below was before final shaping and finish, but I like the angle. Notice the tolerances on the drawers. The drawer fronts were cut from a single piece of glued up birds eye maple, sapele and white oak with a thin kerf bandsaw blade and finished with a hand plane on a shooting board so they look nearly solid.




The project started off at Jeffery’s Lumber to find some pretty hardwoods and I only started of with a basic plan and figured everything out as I went.

It was killing me that my small bandsaw could only cut 4.5” thick wood and I didn’t want 4 panels in the top of this table, so I bumped up to a bandsaw that could resaw up to 14” thick.


I was also not happy with the work surfaces around my table saw so I built a couple infeed/outfeed/ side tables for my table saw.


It all started with the center piece of the table, the Bird’s Eye Maple. This is the book match cut. I started the piece with the table saw top and bottom to try to manage any drift.


This gave me the focal point I wanted for the top of the table.


I started with a core piece of 3/4” baltic birch with the hope that using veneers and glue would make the piece stable long term. So I started by banding the core with Ribbon Sapele.


After banding the baltic birch with Sapele, I block planed and sanded it flush.


Then the bookmatched Bird’s Eye was glued together.


I decided to use an Ebony Accent and I learned that Ebony darkens after exposure to light and air. Below are 4 strips of Ebony, showing freshly cut top, exposed to sun and air for a few hours middle and the dark edge bottom.


The the center piece is sandwiched between Ebony and White Oak ends, then the entire length was run through the table saw to get a clean edge on both sides before it was glued to the baltic birch core.


The front and back edging was then glued on.


Then I spent some quality time with my #6 hand plane and got the table top flush.



This is probably not the way most people would do this, but I ran the table top over my router table rather than running a router around the table.


Then after some time with a random orbital sander it was ready for a protective coat of SealCoat while I continued on the rest of the project.


It’s worth noting that I tried a number of stains, oils and dyes, but my wife liked the natural look of the wood so it was just Shellac for now. In my eyes this was beautiful.


There are 1/8” slots routed in the 1/4” baltic birch plywood center panel for the drawer supports and 3/4” plywood sections with brass inserts to hold the legs.


Each leg has 3 bolts holding it in place.


Switching to the snack tray. There are 15 degree dado slots in the sides to hold 1/4” baltic birch plywood core and there is a 1/2” baltic birch bottom core.



With the tray fitted between the leg supports, the drawer sides and supports are cut.


For assembly disassembly there needed to be two holes in the side drawer supports.


Created interior and exterior veneers for the snack drawer out of Curly Maple and Bird’s Eye Maple.


Glued up the snack tray veneers.


Started work on the legs with edge banding and leg supports with 1/2” fascia boards.  Glued up the strip for the drawer fronts. Cut veneers for the legs.


Started gluing up the legs.


Dado cut 1 1/8” thick white oak front and back pieces that created an I-beam like structure and got those fitted. Did some rough shaping of the feet.


Legs shaped and sealed.


Picked some pretty Walnut veneer patterns for the drawer bottoms.


Routed the slots and cut runner pieces for the drawers.


Glued the drawers together without drawer fronts. Then with careful attention to the drawer front placement glued the drawer fronts on in-situ.


It is now feature complete and ready for final sanding and finish.


Taped up the bottom of the table to allow me to peel off Bar Top epoxy drips.


I had closed off this room, shut the vents and left the table in there to set overnight to let dust settle before putting the epoxy on.

Epoxy is down, now to patiently let it dry for a few days…


Then I put the legs in tightened the bolts and put it in my media room.

This is probably my last project of the year while I focus on other things.


2017 Summer Wood Working Project Walnut Plant Stand

We had a square table in our front foyer holding a plant and one of our cats would sit on the corners of that table and eat this plant. So I built this round table to protect the plant and it seems to be working. This was my first solid hardwood project.


Started by gluing up a beautiful piece of 1” plus thick walnut.



Used carpet tape and a shallow 1/8” guide hole to center this walnut slab on a 1/2” piece of plywood backer. Used my new router circle cutter to cut and spiral bit to cut the table top.


Used a downcut spiral bit to cut a slot for the skirt in the underside of the table top and then used a round over bit on the top of the table.


Resawed slices of walnut to make the round skirt.


Here is the fully routed table top and 1/8” veneer strips for the skirt


Glued the skirt using Titebond III for more working time.


Created an MDF form to create two halves of a circle to make the skirt. The form is just 1/4” smaller in diameter than the slot in the bottom of the table top. Thinner sheets of wood with more layers of glue hold shape better than thicker sheets with fewer layers of glue.


Cleaned up the edges of the skirt with a block plane and card scraper.


This fit the slot perfectly.


Glued together a second circle half.


Started finishing the table top and skirt.


Cut 4 square legs to start with.


Routed a 1/2” slot into the legs to fit over the skirt and then chiseled a curve and flattened out the top of the slot.


Started to fit the legs on the skirt. Two legs hide the lap joints of the skirt.


Created leg supports out of the corners cut off when making the table top.


Fit the supports and legs to the skirt.


Added brass inserts to the table top.


Added brass inserts to the legs and decided to add a floating tenon for additional stability. it is glued only to the leg.


Practiced cutting legs with a tapering jig.


Created a few out of pine to see what would look good.


Cut tapers in the walnut legs and stained everything.


Applied Arm-R-Seal and completed final assembly.



The skirt is floating and not glued in any way. The legs hold the skirt in the table top slot and the skirt helps hold the legs in place. The legs are held by one 1/4 20 SS screw and a floating tenon and the leg supports are held by two 1/4 20 SS screws.  It can be completely disassembled to 11 wood pieces and 12 SS screws.


2017 Spring Wood Working Project Chest of Drawers

I wanted storage space for my RC Helicopter tools and parts for my office and couldn’t find anything that existed. This is the design I came up with and built.


Here is the finished piece.



Cut the drawer pieces out of 1/2 and 1/4” plywood. Routed the drawer sides with drawer lock bit and used a 1/4” rabbet on the bottom rather than a slot to conserve valuable vertical space.


Glued them up.


Stacked drawers in a mockup of the final configuration with full extension slides as spacers.


Planed reclaimed red oak flooring to 1/2” and tongue and grooved the pieces so there was a 1/2” band at the top and bottom of each fascia board. This helped keep the boards true and they have remained extremely flat.


Glued up fascia boards.




All of the drawers and fascia boards neatly stacked.  The black board on top was an experiment with reclaimed flooring that didn’t work well.


Cut and banded 3/4” plywood with 3/4” red oak boards for the carcass.


Created tongue and groove slots on the top, bottom, left and right panels that fit snuggly together perfectly square while dry.  During glue up they were tighter and required lots of rubber hammer and clamp pressure to pull them tight.


Decided to flock the top 4 smallest drawers that hold lots of small tools.


Rough fit of everything.


Stained the housing black


Glued the main enclosure together and used pocket screws for the center supports and mid horizontal surface.


Created wood tooling for mounting the drawer sliders.


All drawers fitted


Fitted and shimmed fascia boards, then marked holes and drilled holes for handles. These two screws also hold the fascia boards in place and allow for minor adjustments to get them aligned well.


Cabinet is now complete.