I have had a half finished mosiac top sitting around for a few months. I had given up on finishing it. Since it was not glued yet I figured I might just use the pieces in another project but decided that I should finish it. I filled in all the shapes three weeks ago and began building a base for it two weeks ago. I made the apron from some scarap piece of cedar I had in the wood pile and made the legs out of some old oak star balusters that I painted black. For addied stabiilty I added a 3/8 ” dowel on the narrow side. I assemebled the base and apron today and it wobbles a bit, though it supports the weight of two cats. I think I need to add a dowel on the long side. The table stood over 3′ tall, I decided that was too tall and so I knocked about 7″ off the legs. I had an interesting time cutting the legs down to size, I marked the height I wanted on a dowel and used that dowel to mark each leg, then I cut it with a circular saw. I had to cut left handed so I could see the blade and the cut mark, good thing I am ammbidexterous. Somehow the legs ened up level, It wobbles less now that it is shorter but I still need to add some extra support. Making bases that will support the weight of the tops, and not succomb to vertical or horizontal pressure is always a challenge. It still may be too tall. I am not sure.
It’s been a busy week. Delivered a breakfront to schenectady NY. Took the Annie Sloan Just Paint workshop at work. It was fun and I learned a lot. I now know how to remove those random bristles that get on furniture while applying stain, paint or finish. . It’s always been a huge frustration and Gail shared the answer. I have started making coathangers, hook/racks out of random pieces of wood and drawer pulls. They are interesting and I would like to get some architectural hardware to use. I picked up a pair of busted half sized cue sticks on Wednesday. Jess and I went to goodwill and there they were for 49 cents each. I fond a broken cue at work a year ago and I plan to make a tripod base for something. Should be cool.Stained the drawer/desk organizer table bright red. It looks cool. I also added some supports. I need to add 5 pounds to the base for extra stability and that table will be for sale. I also finished the dry fit of the small square mosaic table. I should glue it next week. I also cut out the legs for that table. It’s been busy. I am up to 6 songs now for 50/90. I try not to think too hard about doing 44 more. I wrote the 6th one last night. There is this guy named John Cole who has a blog and his cat was killed yesterday by his sister’s dog. It’s awful. the cat has been the mascot for his blog for a long time and the viciousness and suddeness are hitting him hard and I found myself strangely sad and grieving for a cat and a I person I have never met. I left my condolences and I wrote this 51 second punk song about loss called I am sorry (you’ve got to try). I will almost have enough inventory to do a flea market and maybe join the arts guild by mid August.
As a woodworker you can never have too many clamps. I have bar clamps, right angle clamps, bench dogs, and vices. Working with large pieces of wood that need even pressure to maintain proper contact and adhesion can be a challenge, and I often have to improvise. I have used plate weights to keep objects in place,experimented with DIY vacuum clamps and turned a 3′ jack post into a veneer press. A jack post can exert lots of pressure so it isn’t very every job.To use it I screwed a top plate into the ceiling and made a stand out of scrap wood and a milk crate on the workbench. Then I glue my piece, cover the surface in wax paper and then clamp a piece of wood to the project. The jack post can dent your project so this step is crucial. Without the wax paper the project can adhere to your scrap wood and things get messy. Place the jack post between the project and the ceiling and then tighten the threaded jack screw. Don’t overtighten, but make sure it’s snug. I have used this several times and I now have a dedicated jack post workstation. I install the post Jack screw end down so I don’t have to stand on a ladder to work on my projects.
Another difficult task is glueing odd angles. I had to join two 30 degree angles the other day and it took me a long time to get it right. I would glue the pieces, attempt to clamp and then end up washing the glue off with denatured alcohol and starting again. I ended up ripping the heads off of several wire nails and pinning the pieces together, securing the angle with tape, blocking interior and exterior angles with wood and applying vertical pressure with plate weights. I don’t know if that will hold over the long term but the glue will be reinforced with screws so hopefully this will work. If not, I need to make a jig to clamp these angles because I see a lot of trapezoids in my future and I want nice joints.
I am still feverishly working on finishing tables 9 10 and 11. I added some trim to the shutter table and I should be able to apply poly tonight. It has been super humid lately and everything is taking longer to dry. The scrap-wood end table has legs now and needs a good sanding and I hope to poly or lacquer that tonight as well. I am still playing around with the toboggan table too. I stained it and it looks cool. Since I have no new pictures I thought I would share a few more tables from the past.
This is a sofa table that i made this winter. i brought it into the Furniture Barn in February and it sold a few hours later. This is the first table that I incorporated painted pieces into the scrap wood design and I really liked it. The base came from my aunt and uncle. It was held together with very small finishing nails so I reinforced it with dowels. The next picture is is a coffee table that I made sometime in the fall of 2012. I wasn’t happy with it and I had to fill a lot of gaps after construction. In fact making this table changed the way way I dry fit and construct the scrap-wood mosaic tables. I brought it in the store in May. It sold at the end of May so now it has a good home and I don’t have to look at it anymore.
Meet table # 1. I made this in 2011. I had never made a table before. I had made plenty of shelves and other assorted things but I really wanted to try to make a table. I cut the yin and yang symbol out of redheart and I think maple? The pieces were only 1/4″ thick and the frame was 3/4″ so I had to shim to make the surface even and flat. I used a plywood rectangle with a circle cut out to create an inlay effect. This picture shows it’s first incarnation. In this picture you see the legs as I originally envisioned them. I cut to two cedar posts as legs and used lag screws to fasten them to the table top. I wanted the table to have a industrial and organic look and a minimalist appearance. The legs looked cool but weren’t very stable and did not provide a lot of support. To correct the stability issues I had to attach rectangle feet onto the base. I attached the feet with 1″ in diameter closet bars. and glue. #1 sold in December of 2011.
Table number 3 was made in 2012. I had a lot of leftover cut pieces. I hate wasting wood but keeping so much cull can be overwhelming and messy. I needed a project to reduce the size of the scrap pile. I took a piece of plywood and dry fit a frame. I then arranged some pieces in a mosaic pattern. Then I glues and naiedl the pieces to the base piece of plywood. I built a frame to mount the table and used dowels to attach scrap poplar as legs. I finished it off with a jacobean stain and a few coats of poly. That table sold in the fall of 2012