Info

3/4" x 5-1/2" x 12" (a)

D Wedge 4

Mahogany

1/2"x3/4"x4"(b)

i Top || 1 ¡I Mahogany 3/4" x9" x 14" |

Hardware: 4 desktop fasteners; 8 5/8" x #6 screws.

Notes: a) Cut 1-1/4" x 2" notches in all four comets to create 2" x 3" tenons on both ends.

b) Taper one face to 3/16" thickness at one end. Cut to final 2-3/8" length after dry-fitting.

cut the tenons on the shelf (Photo 4).

11. Lay out the mortises on the rail and shelf. These mortises are located 5/8" from the tenon shoulders, so that when the table is assembled they recess 1/8" into the sides. This guarantees that the wedges will tightly lock the joints. Drill out the mortises (Photo 5) and square the corners with a chisel.

12. Cut wedge blanks (D) and lay out the end-to-end taper on each one. Bandsaw the tapers and remove the saw marks with sandpaper (Photo 6). The wedges must be smooth on both faces so they won't mar the finish on the sides when they're installed or removed.

13. Cut the top (E) to final dimensions.

14. Finish-sand all of the parts and apply the finish. A wipe-on finish is the easiest. To make the top waterproof, add one coat of satin polyurethane.

15. Fit the wedges. They start out extra-long because tiny variations in their thicknesses make big differences in where they seat. Assemble the finished sides, rail and shelf, and hold all the joints tight Firmly seat the wedges in the mortises by pressing or tapping. Then measure and cut them to final length, so they extend about 13/16" on both sides of the tenon. (Photo 7).

16. Finish the wedges. Staining or dyeing them black creates a nice contrast.

17. Attach the top (Photo 8). Assemble the base and install the desktop fasteners. Center the base on the top. Then install 5/8" x #6 flathead screws through the fasteners.

Kevin Southwick is a wood-finishing specialist and furniture restorer/ conservator in Minneapolis MN.

Mark and drill mortises for the wedges in the shelf and rail. Square the comers with a chisel.

Sand each wedge smooth after cutting the taper on the bandsaw.

Cut the wedges to final length after installing them.

Center the base and attach it to the top with screws.

Sand each wedge smooth after cutting the taper on the bandsaw.

Cut the wedges to final length after installing them.

Center the base and attach it to the top with screws.

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