metrical, not identical. Mark the cuts and double check them with the drawing before making them.
To remove the waste, change to a dado head and adjust it to cut exactly half the thickness of the stock. Make test cuts on four scrap pieces of the same thickness as the leg material. Test the accuracy of the adjustment by assembling the four test pieces into a mortise and a tenon, the way the front leg joins the end stretchers in the drawing.
Keep a firm grip on the stock, and don't fall into a mechanized trance as you go back and forth, removing all of the stock for these 16 half laps.
When the dado-head work is done, clean up the cuts as necessary, and glue together the two halves of each front leg and the two halves of each end stretcher. Be patient and careful in lining up the halves and clamping them, and be sure to remove any squeeze-out in the "mortises."
When the glue has cured, dry assemble the front legs, the end stretchers and the rear legs, and mark the rear legs for the final cuts on their upper ends. Then lay out the notches on the rear legs and the detail cuts on the bottom edges of the end stretchers. I use the handsaw to make all of these cuts. Cut the dadoes in the front legs to receive the front stretcher.
When you've finished these cuts, assemble the legs to the end stretchers with glue. When these assemblies are dry, put together the base bv gluing and screwing the end assemblies to the front and rear stretchers.
While the glue in this whole base assembly is drying, layout and drill the holes in the parts that attach the base to the underside of the drawing table's top. I use hand screws clamped to the drill-press table as stops to line up identical parts for perfectly matching holes. Glue and screw the subassemblies together, then screw them to the tabletop. Now attach the table-top to the base with the two long dowels. I've found that the dowels stay in place without any fastening.
The edging around the tabletop should project '/i6 in. above the surface of the table on the sides and top edge to hold a drawing-board cover. The bottom edging is wider for a pencil ledge. Glue the edging to the tabletop, holding it in place with masking tape while you drill and screw it, then plug the counterbores.
After cleaning up the joints and finish sanding, you can apply the finish. I mixed one part boiled linseed oil, one part raw tung oil and one part semi-gloss ure-thane varnish (I use Varathane brand) for my finish. I generously coated the cherry with the mixture, and after 15 minutes,I removed the excess with a soft cloth and let it dry overnight. I applied another coat, removed any excess, and let it dry. For the third coat. I applied the mix with 400-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper and moved up to 600-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper for the final coat. When the drawing table was thoroughly dry, I finished with a coat of paste wax.
Ec^^^k the tabletop. It will remain flatter if it is left unattached. A
^^ Bonnie Schmaus is an artist and
M M designer living in British Columbia.
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