A retro table with sleek lines and soft edges

Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

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by Bruce Kieffer

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With the resurgence of the mid-century Modern style in furniture, I thought I'd have some fun with this classic little coffee table. I used teak because it was the wood of choice for the Danish Modern style in the 1960s and 1970s. The same can be said for the round tapered legs and the soft, rounded edges and corners on the top.

The impressive, curved, solid-wood edging on the table looks more difficult to make than it is (see "Curved Corner Edging," page 73). After the top is done, building the rest of the table couldn't be easier. Just turn four round tapered legs, attach them directly to the table with screw-on leg plates and you're done.

I'll show you a nifty turner's technique for ensuring an even taper on each leg. If you don't own a lathe, an alternative to turning is to make square tapered legs and use a 1/2-in. round-over bit on all four edges. Use a block plane and sandpaper to complete the round shape of the leg.

Project Requirements at a Glance

Cutting List Overall Dimensions: 24"D x 40"W x 18-3/4"H

Materials:

5 bd. ft. of 4/4 teak 4 bd. ft. of 8/4 teak One sheet of 3/4-in. x 24-in. x 36-in.

teak plywood 2 bd. ft. of 4/4 poplar One pint of clear satin varnish

Tools:

Tablesaw, lathe, router, 3/4-in.-dia. flush-trim bit, 1/4-in. x 1/2-in. slot-cutting bit, 1/4-in. round-over bit, finish sander, calipers, roughing gouge, 1/8-in. parting tool and a square, wide nose scraper

Hardware:

Four 5/16-in.-dia. x 18-thread x 2-1/2-in.-long hanger bolts Four screw-on angled leg plates 20 No.10 x 5/8-in. pan-head screws

Cost: $300

Figure A Exploded View

Cutting List Overall Dimensions: 24"D x 40"W x 18-3/4"H

Material

Part

Name

Qty.

Dimensions

3/4" teak plywood

A

Tabletop

1

3/4'

x 20' x 36'

4/4 teak

B

Long edging

2

3/4"

x 2' x 31-5/8' *

C

Short edging

2

3/4'

x 2' x 15-5/8' *

D

Corner edging

4

3/4'

x 5-1/4' x 6-3/4'

4/4 poplar

E

Long splines

2

1/4'

x 1-15/16' x 31-1/2'

F

Short splines

2

1/4'

x 1-15/16' x 15-1/2'

G

Corner splines

20

1/4'

x 1-15/16' x 1/2'1

8/4 teak

H

Leg blanks

4

1-7/8' x 1-7/8' x 18-1/2' **

* Cut 1/4 in. longer and 1/4 in. wider and ** Finished size is 18 in. long.

then trim to fit.

Sources Woodworkers Source, (800) 423-2450, www.exoticwoods.net Teak, 4/4, $22 a bd. ft. Teak, 8/4, $22 a bd. ft. • Buck Woodcraft, (305) 743-4090, www.buckwoodcraft.com Teak plywood, 3/4 in. x 24 in. x 36 in., $66. • Lee Valley and Veritas, (800) 871-8158, www.leevalley.com Screw-on angled leg plates, 5/16 in. x 18 thread, #00H33.80, $3 for a package of four. • Woodcraft, (800) 225-1153, www.woodcraft.com Hanger bolts, 5/16 in. x 18 thread x 2-1/2 in., #130238, $2 for a bag of 10. • Local lumberyard Poplar, 4/4, $3 a bd. ft. • Local paint store Clear satin varnish, $5 a pint.

Sources Woodworkers Source, (800) 423-2450, www.exoticwoods.net Teak, 4/4, $22 a bd. ft. Teak, 8/4, $22 a bd. ft. • Buck Woodcraft, (305) 743-4090, www.buckwoodcraft.com Teak plywood, 3/4 in. x 24 in. x 36 in., $66. • Lee Valley and Veritas, (800) 871-8158, www.leevalley.com Screw-on angled leg plates, 5/16 in. x 18 thread, #00H33.80, $3 for a package of four. • Woodcraft, (800) 225-1153, www.woodcraft.com Hanger bolts, 5/16 in. x 18 thread x 2-1/2 in., #130238, $2 for a bag of 10. • Local lumberyard Poplar, 4/4, $3 a bd. ft. • Local paint store Clear satin varnish, $5 a pint.

IMake round tapered legs quickly and consistently with the help of a simple taper gauge. Set your outside caliper to the parting diameters marked on this leg taper template.

Cut the grooves ^^ with a parting tool. Hold the caliper in the groove as you cut. You know you've reached the right diameter when the calipers pass through the groove. The bottom of each groove marks the profile of the tapered leg.

Figure B Leg Taper Gauge

The numbered lines allow you to instantly set your calipers to the proper width. Each line defines the leg diameter at given locations.

mdf blank

Make the Top

1. Cut the tabletop (A, Fig. A, page 70), edging pieces (B, C and D) and splines (E, F and G) to size. Shape, fit and attach the edgings to the top as described in "Curved Corner Edging," page 73.

2. Rout the round-over edges and finish-sand the top. Be careful on that veneer—it's paper thin.

Turn the Legs

3. Mill the leg blanks (H) and cut them 1/2 in. extra long. The extra length is used to hold the leg at the tailstock end of the lathe. You'll cut it off after the leg is turned.

4. Before you turn the legs, make them hexagonal by chamfering the corners on a bandsaw or tablesaw. Removing the waste gives you a head start on turning squares into cylinders.

5. Mount a leg blank between the centers of your lathe. Turn the blank to a 1-3/4-in.-dia. cylinder with a roughing gouge.

6. Make a leg taper gauge from some MDF scrap (Photo 1; Fig. B, above). Lay out the leg taper and the 1/8-in.-wide parting diameter lines and cut the tapered profile on the bandsaw. Now you have a quick reference gauge for setting your calipers.

7. Turn on the lathe and hold up the gauge to the leg. With a pencil, transfer the parting lines from the gauge to the blank.

8. Use a parting tool and calipers to cut each groove to the proper depth (Photo 2).

9. Rough out the tapered shape of the leg using the bottom of the grooves as a depth guide (Photo 3). Finish shaping the leg using a wide, square nose scraper.

10. Smooth the leg with sandpaper and a sanding block. Part the leg deeply at the bottom. Use a handsaw to remove the bottom waste. Hand-sand the leg with the grain to remove cross-grain scratches.

3 Clear out the waste between the grooves with a roughing gouge. Finish the leg with a wide, square nose scraper and sandpaper.

4 Screw a hanger bolt into the end of each leg. First, jam two nuts together on the end of the hanger bolt using a wrench on each nut.

Assemble the Table

11. Drill 15/64-in. pilot holes in the legs and insert the hanger bolts (Photo 4).

12. Mount the angled leg plates (Fig. A, Det. 1, page 70). You may need to drill shallow relief holes in the underside of the table to accommodate the ends of the hanger bolts.

13. Apply two coats of clear satin varnish to the teak. Let the finish cure, thread the legs into the leg plates and you're done.

72 American Woodworker NOVEMBER 2005

Return to Menu era*:

"W" yy ^ always admired the work of ^ I ■ Greene & Greene, two architects

™ who designed Arts & Crafts homes and furnishings in the early 20th century. Their detailing is exquisite. I love the softened edges, pegged joinery, square motifs and overall lightness of their work. When I needed bookends to hold some special volumes, I

turned to these gifted artists for inspiration.

This bookrack works on a very simple principle: friction. The bookends are adjustable, sliding on two rails to hold any set of books. But when you push the ends up to the books, they tilt slightly and bind against the rails. They're locked in place. When you pull a book out, the ends are released and free to slide again.

Project Requirements at a Glance

Materials

Mahogany Walnut

Random-orbit sander Router Router table Rabbeting bit Tablesaw

Bandsaw or scroll saw

Mortiser

Dado set

Planer

Cost about $25

Figure A Exploded View

3/8"-WIDE, 1/8"-DEEP RABBET

Cost about $25

Figure A Exploded View

3/8"-WIDE, 1/8"-DEEP RABBET

Detail 1 Bookend

Detail 1 Bookend

Cutting List

Overall Dimensions: 7-13/16"h x 6-1/8"w x 23-l/2"L

Part

Name

Qty.

Material

TH x W x L

A

Bookend

2

Mahogany

3/4" x 5-1/2" x 7"

B

Endcap

2

Mahogany

3/4" x 2-1/8" x 6-1/8"

C

Base

2

Mahogany

3/4" x 5-3/4" x 1-1/4"

D

Rail

2

Mahogany

3/4" x 15/16" x 23"

E

Pegs

10

Walnut

3/8" x 3/8" x 1/4"

1

1 Begin by sawing the sliding bookends and other curved pieces. You can cut two at the same time. Hold the pieces together with double-stick tape.

2 Rout a stepped profile on the bookends using a rabbeting bit. To safely begin the cut, pivot the workpiece against a starting pin. Once started, you can ride on the bit's bearing.

3 Cut square holes through the rails using a mortising machine. Some tear-out on the back is inevitable, even with a sacrificial board under the rail, but you'll remove it in the next step.

Make the Parts

1. Mill the bookends (A), endcaps (B) and bases (C) to final size. Mill the rails (D) an extra 1/8 in. thick.

2. Cut the bookends, endcaps and bases on the bandsaw (Photo 1; Fig. A, page 46). Sand the sawn edges. Use 100-, 120- and 150-grit sandpaper.

3. Rout the bookend profile with a 3/8-in. rabbeting bit (Photo 2; Fig. A, Detail 1). Raise the bit in 1/16-in. increments to avoid tear-out. Use a chisel to square the rabbet's inside corners.

4. Cut shallow mortises into the bookends (Fig. A, Detail 1). Cut through mortises in the endcaps and rails (Photo 3; Fig. A, Details 2 and 3).

5. Plane the rails to final thickness (Photo 4).

6. Cut tenons on the rails using a dado set (Fig. A, Detail 3).

7. Make pegs (E) from 3/8-in.-thick square blank. Cut the pegs to length with a Japanese pull saw, dovetail saw or bandsaw.

Assemble the Bookrack

8. Glue and clamp the rails and endcaps. Work on a flat surface. Check the assembly for wobble before you set it aside to dry.

9. Glue pegs (E) into the bookends and endcaps (Photo 5). Leave the pegs proud by at least 1/16 in. Scrape excess glue from around the pegs before the glue dries.

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A Course In Wood Turning

A Course In Wood Turning

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