Author Topic: Kosso Telephone Table build  (Read 1111 times)

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3776
Kosso Telephone Table build
« on: July 08, 2019, 01:46 PM »
A while back I posted about this wood I had found at Boards and Beams in Fairfield, NJ: http://festoolownersgroup.com/building-materials/kosso-wood!/

It turns out that this West African wood has now been listed as a CITES species, so I am doubly happy that I managed to build up a stockpile, as I will likely never come across it again short of going on the black market.

I've been holding off on building anything substantial with it -- save for a small bathroom shelving unit for my wife -- in part so as not to fritter away my stock, but mainly because I stupidly only picked up one 8' board of 8/4.  That mains I basically only have one shot to do a piece furniture that calls for thicker legs.  The rest of my stockpile is generously roughsawn 4/4, which averages around 1 1/16" in thickness.  In principle I could double up the 4/4 to create thicker boards, but because of the wild grain, doing so would be more noticeable than, say, laminating straight-grained white oak where no one is the wiser.

So I've finally decided to go ahead and take a substantial bite into the stock to build what I'm calling a telephone table since it will be used as a base for my home electronics (printer, modem/router, etc.), but which in reality is constructed more like a sideboard.  Other than the Kosso wood, it's mainly a vehicle for this shape I've had kicking around my head for a couple of years, but haven't really attempted to make, which you can see featured on the doors in the Fusion 360 rendering I did of the basic framework that's appended to this post.

I don't normally make models of the pieces I do, but since there are a number of components that will require Shaper Origin made templates -- other than the door frame members, the arched rail on the front and sides, and the arched side panels -- I had to at least build the framework of the piece.  A lot of things are still up for grabs, like the drawer fronts and the interior spacing/shelving of the lower portion, but I figure that I will work those out as I go along. 

I've already made substantial progress on the build, and so will be posting more about it, but for now I'll just show an example of the cool and varied grain patterns you get with Kosso:

 

Lots of knots that concentrate an almost blood red sap, and grain that reflects the bending/arching of the tree.

Here's what's left of my stockpile after sourcing all the boards for the casing of the table.  The top will eat up another board from there:


 

« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 03:39 PM by ear3 »
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3776
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 03:38 PM »
Before I did anything else, I got to work on resawing some of the 4/4 boards to make bookmatched panels for the sides and for the front doors.  I've gotten in trouble in the past with not allowing sufficient time for wood I've resawn to equalize in moisture content.  I'm impatient by nature, an even though I'm perfectly capable of spending hours taking my time on a small, precise task, if I arrive at a point where I'm stalled because of waiting on something, I have to fight the urge not to rush it along.  So I figured if I did the resawing right at the outset it would give the wood enough time while I worked on the other features of the table.

Using my Roubo frame saw, I bisected a single 7" board that I had cut in half to make the two side panels, and then a 12" board for the door panels (the widest board of my stock).

 

Clamped them up for a few days to prevent the worst of the cupping that happens when you resaw, which I saw had successfully avoided once I unclamped them:

   

Turned my attention to making the 4 legs for the table, which are going to be 1 3/4" square.  I was pleased to find that the 8/4 piece had no knots and favorable, relatively straight rift sawn, grain for their intended purpose:



I like the Kosso specifically for its wild grain patterns, but aesthetically I think it helps to have the tight lines of the rift sawn grain on the legs to anchor everything else.

The board was already pretty straight, so I decided to cut the rough shape of the legs before doing any further jointing/planing.  Used the TSC to cut 1 7/8 strips



Which I then jointed on two sides with a no. 8:



Followed up by feeding them through the table saw and then thickness planer thickness planer to bring them to the 1 3/4" dimensions on all sides:



I then mortised all the necessary slots for the dominoes on the legs.  Because I am using the edges of boards for the front rails that will serve as the dividers for the two rows of drawers, I had the challenge of drilling mortises perpendicular to the long edge of the legs in the exact same spot on all 4.  I ended up doing it in sets of two, using a rule stop on my Woodpecker ruler to set the square that served as a fence for the domino, so that I could repeat that measurement on the second set.



It's moments like this where you realize how important is dressing a board correctly.  The fact that the legs were identically sized and perfectly jointed meant I didn't have to worry about any unevenness of the surface when I clamped down each pair together to provide additional support for the Domino while plunging.  And using the rule stop rather than repeated measurement on the tape measure made the mortises come out exactly in line:

 

Actually, prior to mortising the legs I had already prepared the side and bottom front rails.  I had to generate the templates first with the Shaper Origin, which I did in 1/4 BB ply:



Rough cut the shapes with the Carvex:



Then mounted a spiral flush trim bit on the router table to produce the boards:

 

I made the templates slightly oversized so that I could cut the resulting boards to exact size and have a completely straight joint to mortise.

Next up, making the bookmatched panels and gluing up the sides.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3776
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 04:15 PM »
Jointing and planing the resawn side panels brought them down to a little over 3/8" thick:

 

So now I faced a decision on what pattern to go with on the bookmatching.  These were my four choices:




Both pairs are from the same board, btw, which is a testament to how cool Kosso grain can be.  You'll see soon which patterns I go with, but I would note in advance that I gave my wife the final say.

Made a glue joint with the TSC55 on each pair, then edge joined them, taking some extra precautions so that the joint lined up all the way down by using the rests that clip onto the bar of the Bessey clamps to keep the board supported on the underside, employing the horizontal jaws that distribute pressure along a longer range on the board, and finally some DIY Bow clamps to keep the panel as flat as possible under the clamping pressure:



The panels still had some bowing once I unclamped them, so I did a second round of jointing and thicknessing after narrowing them to final width.  I had made sure in my design that the side panels would be 13" so that my 735 could still handle them.  It gets progressively more difficult to joint thinner wood because the force exerted by the plane -- or the planer for that matter -- presses the wood flat on its own.  Even though there was still a small amount of cupping left, the thinness of the board would permit the panel to conform to the final shape needed, so I didn't sweat it all that much.

I then routed out the template pattern on the side arches -- no need to make that template full-size and waste wood, as I only needed that one curve:



Next up went with the CMT slot cutter to create the channel for the panel.  I did this by dryfitting and clamping the side frames.  I didn't do it intentionally, but it was a good thing that I had the inside of the frame resting on the router table.  The frame was so big that a couple of times as I was moving the first one around on the table to complete the channel all the way around, it tipped slightly because so much of it was hanging off the edge.  Nothing that ruined the channel, but you can see the marks in a couple of spots -- fortunately however, they will be invisible since they are on the inside.  BTW, that CMT slot cutting bit is fantastic.  I don't use it that often since I tend to cut the slots piece by piece rather than on the full, assembled frame, and so use a straight or spiral bit instead.  There's almost no resistance on the cut because of how sharp the edges are, and the fact that there are 3 of them.

Prior to gluing up the sides, I decided to add a small detail, which was to taper one side of the front legs, which would be visible from the front view.

 

With all that done, I glued up the sides this sides, and then turned my attention to the stretchers:

Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2673
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 07:14 PM »
Beautiful, Edward.  The choice of wood really makes the piece!

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 860
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 12:17 AM »
well done.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 573
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 03:56 AM »
That grain is beautiful, and nice to see old and new tools and methods used in a project.
Very nice.

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 966
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 04:07 AM »
This is going to be an amazing piece of furniture! Can't wait for more pics! :)

Thanks for sharing!

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Neal W

  • Posts: 123
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 11:43 AM »
The grain patterns in that wood is AMAZING!  Love what you are doing, and can't wait to see the finished product. 
Turning perfectly good lumber into scrap and sawdust for more than 20 years!

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3776
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 11:19 PM »
Thanks for the compliments guys.  Excited as well at how this one is going to turn out.

Finished up the carcasse today.

The bottom was a panel made from two edge joined boards, which was the n dominoes to the curved bottom rail:



The rest of the stretchers were a mix of frame style dividers for the drawers and then single strips at the top, all joined via domino to the sides:



Had a really close call on the glue-up.  I only have 5 50" parallel clamps, so I had to use some of my 48" I-Beams, which max out at 7000 lbs of force, which is basically triple of what the parallel clamps deliver.  As I was torquing the one on the top front corner, the front stretcher started to bend and snap.  I had intentionally chosen a piece of wood that had a prominent knot in the middle, and wasn't thinking when I started clamping it down.  Fortunately I backed off the pressure before it broke completely, and stabilized it for the remainder of the glue up with another clamp:

 

But the board was still compromised, so I improvised after the glue set by backing it with another, slightly narrower board, then pocket-holed cross piece to anchor it to the back stretcher:



Finished up by piecing in a middle vertical divider in sections using pocket screws.  I had originally thought about doing this during the main glue up and using dominoes, but decided against it since the process was already bound to bump up against the limits of the open time on the glue.

    
Going to move on next to the doors for the bottom section, and think about the design for the 4 drawer fronts.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3776
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 09:33 PM »
Settled on a design for the drawer fronts, which I executed today, which is to have a mitered frame with an ellipse cut out in the center for a panel.

So I jointed another board then knocked off a bunch of 2 3/4 strips that were then batch cut on the Kapex:

 

I'm sure everyone has had the experience of doing mitered frames where despite working from perfectly straight boards and doing repeat cuts with a well-tuned saw you still get hairline gaps here and there:



It's still a mystery to me why this sometimes happens, especially when some of the frames came out perfectly.  Maybe it was a piece of sawdust that got stock against the fence, or the blade marks on the edge resting against the fence caused ever so slight a deflection...

Anyway, having recently incorporated a shooting plane and adjustable fence into my shop I no longer have to fret about this stuff, and can just shave off a few thousandths of an inch at 44.6 or 45.3 to close the gap:

 

Having fit all the frames I dominoed everything up, thanking myself again for having drilled all those holes in my hybrid bench for idiosyncratic work holding:



Glue up went smoothly:



Sanded the frames smooth, then squared up three sides by jointing an edge and cutting the sides (I made them slightly oversize so they could eventually be trimmed to fit):

 

Then I applied the template that I had designed and cut out earlier in the day with the Shaper, and flush trimmed it on the router table:

 

Finished off by routing a 3/8" by 3/8" rabbet on the back:

 

This will house the panel, which will be held in with glue and a few pin nails.  I haven't cut the panels yet (they'll also be Kosso), but the nice thing about the Shaper Origin is that I can just load the file for the drawer front template, then using the offset function cut the panel template that will be exactly 3/8" larger than the original opening.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3991
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 10:03 PM »
Very cool! That’s cat’s eye side panel is spectacular.

Offline Green Mojo

  • Posts: 54
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2019, 10:05 AM »
That’s a beautiful project. Plus what a great demonstration on how to integrate hand tools and power tools in fine woodwork. Thanks for sharing.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3776
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2019, 07:20 AM »
The table is finally starting together, but it's turning out a lot loopier than I had anticipated.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but this is going to be what i guess they call a "conversation piece."

I'll just show briefly the construction of the doors.  I've had this shape in my head for several years, and have made a few attempts on it.  The ones I've done previously though have utilized a much shorter curve, such that the final result didn't really capture the effect I was going for, which is sort of like an opening/closing aperture.  In designing this one, I realized the key was to set the ratio between the height of the curve/foot and the length at 1:2, such that the foot would end right as the curve of the next one was beginning, like so:



The challenge of the shape was that the toe on the end of that curve is very fragile ,and easy to knock away when routing it out because the grain is running parallel to the length of the piece.  So I tried to minimize the potential for damage by orienting the template such that the toe would be first up to present to the bit, and proceed very very carefully with the operation:



If I gone the other way, and made the toe the last portion routed, it would have snapped off once the bit got close to the edge, simply following the natural split of the grain.

I was mostly successful, and any small nicks I was able to work out on the assembled frame with the spindle sander:



Dominoed the frame members, making sure to have the domino not too close to the end of the foot so as to have enough of a flat reference surface on the shin of the mating frame member to plunge the mortise:



I then rabbeted out the back of each glued up frame, and positioned the bookmatched door panel stock using a bevel gauge to match the angle of the panels:



I had used the widest Kosso board I had for the panels -- somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 3/4, but the rabbet made the opening wider than that measurement, which is why I had to tip the boards at an angle to span the distance.

I used another Shaper Origin generated template to trim the panels, ending up with this after applying a roundover bit to the rim of the frame:





I had already finished up the drawer fronts, making the interior oval panels and also rounding over opening:

   

I decided not to bother bookmatching the drawer front panels.  Part of it was that since I had not thought about this in the original design, I didn't want to wait around for a few days for a new batch of resawn wood to dry and stabilize.  I also figured the panels were small enough that nothing really was going to be gained by bookmatching over what is there currently, which is two pairs from two pieces of Kosso offcuts.

After fitting each of the drawer fronts by hand (the 4 bays are remarkably equal in size, so I didn't have to remove too much material):



Incidentally, the grain on the Kosso is pretty tricky -- not just the constant switch backs from the curvature of the tree, but also frequent interlocking grain -- and I've found that the 4 1/2" I have with the 55 degree frog is the only plane that can handle the surface without ghastly tearout.  Even so, I am sanding all of the faces up to 220, and am only using planes for fitting.
 
I am now set to make the full drawers:

   

I'm going to be using walnut for the drawers and for any interior shelving that goes on the bottom.  I don't know what else would work that would complement the grain of the Kosso, and I'm not really interested in exploring other alternatives like staining veneered ply to make its color work.  I'm just a bit disappointed that I will be spending more money per board foot on the hidden material than I did on the Kosso.

The aesthetic of the piece is emerging as a lot more hyper-modern than I anticipated, which is a function not only of the shapes but of the roundover treatment I gave.  I'm not quite sure yet if all the curves hang together to produce more than the sum of their parts, and we won't really know until a finish is applied.  This aspect of planning and imagination, i.e., the ability to visualize what something is going to look like before building it, remains one of my weak points, but I'm not sure if it's ever going to get better at this point, as it is based upon a quirk in my brain where I have very limited capacity for visualization.  Like, if I see a pair of glasses on a page or in a catalog, I have no ability to see how they would look on a person's face until they are actually put there.  Even with carpentry plans, I find it difficult to see what an architectural or sketchup rendering is going to look like in my mind's eye fully fleshed out with the particular wood.  This is why I've always been more comfortable working from model images -- give me a picture of something and I will figure out how to build it.

I'm not saying I'm unhappy with the table, just surprised.   
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 07:39 AM by ear3 »
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3776
Re: Kosso Telephone Table build
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2019, 08:09 AM »
I'm also eager for any suggestions anyone might have about hardware or design for the drawer pulls and door knobs.  Given the aesthetic, I feel like I almost have to do wooden fittings -- but maybe there's some interesting hardware out there that would work.  I've been flipping through the Lee Valley hardware catalog, but as I mentioned in the previous post, I have trouble imagining what things would look like mounted on the cabinet.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3