Author Topic: A coffee table for my nephew  (Read 4746 times)

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Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

  • Posts: 1084
    • Jim Kirkpatrick Woodworking
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2019, 12:50 PM »
Magnificent Derek!

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Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 535
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2019, 01:48 PM »
Derek, you are a surgeon right? I would gladly let you cut into me, seeing how you handle wood. (Says the guy who had an operation less than 4 months ago — fractured humerus, done by a trauma guy; I think they are referred to as ‘cowboys’ in the trade…)

Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 320
    • In The Woodshop
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2019, 07:09 PM »
Thanks Bert. I am not a surgeon but a shrink. Perhaps a reason I cut up wood is because I am not permitted to cut up people .... :)

Regards from Perth


Offline NL-mikkla

  • Posts: 297
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2019, 01:55 PM »
Superb Derek, looking forward to your next post

I think they are referred to as ‘cowboys’ in the trade…

@Bert Vanderveen , from a fact I know they are, you could/should have asked for an orthopidic surgeon. Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but just in case there is know that you are intitled to ask for a specialist.

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 320
    • In The Woodshop
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2019, 08:44 AM »
This was the model for the coffee table my nephew chose when I offered to build them a wedding present ...

Let's see how we did ....

Before the coffee table was assembled from the parts, I was mindful that it would be shipped from Perth to Sydney (which is the further than New York to LA). The main concern was that the container might bounce (be dropped or be handled roughly), and the weight of the heavy Jarrah top coming down on the splayed legs might cause them severe damage. (I am not concerned about the strength of the legs for normal home use - the construction is strong. More shortly).

So, I build a table out of MDF that could be placed under the coffee table, and would take all the weight ...

The top and base were connected with steel angle brackets ...

Part of the strength in the splayed legs comes from the corner brackets, which act to lock in the mortice-and-tenon joint by preventing movement. These steel angle brackets further lock in the base from any possible twisting.

The brackets are angled to 10 degrees to match the inside of the rails ...

Incidentally, the best, and cheapest, anvil is this section of steel angle, the insides of which are lines with Hard Maple scrap, and then clamped in the leg vise over a leg ....

The finish for the wood - Fiddleback Jarrah for the top of the carcase and the drawer fronts, and Jarrah for the base of the carcase and base/legs - was chosen for durability. It needs to be capable of resisting water marks and heat, and still have a natural appearance - not a sit-on-top finish, such as a poly or varnish. Most oil finishes are not durable enough.

What I went with in the end was Evolution (satin), a hard wax oil by Whittle. This is a floor finish, and in the examples I saw it looked more like a waxed oil finish. The reports and reviews were highly favourable. I must say, after using it, I was completely sold. It is fantastic! The surfaces were sanded to 400 grit (Abranet), and then two coats were rubbed on with a micromesh cloth, 8 hours apart. Any residue was removed immediately. There was no grain raising that I could detect, however I did rub down the first coats with 400 grit grey mesh.

The drawer case was waxed (only) with Lincoln Furniture Wax. This is a shellac-based wax. The inside of the drawer was finished with Ubeaut Hard Shellac diluted 50% with methylated spirits (alcohol). All of the above are Australian products. The interior of the drawer was lined in leather, which was waxed with Renaissance Wax.

This is a close up of the Evolution. It is so much nicer in the flesh. Silky ...

OK, to the coffee table ...

The front, with the drawer (and the agonised-over-drawer-handle-pull-whatever) ..

The colour, figure, and those rounded dovetails look fantastic ...

Other end ...

The rear has a closed panel. At the start of the project I had planned to make the drawer run all the way through, and open from each side. On reflection, this created more problems than it was worth, and so the one side was closed in with the same panel used as a drawer front ...

The Jarrah base and splayed, tapered legs ...

Finally the drawer ...

The drawer stop used was the same design as used in the Apothecary Chest. This is adjustable, which enable the position of the drawer front to be fine tuned ...

The 10mm drawer sides are Tasmanian Oak, which I find great for this purpose as it all comes quarter sawn. It is a moderately hard wood (by Oz standards). Plywood was used for the drawer bottom, as it was inset in grooves and covered in leather. Jarrah cove moulding was made to finish.

Inside there is an inscribed brass plate for remembrance ...

Thanks for all the contributions and discussion along the way.

Regards from Perth


Offline travisj

  • Posts: 363
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2019, 01:30 PM »
Beautiful piece.  Thank you for taking us along on the journey.

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2701
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2019, 08:42 PM »
Where do I sign up to be your nephew!?

Simply amazing work, Derek!  I'm sure the couple will forever cherish it.

Thanks for all the photos and details.]

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 320
    • In The Woodshop
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2019, 09:59 AM »
My deepest thanks for all the kind words to all, especially those who offered opinions since one of the reasons I post to to create discussion. There are just so many ways to do joinery, and so many takes on design. We all benefit from the diversity.

This has been an interesting build (they have to be interesting, otherwise why do it?). A challenging design to reproduce with hand tools. The first time I had attempted mitred dovetails. That was interesting. It came together very satisfactorily in the end. I am in awe of the top - that Jarrah is simply stunning ... far more so in real life where you can see the chatoyance and fiddleback.

A couple of better photos (perspective is everything) ...

Thanks again.

Regards from Perth


Offline Ptk16

  • Posts: 42
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2019, 08:05 PM »
Honestly...that is absolutely gorgeous. The work that went into it is fantastic. Well done!

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 538
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2019, 02:31 AM »
What a beauty! Derek, hats off!

Offline escan

  • Posts: 68
Re: A coffee table for my nephew
« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2019, 02:53 PM »
 [eek] Boss level.