Monday, 20 July 2015

Bedside tables (nightstands) - Part 3 - The aprons

When making any piece of furniture it is best to make as many sub-assemblies as you can to avoid the inevitable "glue up rush". This is when you are trying to glue as many components in as you can in the shortest time possible knowing that the glue is setting up and causing you to PANIC. This can sometimes result in you gluing items upside down, back to front or even inside out.

First thing to do was cut all the parts out of the sapele rough sawn boards. I use a hard point panel saw to separate the parts. I used to use a jigsaw when I saw Marc Spagnuolo doing it on a few of his TWW Guild builds. I found that the blade would not stay true and square so went back to the manual method I've been using for 20+ years.

So this table is designed like many other to have the sides glued up first. The sides comprise a deep apron at the top and two shelf support stretchers under the apron and close to the bottom.

Again these were milled from sapele boards, cut to length, jointed, planed and tenons cut. I like to make the mortises first (as seen in the previous post) and then cut the tenons to suit. It's far easier taking wood off with a should plane or rabbeting plane rather than trying to put it back on. The shoulders are cut on the table saw and the faces of the tenons are cut using a tenoning attachment again on the table saw.

Cutting shoulders using the table saw
The riving knife can just be seen peeking above the
surface of the table. The sliding table makes
for accurate work as the miter gauge is clamped in place
by tee nuts in the tee slot.

Cutting the tenon cheeks using a
tenoning jig on the table saw

The tenons seen from the rear of the blade.
My table saw has a riving knife that is just
below the level of the top dead centre tooth
of the blade so is always fitted.

The tenons are cut to length and adjusted to fit the mortise width. Then a shoulder plane or rabbeting plane is used to give a nice slip fit to the cheeks to make the tenons fit nicely.
The shelf supports than had rabbets cut out to ultimately support the 3/4" thick shelves.

The final process was to round over some edges and run the pieces against a beading bit in the router table. We ended up with a pile of parts ready for sanding and final glue up once the tapers on the legs are cut.

Shelf support stretchers

Side aprons

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