This table will be used on the back porch as a work table alongside the grill.



An early Sketchup conception of the apron and legs...



Corners will be mortise and tenon joints.
The design is long...32 inches... and narrow @ 11 inches and will fit under the rear kitchen window out on the porch.

Wood Selection and

Primary Leg and Apron Milling


I had several projects that could use some cypress so Cindy and I bought two 8/4 slabs that were 12 inches wide and 10 feet long.
We cut these down to 5 foot long on the BenchMark table with the track saw. This slab was kiln dried and the kerf cut produced very dry light sawdust.
Moved the slabs to the shop and crosscut them again on the MFT3.
Here is an image of the end grain after crosscut.
Ripped the leg blanks off at the bandsaw.
After jointing a square edge, ripping another at the tablesaw, the blanks went to the planer.
First run appearance.

All faces were planed to make a square blank a little shy of 2 inch x 2 inch.

The rift sawn appearance and the diagonal grain runs all look good.

The leg blanks were selected for appearance, chopped to equal lengths of 30 inches and then placed appropriately and marked at the tops of the legs with a triangle.

The 8 mortise locations were roughed in on the leg blanks.

After careful verification of mortise match-ups we proceeded to layout.

The mortise layout was done with marking with Glen Drake and Veritas marking gauges.
The 1/4 inch wide, 2 inch long and 1 1/2 inch deep mortises were made on the PM dedicated bench mortiser with Cindy manning the vacuum.
Finished mortises.
After the leg blanks were removed at the rift sawn outer edges the center pieces of the slab that were left will become the 6/4 blanks for the table top.
A jointed face and edge...
Then a four inch cutoff of another slab was ripped at the bandsaw. This blank will become ~3/4 inch thick side and end aprons.

After being resawn to one inch...the second blank was then jointed on a surface and an edge.

Now ready for the planer.

After planing to 7/8 inch the apron blanks were

ripped to three inches.

They would sit for awhile and later be jointed and planed to 3/4 inch.



The legs were then tapered...the top of the leg is 1 15/16 inch the starting taper line (about 1/2 inch below the bottom edge of the apron) is set up flush to the jig edge.
The bottom of the taper is set here at 1 3/16 inches.
Cindy handled quality control...she verified that edge to be tapered is the edge the mortise and with the red snake mark...
The taper was made and then the leg rotated 90 degrees in the jig and was tapered again.
A visual of the degree of taper...
Carcase Joinery

The aprons must have 1/4 inch thick by 1 1/4 long tenons.

We used a new 1/4 inch thick, flat top blade from Infinity.

In conjuntion with the tenon jig, this blade will cut the two 1/4 sides off of 3/4 inch stock in two passes.

The flat top blade cuts an extremely clean bat ears!
Then to the bandsaw...with a stop set, the top edge cheek cut was made at the bandsaw...
...changed fence...again with a stop set, the bottom edge cheek cut was made at the bandsaw...
Finished the cheek cut by making a Class I sawcut...first a scribed line with a marking knife...
...then made a deeper definition of the line with chisel and mallet...
...then a beveled chisel cut to the line
...using the tapered prep line to square the saw, the cut is made with the Bad Axe small tenon saw...
...dry fit
Mortise side walls were enlarged as needed with the Nishiki Kinari paring chisel.
Fine tuning the walls with a 1 inch LN bench chisel.
Mortise end walls and corners were cleaned out with LN 1/4 mortise chisel.
Adjustments to the tenons were made with the large LN shoulder plane and then sandpaper.
During the tenon adjustments, I decided that I wanted a better way to hold the pieces to square the tenon I made a tenon jig...
All mortise and tenon joints were dry fitted and clamped to pull them tight...
The full long carcase dry fit...
The two thick pieces that will make up the top slab were laid upon the lower carcase to get a feel for the proportions...Cindy and I both felt it looked good...

Final tenon prep was to drill holes in the legs for the dowel draw bore pins. This was a 3/8 hole about 1 inch deep. This carries the hole beyond the mortise opening by about 3/16 inch.

A sacrificial board was inserted into the mortise to prevent spelching.

Then the mortise and tenons were dry fitted and clamped tight...the 3/8 bit was tapped through the newly drilled holes to mark the location of the to be drilled hole on the tenon.
Then the hole on the face of the tenon was actually drilled about 1/32 closer to the shoulder than the mark.
The finished drawbore holes...
Oak dowel stock...3/8 inch...was sawn to a lenght of 1 1/8 inches for the drawbore end was slightly narrowed with a knife.
All show surfaces were sanded from 80x-100x-220x-320x.
Ready for assembly.
First the tenons of the long aprons, front and back, were glued and clamped tightly...then the oak dowels were pounded in...
Long apron assemblies are glued up...
Gluing up the short aprons...
...had to put a stop block for backstop for the pounding of the drawbore dowels.
The lower assembly all clamped up.
The concrete slab on the porch is way off of level. So, a set of four levelers were installed. This was a medium duty unit with nylon pads, 1/4 inch threaded shank, adjustable 0" to 3/4", with a 400 lb capacity.
Holes were drilled into the center of the bottom of the legs to accomodate the T-nuts of the leveler. The hole 5/16 inch x one inch deep.
The T-nut was hammered into the leg and the nylon leveler was screwed into the unit.
Top Preparation and Attachment
The two pieces of slab were then glued up...
...and clamped along with cauls.
After the clamp pull, a glue cleanup was performed with a scraper and chisel...the slab then went to the BetaGirl Cindy is catching the slab...
...the planed slab.
The slab ends were trimmed at the MFT3 table with the track saw.
The trimmed top slab.
I tried a new method to attach the aprons to the top slab. Previously, I have used cabinetmakers buttons. This time I tried expansion washers. These are Lee Valley  50K35.02 #14 washers.

Using a Forstner bit, a 5/16 inch shallow hole was drilled...closer to the inside of the apron than to the show surface. The hole was just deep enough to contain the washer.

On the side aprons I expanded the hole with a chisel to allow for expansion of the top.
In the apron I used a a #6 x 1 square drive screw with a bevel...this allows the screw to sit down tight on this end. There will be some expansion left and right.
I wanted to make the screw head a little lower and to also make the inward end of the washer higher so it will make better contact to the slab. To accomplish this I chiseled out the end at an angle that accomplished both...

On the narrow end aprons the expansion washers were installed with some movement options.

The long aprons had the washers installed perpendicular without movement options.

The slab was laid face down on a blanket and the carcase was positioned appropriately...
The expansion washers were all reasonably flat against the slab.
Holes were drilled and centered in the washer opening to allow for some movement.
The table construction is complete.
Surface Prep and Finish Application
All of the show surfaces had been previously sanded...after lower carcase assembly was completed and after the drawbore dowels were cut flush, I filled any imperfections with putty.
All surfaces then got a final sanding by Rotex where possible and then by hand 150x-220x-400x.

After an acetone clean up, all surfaces were given a coat of 100% pure tung oil.

Here the top is getting the rub...

Top slab...
A coat everywhere...
Finished Product
The table on the back porch... to the grill in storage location.
In use...
...grill at edge of porch.


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