Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shaker Table

I'm almost done with my second shaker table. Right now I'm tracking the amount of hours it takes to build these things with the hope that I can identify what takes the longest and improve in that area or figure out a different way to do things. But it's also to satisfy the nerdy economist who dwells deep within me (somewhere around my spleen, I believe) to figure out the opportunity cost for making furniture. I've fooled around with the dimensions of the table, shortening the inside to about a 9inch depth and widening the aprons to a hair over 6 inches. I think the 9 inch drawer depth is fine, after all it's a relatively small table, but the 6 inch wide aprons just look...odd. I doubt anyone would really notice, but to me it looks like someone attached a box on the underside of the table top.
Christopher Schwarz put out a new DVD with Lie-Nielsen on making these tables by hand and it runs about 4 hrs. But during the entire 4 hrs he goes into detail about how to cut, trim, and assemble everything. Stuff that would probably get cut out of a 1 hr woodworking video.
Three things that I'm realizing by making these: white ash looks great, works great, is cheap and makes it to numero uno on my list for handtool hardwoods. Bow saws, or continental frame saws, are way better than western style handsaws. Hide glue is finicky and inconvenient since you have to make it a day before gluing, but once it's properly heated and mixed it surpasses yellow PVA due to its high tack (I'm using a 251 gram strength) and ease of clean up. Just wait until the glue begins to gel and you can usually peel it off the wood, including the pores. I'm not sure if this would work on close grained wood, but for open pored, it comes up very easily.
For tomorrow I'll cut the half blind dovetails in the drawer front and nail on the bottom. Pictures to follow.
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