A tall table

We wanted a table to go in front of the bedroom mirror and this is what I made. The basic design comes from Paul Sellers book ‘Working Wood 1&2’ (ISBN-13: 978-0956967305). I changed the dimensions and the shaping of the legs but not much else.

The construction is very simple. In each leg there are mortises on 2 adjacent sides that meet in the middle. The rails have tenons on each end and the ends of the tenons are mitred so they fit neatly together inside the leg.

The curve on the rails was marked using a long stick secured at one end with a nail and with a pencil held at the other end. To work out the radius (length between the nail and the pencil) use the formula here.

Once the curve was marked on a rail I cut down to just above the line with a tenon saw at roughly 2.5cm (1 inch) intervals. I then used a chisel and mallet to remove most of the waste and finished the shaping with a spoke shave and rasp.

The legs are tapered on the inside surfaces. Mark a diagonal line from just under where the rail intersects to the bottom of the leg at the required angle. Plane down to the line starting at the bottom where you need to remove most material and work back up. Be careful not to go to far. The outside corner of the legs are mitred. The shaping on the legs makes the table look a bit lighter.

The top is laminated from 3 pieces. Take some time to get the best arrangement of grain and colour. In this case the centre piece has a very different grain from the outside pieces which gives an interesting effect. Also consider grain direction if you are intent on planing the surface after you’ve glued it.

The sharp edges and corners of the top are broken with a plane so there are no hard corners to catch the user.

The top is secured to the base with turn buttons.

The table is finished with several coats of bleached shellac topped with beeswax.

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