Table Skirt Completed, Breadboard Ends

Today I finished cutting the tennons for all the skirt parts.  As soon as I get a chamfer bit, I can complete the table base.



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Shop Reorg



I took some time to rearrange the workshop.  The old layout was wasting a lot of space.  It worked well for woodworking, but didn’t really leave much room for the racecar.  It worked obviously, since I installed the roll cage in the old layout.  But, with the tablesaw and the WW workbench parallel there was only about 2 feet on either side of the car when it was pulled between them.  I rotated the tablesaw/planer/outfeed assembly by 90 degrees.  So, now there is just barely overlap if I pull the car all the way into the shop with the front nose.



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Table Base – part 1



Today I worked on the table base and skirt.  The first job was to cut all the peg holes, and mortises in the legs.  Since the table legs have 1/2 of taper across their length, I needed a spacer of the right height to make the center axis parallel to the mortiser table.  I also used a bit of cutoff material to even out the clamping pressure on the front clamp face.  Second, I setup the indexing pin on the end of the table to allow each leg to be inserted into the table exactly the same.  Finally, I setup the depth of the mortiser following my layout lines on the first leg, and set the depth stops.  Then it was time to go to town!

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Workbench Reconditioning

I’ve been pretty cruel to the old workbench over the last several months.  Building a roll cage, rebuilding a lawnmower engine, welding sheet metal.  Not exactly what a woodworking bench is for.  So, I took the time to clear it off, and sand it down with 60 grit, then put on a new coat of poly urethane.  After 10 years….she’s still going strong….probably 0.100” thinner, but no worse for the wear.  Some might say she even has some character now.


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Gluing up the Top


Pretty simple really.  Except for the sheer size of the thing.  My shop floor is the only space I have large and flat enough to glue a 41″ x 98″ table-top.  My workbench is almost 9′ long, but it is “only” 36 inches wide, which includes the tool-tray on the back.  The tool tray isn’t exactly flat with the main work surface.  So, I don’t include it as part of the “flat surface” needed for glue-ups.

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Riding Lawnmower Engine

The Damage

Hmmm…this isn’t good.  The lawnmower grenaded.  It looks like the con-rods fused to the crankshaft, and then inertia took over.  One rod broke into about 3 pieces, the other into about 60 smalll fragments.  So, I ordered a couple new con-rods, and a crankshaft.  I could possibly have had the crank machined…but, its only $250 and the machinist would cost $100, and it might not work.  Plus, since the bearings are integral to the con-rod there are only three size options: standard, 0.010 over, and 0.025 over.  What are the odds that he would be able to get that… Given my luck?


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Tapering the legs



Between various holiday activities, getting a flu right before Christmas, the cold weather, and an insane work schedule for the last two weeks, I haven’t been able to get the last of the 4 legs glued together.  Anyway, I finally brought the leg and the glue into the house, let it all warm up, and then took it outside to glue it up.  Then I brought it back inside dry.  Anyway, all of the legs are dry and ready for the next step: tapering.

But, before I can taper them…I need to clean up the glue and plane the maple flush.


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Electrical Fire!

Some days are not as fun as others, when owning a house.

So…..I’m in the shop working on Mom’s table.  I’m making the jigs for gluing up the “feet”.  I cut the second piece of wood to length on the radial-arm saw.  Then I took it to the table saw to cut the notches.  The saw only spun at 1/2 speed…odd.  I’d been cutting some thin stuff earlier in the day and I figured something fell down into the blade and was dragging against it.  I pulled the saw apart, and sure enough there were some pieces of wood, and plastic.  Problem solved….er…maybe not.

I went back to the radial saw, and it just stalled.  The hunt was on!  I hunted around for a while, lots of strange clues.  I finally walked out back to check the pool pump (fed by the shop breaker panel).  The motor was warm, but not HOT.  As I turned around to go back to the shop, I found what you see below.  Lovely!

Apparently they ran out of wire when pulling it from the main panel in the house.  They came up 6 feet short and needed to splice it.  The installer chose to use cast neutral lugs for all three line of a 100 amp circuit. <sigh>.  In addition, they didn’t actually GLUE the conduit pieces.  They spread glue around the outside…but, not on the joint surfaces.  Oh, did I mention? They also fit the joints upside down…just to be sure that water eventually worked its way into the conduit and onto the splice…helping things to corrode.

Nice work.

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Table Leg Feet and Top Planks

Latest update on the table.  Ran all the table top planks through the jointer to remove the glue and smooth it all out.  Looks nice!

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Leg Feet and Plank Number 2

P1010006Today I finished planing the legs square, and cutting the grooves for the feet.  The feet will be The small pieces of maple that you see on top of each leg.  The pieces will be cut to form an interlocking “tick-tack-toe” pattern that will help to stabilize the feet in an outdoor environment.  Once the feet are installed they will be planed flush during the leg tapering operations.   I cut the slots in the feet on the tablesaw.  I simply set the fence, the blade height, and stood the legs up and ran them through the blade once on each side.  Then I reset the fence and ran them through again.  Then a little chisel work to clean up the slot.

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