Pro Woodworking Tips.com
Building a Dining Room Table
Making a Dining Room Table
Once the bases were glued up and tested for fit over the center column's, I made a crude jig
from scraps, to hold the bases allowing me to cut the ends square. This was done by drawing a line on the center
of the base, and holding that line parallel to the bench. From there, using a square allowed me to draw a cut
line. It was important to make sure the diameter was the same for all three bases. Cutting them was simple,
using a hand saw. (which I had to go buy. Seems in more than 30 years, I've never needed one!)
Once they were square and uniform in size, it was time to shape them.
I had hoped to turn them on my Shopsmith, set up as a lathe, but even though the lathe is
large enough to handle the diameter, it is just too light of a machine to stay put. Trying to turn something,
while the lathe is walking around the shop, is not so easy.
Plan "B" consisted of building a turning box, large enough to hold the base, and deep enough to
permit me to mount the center line of segmented base parallel to the top edge of the box. To do this, I drilled
a 1" hole in the center of the inner column, on both the top and bottom. I also drilled holes in this
turning box. Then, using a 1" dowel, with a pointed end, I feed the dowel through the box, and the base. The
pointed end really helped in feeding it through the holes. I also cut the end of the dowel square, so I could
fasten a make shift handle to turn the column with, while routing it.
Then I made a base for a router, which would slide on the edges of the box. Using a spiral upcut
bit in the router, I turned the columns round, and then began to shape them as desired. For shaping them, I used
a core box bit. As you can see, I did this outside the shop, since this really made a lot of dust. Even
then, a mask was necessary.
Getting the bases round, and uniform in diameter was no problem, but it did take a bit of time. I
turned a bit off the top and bottom of the bases. This gave me a true surface at both ends. The top, I turned on
a bit of an angle, so the upper section of the column sleeve would fit tightly to this lower section. The
bottoms, I turned 3/4" on an inch shorter, to allow for a sub base, or escutheon, which is a fancy word for trim ring.
In the third photo, just above, notice a stop block screwed into the turning box. This ensured
I would have the same exact shape, in the same spot on the bases. What I would do is draw a line on the router
body, just above the the base of the router, along with a vertical line. I could then lower the core box bit
into the work, To the same depth, on each base. I used these stop blocks for every detail, so the bases would be