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Building a Dining Room Table

Making a Dining Room Table

Part 3


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!)

Testing the center post for fit    Cutting the ends square   Crude jig to cut ends square

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.

Turning box   Router sled   Router sled

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.

Rounding the bases   Turning the bases  Rounding the bases

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.

Rounded bases ready for shaping    Shaping the bases   Shaping the bases

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 identical.

To Be Continued...                                                Back


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