Sunday, 13 October 2013

Tables Again

This one I have been quite excited about showing off.

I suppose that's because it's the first 'proper' thing I have built, and actual item of furniture. Not to mention I actually purchased (some) timber for it. I can't quite decide if this is something that I should be ashamed of, due to my upcycling/recycling claims, but as I spent less than £16 I don't feel too bad about it. Plus I still incorporated a decent amount of used/pallet wood into the design and I didn't buy anything else that I didn't already have, except a tin of protector/stain.

 It's certainly not perfect, and there are plenty of little inaccuracies and blemishes. Some are just what you can expect from using a lot of second hand wood, and the environment I work in. My craving for a lovely big garage/workshop has never been so high. It really is hard to make accurate pieces without a clear flat work surface, and I ended up doing a lot in a shed which is basically way too small for this kind of thing. Other little inaccuracies I guess are just inherent to an amateur woodworker.

In a typical stroke of genius I have managed to make an outdoor piece of furniture just in time for impending Autumn/Winter so I'll probably hardly use it before then, but oh well. I had great fun, and learnt lots on this one, and I feel really good about it.

Anyway enough chat, I made a table. Whatcha think?

Grandad's tools coming out to play again.

My bike being just the right height to double as a saw horse. I think I need a second work bench..

The legs coming together.

Lots of counter sinking, and inaccurate marking.

What did I say about super uneven floors?!

Here's me trying to crowbar in (geddit?) some proof that I used reclaimed/pallet wood in this project. Wait, does that pun make sense? I don't know, I'm sure you got the gist anyway.  

My wood store is now an essential part of my outdoor workshop. 


Here's a practice attempt at a 'joint' I'd never tried before. It involved using 'pocket hole' screws - I don't have any of these. Well, I assumed I didn't as I'd never heard of them til I made this. The blog I was looking at also recommended using a Kreg (hmm.. how do you do that registered trademark thing.. do you know what I mean, a little R in a circle? Well if you do, imagine a tiny one above the g) Jig. I'd also never heard of one of these. So, I just winged it. It seemed to work out OK. You can take that to mean the table hasn't collapsed yet.


 Here you can see the real joint (well, four of them actually) in use. Please note the fact that I am propping up the table on random bits of wood, when the plan/finished piece clearly has feet, this will be important later.

Next came the supports for which I had to do some hasty (i.e. I had to recut them after the first attempt) calculations to realign the angle from the plans I was loosely basing this on - in which the table was considerably larger. I must remember the old adage; measure twice, cut once, or in this case: CHECK YOUR CALCULATIONS TWICE, cut once.

Really I should have planed the top planks, but my plane was pretty blunt, and I'm not very experienced a sharpening and getting the right angles. I didn't really have time to learn, as I was so keen to get this done. So, instead, I did some mammoth sanding with my small but mighty 'Mouse' sander. Check out the difference between sanded and not sanded below. I was quite happy with the result.

I also realised quite late on that putting the feet on first might  have been rather a splendid idea. I mean, I was literally propping up the table with very unstable off cuts in order to attach the cross bars. Then I had to hold up the table  (it's really heavy!) with one hand while simultaneously trying to drill and screw the feet into place. All in a shed that the table is clearly too big for. Ah well, lessons have been learnt. If I ever make this exact table again, future me is at a distinct advantage over past me. Mwahahaha.

I've realised I absolutely, positively, hate sanding and finishing. Does anyone want to be employed as an official 'finsher'? Wait, is just me or does that sound super filthy? In any case, I can pay in beer, love and dinners (which will be eaten on my new table, regardless of how cold it is!) Anyway - I did some hasty staining (too much of it in the dark with a torch in my mouth in a desperate urge to finish this beast) and finally got it done.

So anyway, I finished a whole table, all by my self and it is totally useful and lovely. And no, a garden table is in no way a stupid piece of furniture to make and finish in September. You will be eating off it soon, in the snow if needs be.

It's had one use so far.


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