Saturday, June 14, 2014

Finishing the Tea Table

I picked up were I left off by making a pattern of the top to use for cutting out the tops and as a reference to use for the groves I will be cutting into the top. I can't tell from the original how the groves in the top were cut but I decided to cut them the same way I cut groves for inlay or stringing in something like a line and berry chest. I used a simple tool made with a pin and a pc.of card scrapper that has teeth cut into it. I think it has somewhere around a 3 5/8 inch radius.

Next I found a picture of a Lilly to use for the apron and one for the medallion in the center of the table from there I could cut the marquetry I needed for the table.The center medallion was cut using 4 veneers Holly,dyed green,dyed yellow, and the lace wood background. I stacked them into a packet and just cut all the parts from one pattern. This left me with four of every part but only one usable picture when assembled.

The lilies for the apron were cut from the same four veneers but were cut with the piece by piece method. each packet had four veneers so I had to cut each part twice to yield enough parts for six aprons, of course I ended up with eight total.The picture below shows some of the pieces before assembly.
With a little sand shading I had eight parts to pic from to use for the apron. The center medallion needed to be round so I attached it to a piece of 1/2" plywood with double stick tape and put a hole in the middle so it would spin on the pin of a piece I clamped to the table of my Shopsmith set up with a 12" disc sander. It was just a matter of bringing in the sander a little at a time while I spun the medallion until it was completely round.Worked great! I could then separate the veneer from the plywood and use the plywood as a pattern to scribe the circle on the top. This was done after the top was cut to the pattern and the groves were cut in.

 The hardest part of this project was a surprise to me. It was the supports that went between the legs. From the original picture I thought it looked very easy to do but these things are cut with compound angles and have to sit flat on the legs that are tapering in. I don't believe I did it the way the original was done but it took a lot of head scratching just to find a way to get it done at all! If the legs were off at all by the distance between them the part and angles had to be revised. The whole thing was one big headache.
One of the parts with the pattern.
This is a dry run with a scrap part to see how it would look. You can see the tape holding the parts on. I added a banding around the top and bottom of the aprons. I know the original had them on the bottom but I have no idea of what the top looked like. I may revisit the way I assembled this table but as it stands I cant think of anther way of doing it. It was finished with hand rubbed shellac and then waxed.
Here are a few photos of the finished table. I am still working on setting up a place to take proper photos of my work but these are a trial run. I am not sure if I made the legs skinny enough to match the original. It matches the sizes given for the original and I cant figure out why the original one looks so much taller also I think the original looks a little lighter in appearance but I still think its a fine looking table and I'm fine with the way it turned out.

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