Wood Workshop Part 2

In the past two sessions I have been finishing and constructing my table, this is quite a lengthy process and involved a lot of hard graft. The first task was the table top; making it nice and smooth and flat. We used a cabinet scraper for this which is a very old school technique but still highly effective once you have got the right technique. It took quite a bit of time before I grasped the most efficient way to use the scraper to achieve a nice clean finish on the wood. One must bend the scraper slightly to achieve the best cut into the wood and then its just about keeping at it and working to wood along the grain to even out the bumps.

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Once this was complete which took half the day, we used the electric hand sander to lightly sand over using 120 grit followed by 240 to finish the top. We then also did this with the rails that fit into the legs.

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Then the wood technician cut a pattern into the table top and the rails for a bit of decoration, using the large machine router. I chose a simple curve pattern, I didn’t want anything too decorative! I actually wanted a even simpler rebate cut like I had on my box but due to the curved shape of the rails that wasn’t possible so I chose the next closest thing.

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Finally we were ready to construct the table fitting the rails into the legs. This was quite a straightforward process although you had to do it carefully so that the legs and the rails set straight against each other, and they were not warping or at off angles. I think this is where it came in handy that my joins were pretty solid as it meant there wasn’t much play, so the legs and rails set straight. You set two legs with one rail at a time, and then fitted the whole thing together, making sure you wiped away any excess glue.

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The final thing to do before applying the finish and putting the table top on was to put some blocks on the inside of the rails to the screw the table top onto securing it to the legs. This was very quick and easy.

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All that is now left to do is decided on a finish, apply it to all over, probably at least 2 coats and the secure down the table top. For my finish I know I want to have something that keeps the natural feel of the wood and doesn’t change it colour, like beeswax. I don’t want to stain it or anything like that, I think i will use some natural oil that mainly protects the wood and gives it a shine.

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