As I was going through some old files, I found photos of the dining table I made two years ago. I believe I promised to show you how I ma...
March 03, 2017
As I was going through some old files, I found photos of the dining table I made two years ago. I believe I promised to show you how I made the table, but for some reason I never did.
The table was made after an older and much bigger example. It has an ebony frame and legs, silver feet and a mahogany top. The table top had to be quite big to hold a lot of miniature silver items.
I started with the ebony, which I bought at the lumber yard. I planed the ebony and cut it to size. Despite all of the stories I had heard I found it surprisingly easy to work with.
The pieces of wood I made for the legs are 8 x 8 mm (about 5/16 inch I believe).
The legs had to be tapered on all four sides so I made a sophisticated jig to cut the tapers. The first and second side cuts are easy, but the next two cuts are more tricky as the leg is now resting on a tapered side. So I made another sophisticated jig to balance that.
I think I ruined one or two piece already at this stage, but I ended up with 6 pieces which I could use for the next step. The drawing shows what the table will eventually look like. The legs are too long at this stage but I did that so they would be easier to handle. They will be cut to size later.
The next step was routing the fluting on all sides of each leg. As you can see in the drawing, the fluting is wider at the top than at the bottom and there are two of them next to each other. The first cut for the fluting is parallel to the edge so that was fairly easy.
The other cuts, for tapering the fluting, were far more challenging. Of course I also made a jig for that, but even with the jig it was tricky. I used round head burrs for all of the routing. For the top of the fluting I used a burr with a bigger diameter so the fluting would have perfectly rounded tops.
I finished the fluting by hand using my carving tools. When I finished the routing I ended up with four legs I could use. Lucky then that the table needed exactly four legs! As the four legs had taken so much work to make I was quite nervous cutting them down to size, a job which normally would be a matter of routine.
The feet on the legs are silver. I made a wooden model and had them cast in silver. After a bit of filing they were ready for polishing. I enjoy polishing as it brings out the beauty of the silver (and your nails become nice and shiny as a bonus!)
Fitting the feet to the legs was much harder than anticipated. Even though I used jigs and the silver was cast from the same model, there were slight differences in size due to the work I did to them. We're talking fractions of millimeters of course, but still...
I don't have any photos of how I made the rest of the table, but that was all fairly straightforward.
The top was made from beautiful old mahogany which I got from Hubert Boom. I finished the wood with some French polish. Not too much as it wasn't supposed to look brand new, but just to give it a bit of shine.
I also aged the top very subtly so it didn't look like a brand new table.
So here it is, the finished table! I was happy with it and I learned a lot during the process.
The photo of the roombox complete with silver has featured on my blog before, but I am showing it again to illustrate how perfect it looks with all of the beautiful silver on it.
First and last photo by A.Aardewerk Antiquair Juwelier