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Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Work On The Table That Otto Jr. and I Are Making

Some of you may remember the table that I wrote about back in January more or less. As I mentioned back then this is part of a dining room table that I had and decided to chop up and burn to heat the house. The decision was also motivated by the fact that I don't need or have room for a dining room table so I had to get rid of it anyway. If you are having trouble remembering it HERE is a link and also HERE to a couple of the posts about it. The key thing that this table base was missing was a table top and today I got one!!
As I might have written back then I had to kind of stop working on the table  base (I had to table the table project in other words) because the weather was bad and I had other things to do. Anyway today Otto Jr. and I started working on it a bit again and the inspiration for today's activities came in a very inspiring way. We were headed out to a really good Taqueria to get some tortas for lunch and we drove past a garage sale. The guy at the garage sale was selling a bunch of old broken tools and he had a couple of busted up tables for sale as well. We stopped to see what he had and there was a round table 'blank' next to a box of broken tools. I offered him $5.00 for the table blank and an old bow saw - he took the offer. This table blank is one of the 2' diameter laminated pine blanks you can get at the hardware store and it is unfinished as well as a bit beaten up. Perfect for a piece of furniture that will go in my living room! Below is a picture of the table top sitting on top of the table base. Both need a lot of sanding and finishing but you get the idea of what this is someday going to look like.
Click below for more exciting details!!

One thing that Otto Jr. and I decided to do is make this into a game table as well by putting a checker / chess board pattern on it. We thought about various ways to do that and we decided the most fun way would be to inlay a real wood board into the top of the blank then varnish it. To do this we need to make the chess board inlay and not being lazy we decided to make one from scratch. That last paragraph I just wrote doesn't sound right but this is a Blog and who cares!?
To make the chess board we bought a 10' piece of pine finishing board that is 1-3/8" wide by 1/4" thick and cut them into square pieces. A chess board has 64 squares on it so that is 8 X 8 and with each one being 1-3/8 wide it will make a nice 11" square playing field. I think it will look nice and have good proportions on a 2' diameter table.
To get the finishing board cut into nice even sized pieces we built a quick saw guide or miter box. Most people use three pieces of wood to align the blade but for some reason I always have found it easier to use two as in the picture below.

That is Otto Jr. setting up the saw for another cut. It didn't take too long to get all 64 pieces cut out of the board. Once we had them all cut out we sanded off the edges to make them nice and smooth and stained half of them a dark penetrating wood stain. The other half we will give a clear coat to and then glue them into the board shape. Once that is done we will have to router out a square area 1/4" deep in the center of the table and glue it in nice and flush.
This project has been and will take a long time to finish but as more progress is made I will post more updates.

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