BY

JOHN A. FRY

CUSTOM CRAFTED FURNITURE

 

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This commissioned piece is a small occasional table designed to sit between two upholstered barrel chairs. I imported the figured koa from Hawaii and resawed the veneer. The pedestal and legs are solid Peruvian walnut.

 

The curly koa is shop sawn veneer in a twelve piece book matched starburst pattern with a profiled edge treatment of Peruvian walnut.
 

This is the glue up of the pedestal core to be turned on the lathe. I only had 4/4 Peruvian walnut so the blank is made up of 24 pieces of wood. It is designed so even at the narrowest part of the turning the cut is made in the same piece of wood as the widest part.

The turning is almost complete and I am parting off the excess.

The pedestal has been sanded and finished with an oil and varnish blend while it is still on the lathe.

The koa veneer has been resawn at 3/32 inch and then drum sanded to 1/16 inch thick.

I built a 30 degree tapering sled for the table saw to cut the perfect angle on the 12 segments of veneer.

This is the dry fit of the veneer segments to select the best arrangement. Each pair is book matched.

I made two clamping fixtures to edge glue the book-matched wedges into 60 degree segments. Then three of these were edge glued to form half circles, then the complete top was glued up.   This same procedure was done for the underside of the table top, but I used a non curly koa veneer.

Both top and bottom veneers were glued to the MDF substrate using Unibond 800 and vac pressed for three hours.

Out of the press and both the top and bottom have been trimmed with a hand held router and spiral, downcut, flush trim bit.

I built this jig to cut the perfect circumference arc in the table top's outer frame. The router trammel is adjusted until the fit is flawless, then I can cut all six pieces.

Each piece is mitered to match the veneer joints and biscuits were used to attach to the substrate and each end-to-end surface of the frame. They were glued on one-at-a-time and I cut notches to achieve clamping pressure at the ends.

A small ogee profile was routed on the edge and the top is done.

The upper and lower plates were veneered top, bottom, and around the edges. The one on the left has the three flats for the curved legs to attach. The top plate will just be drilled for screws to attach the top, and then the holes will be filled with matching plugs.

The legs are just under 2 inches at the base joint and taper to 1 1/4 inch at the foot. They are glued up from two pieces. I made a template and then rough cut seven pieces. One for a spare.

I made this "small-piece" sled to route the profile, then I glued the second rough piece to the finished pieced when dry routed the second one flush.

After I glued on the koa feet and hand shaped them, I made a very low tech tapering sled for the drum sander to achieve the even taper on the legs.

The designer called for a koa inlay on the curved "knee" of each leg. I've never done inlay that was not on a flat surface so I made this mini Dremel router with see-thru narrow base to cut the inset for the inlay.

The inlay piece was simply clamped wherever I could get clamps and glued with Unibond 800. The legs attached to the lower base plate with dowels.

Here is a close-up shot of the leg, foot, and base detail.

The inlay up close.

And finally, a close-up of the joint detail on the edge treatment and veneer work.

 

Chisel And Bit Custom Crafted Furniture

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