Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kitchen Table Project

This is a Kitchen Table I completed in January 2013 that was inspired by a table I saw in the film 'Julie and Julia'.  This is the table seen in Julia Childs Paris kitchen.  I assume that the style of this table would be a traditional country kitchen table.

The table is made entirely of Pecan, and measures 63" x 34" and is 31" high.  It was designed in SketchUp, as can be seen in the following photo.

Overall, the design is fairly simple.  One problem I noticed from close ups of the table in the movie were cracks on the aprons adjacent to the legs as seen below.

Area of apron vulnerable to cracking

This is a design flaw because of the grain direction, and the thin dimension of the apron in this area.  When I built my version of the table, I drove a dowel vertically into this section of the apron to reinforce this section, and reduce the possibility of cracking.  Time will tell if I succeeded.

Since I was unable to find and 16/4 stock, I had to glue up 8/4 lumber to get the my 4" x 4" leg blanks.  As you might imagine, Pecan is a very hard wood, and was not pleasing to turn.  Therefore, I created five leg blanks, one of which was peppered with powder beetle holes, and this one became my practice piece.  Luckily, I was able to turn all five blanks into acceptable legs.

These are the finished legs, and on the left you can see the jig I built to drill the hole in the corner of the legs.  The legs are not connected to the table using a standard hanger bolt.  I used a bolt and cross dowel in order to fasten and tighten the legs to the aprons.

X-ray view of the leg and apron joint

This is the finished table top with a Linseed Oil, Shellac and General Finishes Semi-Gloss Arm-R-Seal Top Coat (in that order).  Thus far, it has been a very durable finish.  Water, alcohol and hot containers have not harmed the finish.

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