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Thread: Tea House Chair and Table

  1. #16
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    Good questions; The base, attaching directly to the table top means that 'short grain' must be accounted for in the joinery. When wood is placed in sheer, it must have enough support to resist this force. That is done by setting the joinery inward from the ends.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  2. #17
    Brian-
    Really neat carving work. I couldn't find reference to it in your blog, but your grain on the seat runs side to side. I typically see the grain running front to back. I have no idea which is better. I'm certain this was a conscious choice for you. Why?

  3. #18
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    Thank you! That is a great question, in researching it before hand I saw the grain running in either fashion. I decided to run the grain left to right to give the most leeway for the design of my base. I plan to build a short sled base and support it with a stretcher, he base would lock in the grain if it were running from to back.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #19
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    If you reverse the sliding dovetail you can have end grain to long grain with a huge surface area anywhere you want.
    Last edited by William Fretwell; 02-04-2017 at 7:05 PM. Reason: Had a nap.

  5. #20
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    You lost me there, I can't quite picture what you are explaining.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  6. #21
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    If you take say 1.5" off each end of the table and taper into a long dovetail then glue it under the table parallel to the end, anywhere you want. You make the matching dovetail dado in the top rail of the legs. You have far more wood to work with as you are no longer limited by the table top thickness. The table edge no longer has to exhibit the sliding dovetail and you can shorten it a little.
    It will move with the table top inside the dovetail dado. As the sliding dovetail is probably twice as deep it is much stronger and the table top is not weakened by the sliding dovetail. The strength of the joint is independent of the position relative to the end grain of the table top.
    Visually the joint looks the same as the previous method minus the table edge.
    Last edited by William Fretwell; 02-04-2017 at 11:16 PM.

  7. #22
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    If I understand correctly what you are describing, the connection between table top and dovetail is either side grain or end grain and in the case of dovetails neither offers strength of any significance.

    Running a groove down the batten is not necessarily weak but certainly weaker than the opposite, as a bending motion on the leg acts to split or separate the batten groove.

    Grooving a table, less than 1/3 the thickness does not weaken the table in a meaningful way, instead is reduces the table top's ability to warp by breaking up the continuous grain.

    Mind you, if I were concerned about putting the batten anywhere I could just use screws.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 02-05-2017 at 8:55 AM.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  8. #23
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    Hi Brian

    Nice work. I haven't seen any curved work from you before, so good going!

    The one complaint I have is that you are having too much fun with new tools. Enjoy!

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    If I understand correctly what you are describing, the connection between table top and dovetail is either side grain or end grain and in the case of dovetails neither offers strength of any significance.

    Running a groove down the batten is not necessarily weak but certainly weaker than the opposite, as a bending motion on the leg acts to split or separate the batten groove.

    Grooving a table, less than 1/3 the thickness does not weaken the table in a meaningful way, instead is reduces the table top's ability to warp by breaking up the continuous grain.

    Mind you, if I were concerned about putting the batten anywhere I could just use screws.
    It's a choice between design and strength. We all crave elegant designs that can function. If the batten is flush with the underside of the table it resists twisting very well in either design.
    Screws.....very rarely.
    Last edited by William Fretwell; 02-05-2017 at 11:42 AM.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Hi Brian

    Nice work. I haven't seen any curved work from you before, so good going!

    The one complaint I have is that you are having too much fun with new tools. Enjoy!

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Thanks Derek! I'm certainly on the bleeding edge of tool collector with a woodworking problem at this point

    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    It's a choice between design and strength. We all crave elegant designs that can function. If the batten is flush with the underside of the table it resists twisting very well in either design.
    Screws.....very rarely.
    Do you have any real experience with such a joint or is this theory that you'd like me to put into practice?

    With respect; The dovetail battens, as I make them, have historical reference that I can see that they do, in fact, function. That is in addition to my experience building them and putting them into use. Your idea offers a very narrow connection of side grain between tabletop and batten, that makes a joint I could snap with my bare hands, and one very breakable once a 16" lever (the leg) is attached to it.

    You might not think that tables get stressed, but lean against one and you put a high amount of stress on the joints.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  11. #26
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    Hi Brian,
    Historical reference is important. I've made an exact copy of a Shaker end table and you appreciate why each joint is the way it is. I certainly have experience of stressed wood failing (two Directors chairs spring to mind).
    Yes I've seen similar joints but with wider battens, no I have not made this joint or yours but I am now tempted! The wracking challenge in this design is most interesting and I love thinking about things!
    I believe thinking about the position of the legs created this challenge, at least for me.

    I try and build stuff to last a very long time.

    A guy I met in a shop almost next to mine built a HUGE oval directors table for Ontario Hydro (big budget). I believe it was about 40 feet long as he described it and had to do the final build in the room. This table kept falling apart, he kept going back to fix it but it kept falling apart. He could not understand why. I clearly remember the look of anguish on his face as he told me his story. I was dying to go and look at it as I love a challenge, but I think they scrapped it.

    Far be it from me to suggest how you build anything! You do a superb job and I'm very interested in your projects. I'm willing to bet you would have wanted to look at that Director's table as well.

  12. #27
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    Great project. I recall a video on cutting blind dados by hand that you did on your Butler's desk. I'd love to see a video of the adze work. I always learn something from your posts.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    Hi Brian,
    Historical reference is important. I've made an exact copy of a Shaker end table and you appreciate why each joint is the way it is. I certainly have experience of stressed wood failing (two Directors chairs spring to mind).
    Yes I've seen similar joints but with wider battens, no I have not made this joint or yours but I am now tempted! The wracking challenge in this design is most interesting and I love thinking about things!
    I believe thinking about the position of the legs created this challenge, at least for me.

    I try and build stuff to last a very long time.

    A guy I met in a shop almost next to mine built a HUGE oval directors table for Ontario Hydro (big budget). I believe it was about 40 feet long as he described it and had to do the final build in the room. This table kept falling apart, he kept going back to fix it but it kept falling apart. He could not understand why. I clearly remember the look of anguish on his face as he told me his story. I was dying to go and look at it as I love a challenge, but I think they scrapped it.

    Far be it from me to suggest how you build anything! You do a superb job and I'm very interested in your projects. I'm willing to bet you would have wanted to look at that Director's table as well.
    That sounds like a fun challenge to design for, 40' long would practically demand being assembled in the room so that adds to the stress of designing the table, especially if it were planned in solid wood.

    I don't mind suggestions and discussion of course, it makes these threads a bit more interesting, but once I submit a design to a client I'm pretty tightly bound to my design, especially so if it's something I've built already and have planned only a few changes.

    I'm very curious to see your results when you build both types of battens, I have my suspicions that the tail applied to the table top would require a good 2-3" of width to make a strong connection, and the overall batten width probably around 4-5". Wider does also help the battens I've made, I prefer to make them so that the dovetail is at least 1" wide, if not wider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A Faulkner View Post
    Great project. I recall a video on cutting blind dados by hand that you did on your Butler's desk. I'd love to see a video of the adze work. I always learn something from your posts.
    Thanks Joe!

    I actually did take some video of the seat carving, but didn't get around to posting up the video as I had debated it quite a bit. I made some changes to the adze to get a better scooping action, so doing a third chair seat would likely go a bit faster than this. The mahogany, while still a softer hardwood, is a bit of a step up in hardness from basswood and so it takes longer to cut. It's likely on par with walnut or cherry, maybe slightly easier than those two.

    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  14. #29
    Brian," Bumbling forward into the unknown," is certainly an understatement, from what I have seen in your postings!

    I find your pieces both beautiful and well designed, executed.

    Thanks, for taking the time to explain and teach to us.

  15. #30
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    Thanks Michael! My pleasure!
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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