Basque Style Table: The Base Part 1

With the lumber milled I set to work on the two end assemblies.
First step is to lay out the through mortises then chop them. The legs of the end assemblies are splayed at 7° so I marked that angle on the legs and set a bevel gauge to 7° as well to use as a guide while chopping. I drilled out the first two mortises with a brace and bit but found it no faster than chopping, not to mention the results weren’t as clean.

I attacked this one joint at a time so I chopped a mortise, cut a tenon.


When I had both legs mortised and tenoned I laid the lower stretcher across the legs and marked the intersection at the legs.

More chopping and cutting and viola!

One more time through that whole operation and both end assemblies were complete. I didn’t take any pictures but I draw bored the mortise and tenons so I wouldn’t need to clamp anything.

More soon…


Basque Style farm Table

I ran across this “basque style table” on Dorset custom furniture’s blog back in January and really loved the open trestle base. I tucked the idea away since I was in the middle of a move and would only temporarily be in my current location. But, when I found Fort Houston the possibility of actually being able to complete this table in a reasonable amount of time became a reality. I went to Mimms and bought 120 board feet of 8/4″ poplar and set to work on the base. This table was intended for my mother in law and I liked it so much I planned to build myself an 8 ft version when I completed her 10 footer. But, as often happens things changed. She was really looking for something long and semi-portable that could be set up in the yard on a whim for a family dinner under the maple trees. I pitched the idea of making the 10 foot top as planned and then making a couple “fancy saw horses” for her 10 ft top and then making the base an appropriate size for an 8 foot table for my family. She loved the idea and so we moved ahead. The original plan had the entire table built out of poplar and finished clear but I thought the basque style base would look great painted black. So I plan to build the base, paint it black and make a top from cherry. And, then build a 10 foot top from poplar with matching poplar saw horses. The 10 foot poplar top will use the mitered frame style table top while my 8 ft cherry top will be a standard bread board end table top.

So, like every project this one started with lots of milling, milling, milling. Two 5-hour-days later I had all my material milled and ready for joinery.


Fort Houston

Blogging has been slow but I have been busy. I joined a local co-op, Fort Houston, to have access to a jointer and planer. The co-op is great! They were gifted $35,000 worth of Jet machinery. The shop has two jointers, a 6″ with a segmented cutter head and a straight knife 12″. A 15″ planer with a segmented cutter head. Two lathes, 10″ and 12″ table saws, a couple drill presses, spindle, disc and belt sanders, two bandsaws, a 14″ and 18″. All for $125/month!


20140316-110817.jpg I’ve been busily milling lumber for the 10ft farm table project and my busted roubo. More soon.

A few things in the works

I’m currently in the planning stages of a 10 foot dining room table build. We picked up the 6/4 and 8/4 stock from Mimms lumber a few days ago.


I’m also peeling apart my failed roubo lamination, scraping and regluing the boards back together. My buddy and I glued up the two tops a month ago but cold temps kept the glue from curing. I suspected this was the case and after moving the tops to franklin and leaving them to sit the boards in the top began to cup and delaminate. So, one at a time I’ve been peeling them apart, scraping off the failed glue, re-jointing and re-gluing.



Panel sized rip saw progress

I scraped and sanded the handle and it’s more or less ready for finishing and managed to drill the bolt holes without a drill press. The saw plate holes were another story! I’ve never worked much with metal and the hardness of the 1095 spring steel amazed me. I burnt through a carbide tipped drill bit drilling just one hole. I ended up getting a Bosch masonry bit that managed to get through but still with a lot of effort. I was able to scavenge some saw bolts from some old cheap beater saws. Behold, it looks like a saw!

A buddy of mine found me a nice antique saw vice from an antique shop for $8 and tonight it was pressed into service. I used a Stanley 42w saw set to add some set and with two passes with a file the saw was set, sharp and ready to cut!




Panel saw handle

I’ve been slowly making a pair of 20″ panel saws for bench work. I picked up some plates from awhile back. One is punched 10ppi crosscut and the other is 7 ppi rip. I thought I’d make contrasting handles so I could see at a glance which is which. Months ago I finished a walnut handle and today I finally got around to making a curly maple handle.

The handle is modeled after the Disston D7 panel saw handle. I roughed out the blank on the bandsaw. Using three gramercy rasps I roughly shaped the handle. I know there are a million ways to cut the plate kerf but I like to keep it simple and just use a tenon saw.

If you take your time and follow your line well, I find it isn’t too hard to get good results.


There is still a lot more sanding and shaping to go…

Mike Pekovitch Tea Box

I came across FWW art director Mike Pekovitch’s blog and immediately fell in love with his white oak tea box.

I brought a small quarter sawn white oak board when I moved the shop with the intentions of using it to build this piece. With the stock flattened and cut to length and thicknessed to 3/8″, I marked out the dovetails and set to work.

Since the tops and bottoms were quarter sawn and only around 4″ in width I choose to just glue the top and bottom on. We will see.

I cut the curly maple pieces for the interior of the box to length and shot the miters on a shooting board.


This is were the project stands. I need to soften the dovetails further and figure out this whole fuming thing.