Basque Style Table: The Base Part 3

I have to admit. I struggled with the angled braces. I had the table rendered in sketchup and so I had the angle the braces made with horizontal but sketchup’s resultant angle was WAY off. No big deal I thought, I’ll just clamp them in place and mark the angle right on the boards. This is were I had trouble. The problem is mainly due to the fact that the lower long stretcher is laid flat so it’s 4″ width is horizontal and the upper stretcher is oriented so it’s 2″ face is horizontal. Meaning if I just clamped the boards in place they would be canted 2″ inwards off vertical over ~25″.

Ok, no big deal I thought. I’ll just use a spacer at the top and mark the angle. Harder in practice than I expected.

The spacer has to be exactly sized or the resultant angle will be off by a large enough margin to produce a visible gap. There is no trick I discovered other than trial and error. I got the shoulder marked as closely as I could and moved forward to cutting the tenons. I figured after I cut the tenons I could trim the shoulders until I got a perfect fit.


I assembled the base without glue and the result was very promising. The table feels very solid and seems to sort of lock it’s self together.

The only point I feel could use some reinforcement is the sliding dovetail where the ends meet the top stretcher. I think it would be fairly easy to snap the dovetail off if a large force was applied to the end assembly. I’m somewhat confident this will be a non-issue once the top is attached but I think I still may make some triangular glue blocks to go in the corners at the intersection of the top stretcher and the ends. That more or less wraps up the major construction of the base. I plan to glue it together using liquid hide glue and paint it with black milk paint.

And now my a picture of my eldest Son helping saw tenons!



Basque Style Table: The Base Part 2

With the end assemblies completed I turned my attention to the top long stretcher. It was to be attached to the ends by a huge sliding dovetail. I laid out the dovetail on the ends of the stretcher and cut the joint.
Here is the tail in progress

The shoulder is 95° off horizontal to give the ends a 5° cant.

I sawed as much of the dovetail socket as possible and used a chisel to clear the rest of the waste.



As for the bottom stretcher I decided to use a simple half lap since there will be plenty of long grain glue surface.


In the next installment I tackle the angle braces.


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…