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designing and building with wood channels my creativity and challenges my mind.
This blog is a record of my life in my studio.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A bookshelf becomes a coffee table: Thanks to my Delta X Jointer

I have been on a roll recently: in spite of being a total newb when it comes to furniture-making, I have completed two (that's right TWO ;) bookshelves of acceptable functionality and workmanship.  Both of them look great from thirty yards.

When I decided to give bookshelves another go, I decided to get fancy.  I made a jig for my Delta 1 3/4 HP hybrid saw, and cut 3-degree angles in each side of the case, to give the shelf a back-sloping look.  To add to the sloping effect, I laid a stripe of curly maple between two wide planks of mahogany, and cut the bases 90-degrees to the 3-degree slope, so the white maple stripes would slope backward as well.   AWESOME!

But then, while having a conversation with a friend and cutting the dadoes to hang the shelves, I cut one set of grooves on the wrong side of my beautiful laminated, sloping sides!  Since they were sloping, I couldn't just flip the one side over.  My shelves were kaput.

But then I had an idea: What if I put the sloping edged head-to toe, then straightened the edges on my Delta?  Then I'd have a beautiful table top.

My first step was to give the sloped edges a dead-straight edge, ready for a straight-up edge-joint.  This was definitely a time I was thankful for my friend's Delta X 6-inch jointer.

Once I glued up the two edges, I backed them with a piece of 1/2-inch birch plywood.  With such a large tabletop and all those dadoes, the extra support seemed like a no-brainer.

The rest of the table is coming together well.  I'm using a Festool Domino Joiner, rather than labor over making my own tenons (I'm tired of messing up good projects halfway through!).

Here are pics of the table in process:

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