I have ... maybe 5 top woodworking builds that for one reason or another become some of my favorite builds, sometimes they start off that way, sometimes they just become that favorites as I build them, and this little accent table was has become one of my faves ...
I came into the project with more questions than answers, and there were many different ways I could have done things, some more simple, others more complex, but in the end, I had fun and made a little accent table that I loved to build and looks great !!
I started off with that Birch wood that I “broke down” in the video before. This wood has been sitting around my wood storage room so long, I figured it I didn’t use it soon it might end up having more seniority around the workshop than I have. I have always wanted to work with Birch, now was my time. First step was to cut board into strips I could glue up to use for legs and while the glue was curing, I could go on to other things.
Next was to start on the top and making what looks like a picture frame component that will encircle the center part of the table which I wanted to be Birdseye maple. At this point I was still wondering how I was going to attach the center part to the outside frame piece. Then I realized I better figure this out “before” I start building, and so I decided I would rabbet the inside and outside pieces and would still have some wiggle room to make fine adjustments with fitting.
Cutting the 45 degrees on the frame is easy, but what is critical is that the side pairs need to be exactly the same length or you can never get nice tight joints. After the pieces were made, sanded, dowels drilled, dyed and the first coat of Osmo applied, I ran them through the wood router table to make the inside rabbets.
Now that the legs were glued and dry, time to first of all cut the 45 degree angle off near the bottoms of the legs, then re-glue them back on and then after that glue has dried and hardened, take the legs back to the table saw, with the Tapering Jig installed, and cut the tapers on each leg. By making the glue joint in this was, near the bottom of each leg, I can make nice crisp demarcation point between the natural upper leg and the dyed lower leg. Never having tried this before, I was unsure how it would work, but it was excellent.
I made that tapering jig a few years ago, I don’t use it that much, but yikes, is it handy for trimming rough edges and making tapers. After cutting all the dowel holes for the base and legs, a quick dry fit confirmed everything fit, now it was time to finish the table apron and the legs. I needed to make sure I didn’t contaminate the upper legs with the dyed bottoms, so sweeping downward got the Osmo applied and kept the upper legs natural.
The last task was fitting the MDF to the inside frame, rabbeting the frame then attaching the Birdseye Maple veneer using the contact cement method. I first cut the MDF to the exact size to fit the frame. This turned out to be easier than I thought, but I still had a wee bit of sanding to get a nice tight fit.
Next I applied the veneer to the MDF and all sides were “proud” so that would involve hand planing with my block plane, fitting, more planing, a bit of edge sanding and in no time, it fit like a glove over the frame. The last item was one last top coat of Osmo on the table top after a very soft 600 grit sanding, and now the top is even and feels like velvet and the Birdseye Maple really “pops” the whole table.
What a great little project, it doesn’t use a lot of wood, but WOW, do you even have to use a lot of techniques and tools. This is NOT a weekend project, it will take you several days of super enjoyable woodworking and it’s all worth every bit of ...
Copyright Colin Knecht
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