Wednesday 15 April 2015

Back To The 50'ies

This is the start of a new project.
In this project I will build a triangular mid century style occasional table, which will reflect the organic aesthetics of the 50’ies.
At least this is the goal.
And I will share the build, the challenges the projects has and my experiences with it, here.

I already described the main properties the table should have a few days ago (Furniture of Desire).
It sounds pretty easy and I started to scribble a few drawings and at some point I was really clueless.
How will you join rectangle legs to the aprons of a triangular table?

A Triangle

What drove me nuts was, that I didn't could find a solution for it. Whatever I scribbled down on paper looked wrong.
Why? Have a look at the sketches and it will be obvious. I had to join the legs somehow at an angle to the aprons. But either it was to steep or I didn't end in the shape I would like to have.

Jointing square legs to a triangle

Try with a rectangle

I won't teach you in geometry, but maybe my explanation will help to understand the solution.
Okay let us take a look at an isosceles triangle. All sides are equal and the angles within are all 60 degrees.
In order to get a right angle for the aprons you have to create a 60 degree face on the leg,
If you will now dismantle your triangle you will receive a 30 degree angle at every end.
Now join the 60 degree face of the leg to the 30 degrees of the line (in this case apron) end, then you have got a right angle.
Hope that makes sense.
That said here is the drawing.

Cut 60° faces to the rectangle.

Frankly speaking I had to ask Google and I found the solution in a so called Cricket Table or  Drop Leaf Table.
It is not the table design I would like to have, but it solved my personal joinery problem.
You will find two Woodwright's Shop episodes about it. And there was an article in FWW 200 which describes pretty much what I was searching for (construction of a triangular table).
Anyway, the secret is to bring the top of your leg to the shown shape of a kite.


Mock up

Although I'm quite sure that this will be the solution I will build a mock up.
In total I've got some doubts if I'm on the right path. Why? 
Well, the legs of the table should be rounded and not pointed.
My assumption is that they easily can be rounded over from the tip. But that remains to be proved.
Beyond this the legs are supposed to be tapered. Shouldn't be a big deal. But will that work together with the angled joint? Probably yes. 

To outline it. I've got some ideas in my head and my mind says it should work. On the other side the feeling says something is overlooked.

I won't like to waste lots of good material. So, to me a mock up is a good idea.

The mock up will be in the original dimensions, with one full size leg, out of construction lumber.
Just to check out if I will get the table frame I would like to have and that the joinery will work.
And beyond this I will figure out how I will get to the desired leg shape (which will be somehow oval).

I started already with the mock up. As the leg bothers me most, that is the first part I'm doing.

Me dimensioning the leg for the mock up

Leg at final dimension

The leg is 450 mm long, 40 mm thick and 70 mm wide. Just as a starting point. Especially the thickness I may not get from my original material. I will see.
The second step was to make a small template for the leg shape (that 120° triangle I wrote about above).
It makes it easy to transfer the shape onto the leg ends.

Shape template

And from there I can transfer the lines to the faces.

Transferring the lines


The rough dimensions of the table are as follows.
Height: 45 cm (18")
Length: 40 cm (16")
Width: 40 cm (16")


Width: 60 mm
Thickness: 40 mm
Length: 425 mm


The Wood

Guess what. I was at the wood dealer yesterday and this is the wood for the new table project.


This are 3 meters (10') of nice and dry oak  It is 43 mm thick (7/8"). And as it is already surface planed I can use most of the thickness.
I will acclimate it a few days in my shop environment before I will start to use it. 
Maybe I will rough cut it to length during the process of acclimatization.

What's Next?

Several things will  have to be done. I think it will be a good idea to have a jig for the legs. 
So I'll built one (or two). One for establishing the bevels. And another one for tapering the legs.
Hopefully next time I can report about this a bit more.
I haven't drawn full size plans yet They will be helpful for the apron angles, final dimensions, etc.
And of course I will work at the mock up.

What Do You Think?

Have you got the same feelings with a new project?
Your mind is telling you that everything is alright. And you are motivated to go on.
But a subconscious feeling is telling you to remain calm, to think about it again and to the start cautious?

Do You Like This Post?

If you found this post useful check out the upcoming post on next Wednesday. 

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