After several months of work ( I tend to work intermittently on several projects at once) I have finally finished the Harvest Table.
My last post left me in the middle of cutting the rule joints for the drop leafs. Prior to embarking on this project, I spent some time practicing the joint on smaller pieces. The practice helped, but didn’t prepare me for the challenges of running a joint along a six foot edge.
At one point along the run of both edges, I had some problem getting the cove to fit with the mating round over. More than once I had to plane the formed edge with my jointer to reform the edge enough to try it again. Overall, I only lost about 3/4 inch of total width, but I was sure wishing I had a matched set of rule joint planes.
Step one was to install the hinges on the center piece. I’m not sure what steps other woodworkers use at this point, but it seemed logical to me. After measuring out and locating each hinge, I marked the outline of the hinge using a marking knife.
Next, I used a chisel, bevel down, to prepare the waste for removal. A couple taps with the mallet, then walk the chisel back about 1/8th inch and repeat. After the entire cutout was thus prepared, a thinner chisel pushed straight in from the edge removed the waste.
After removing the waste, I used my old widow’s tooth plane to flatten the bottom. I own a router plane, but found it tended to dig into the walls of the inset.
Next step was to cut out a channel to allow the hinge barrel to seat in enough to allow the hinge to lie flat. Note the pencil mark on the table showing the middle point of the hinge barrel. I then carved out the channel using an outcannel gouge. Note the center of the barrel is inset from the table edge. This mark matches the top of the round over on the opposite side. The longer hinge leaf reaches out across the joint to attach to the drop leaf.
The hinges installed on the bottom of the table.
I flipped the table center on it’s top face, then matched the drop leaf to the edge, using clamps to hold it snugly in place while I secured the hinge. I placed it on the bench to test the working of the joint. Success!
Repeated for the other side, then applied my three part finish on the leaves and joints. The top was attached using home made screw blocks, which fit into the channel I plowed into the top of the aprons.
All in all I’m happy with the results, but if I ever take on another drop leaf project, I need to find a set of match planes. It should make life much easier!