Making necessary (mostly) things on the cheap.

Making using and buying tools

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ellis Side Table side complete almost

Some friends asked I post a few pictures of one of my current projects, my version of a Harvey Ellis craftsman side table. I couldn't find a plan for this , or one I liked, so I based my design from several pictures I found online. I based the dimensions roughly from one example, the rest is my take on it. When complete the table top will be 12 in wide by about 23 1/2 long and 23 in in height. There are 14 mortise and tennon joints on each side. The aprons front and back will also be mortised and tenons into the sides and there will be a drawer on the top front that will be through dovetailed in the back and half blind in the front. All of this is a first for me I have never cut these joints before and it has really been a learning experience for me. A couple of things All of this work has been done with only hand tools and traditional woodworking methods, no electrons were killed in the making of this table. The wood itself except for the 2 pieces for the table top and bottom shelf are made form recycled lumber The leg's top and bottom shelf are yellow pine everything else is recovered maple. I had to plane and true each and every piece as the all of the lumber is rough stock. I have been working on this for about three weeks, usually only and hour or so each day and a little more on weekends, sometimes. I cut six leg's for this table for example to get four that satisfied me, I have made mistakes errors and blunders aplenty during the process and at each point had to figure out how to correct it or replace the part.

A few things I have learned from this:
1. Make your design as complete as you possibly can to work out all the bugs before you begin.
2. Correct Layout Prevents Heartache (trust me I know) Layout layout layout.
3.Doing it right the first time is SO much faster than fixing it once you have screwed it up ( Really trust me on this).
4. You will screw it up ( guess how I know)
5. You will have to fix it,(yep bummer see 3)
6. Take breaks when you need to, don't push yourself ( if you don't, see 3,4,5)
7. Clearly mark all parts pieces for orientation, face, and location on the project so you don't mix them up or cut the wrong price ( i had a beautiful piece of maple for a drawer front that I mixed up with pieces I was ripping into one inch widths for the sides, guess what , Yep and they were the wrong length, so I couldn't even use them Grrrrr).
8. Technique in sawing, planing, must be practiced, practiced,practiced,practiced,practiced........
9. Be consistent, in layout and execution do the same thing the same way (unless of course it doesn't work then see 5).
10. Remember to have fun.

Now at long last here are the pictures, Thanks for looking 

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