Monday, 6 January 2014

Follow the winding path.

There is nothing like making something extra tricky for yourself.

For example, take a hall table.  Better still, take a hall table I made. Better even still, take a hall table that I made from oak.

Now I wanted to make the table top more interesting than just a slab of wood. Don't get me wrong, a slab of wood can look very good, nice grain, nice timber, nice edge detail. But that wasn't what I was looking for.

I read something a while back about making a chopping board with solid wooden inlays. The result looked good, and the technique could be extended to other items. I gave the method a go and made myself a chopping board.  It worked out fine, and I already had in the back of my mind something to make on a larger scale...a hall console table.

I wanted the table itself to be simple with clean lines, but adding the inlays to the top would really add an eye catching detail.

"So what does the technique involve?", I hear you say.

Well before I spill the beans, let us first discuss inlays.

Most inlays are made by cutting a small groove in a surface, normally a couple of mm deep (if inlaying a veneer string, the groove could be only 0.6mm deep) and then sticking in the item to be inlayed. So the inlay is only just in the top surface.

What is different about the technique I used on this table, is that the inlay goes right through the table top.  So when viewed from the ends, the inlay can be seen 'wrapping' round the ends and continuing onto the under surface.

How is it done? Roughly like this. First of all, make your table top. Sand it nice and flat.  Cut it in half and stick it back together with the first inlay. When dry, flush that inlay back.  Cut the table top in half again and glue back together with the next inlay. When dry, flush back. Repeat until complete.

This table top has three inlays, so including the initial making of the top, that makes a total of four glue-ups for the top.  Oh, and did I say that because the inlays follow a curved path, when you stick the top back together, it slips and slides around like a bar of soap?

And did I say the inlays I used are different widths? 

And did I also say that making a table top is much harder than a chopping board because it is so much larger?

See, tricky. 

Anyway, enough words. On with the pictures.

It looks small, but it really is a full size table!

The three drawers have a hidden finger pull detail on the bottom edge. Saves having handles sticking out and getting caught on things as you walk by.

Here you can see how the inlays go completely through the table top. 

Overhead shot of the table showing the inlays - the 'Winding Paths'.

I like the effect you get doing this technique.  I have loads of other ideas in mind too.............

To see more of my furniture, have a look at my website and the pictures in the gallery section.

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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year

First blog post of the year......

.....and all it says is 'Happy New Year!'

Well, you have to start somewhere.