Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Going heavy

So this project began with a large slab of granite my friend, Mike, salvaged from a tear down. The granite already had a mildly elliptical shape, so it seemed natural to reflect these curves in the base. 

 The redwood fence posts we salvaged for the base were a dream to work with. Very dry and very straight grained. A little trick I learned on this project: if you score your layout lines very deep ...
 The tenons will split along the score lines. 

I obviously didn't try to split the long faces of the tenon, but splitting worked out great on the short face.
After soaping (timber-frame trick) and dry assembling the base, I cut the curve with a backsaw, large chisel and drawknife. I missed my bandsaw that day.
I opted for straight cuts on the rails. The slight radius in the original design just didn't seem worth the effort, and I stand behind that decision. 

 Things moved forward pretty rapidly from there. The end assemblies were draw bored and pegged with white oak and the long aprons were attached via threaded rod. One note on draw boring: make your pins twice as long as they need to be. A long, gradual taper makes the assembly so much smoother. No broken pins, no splitting.
Once the base was carried over to Mike's it only took the 4 of us to place the granite on top.

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