Above you can see a sample of the joinery I used between the aprons and the legs. The twin tenons in between the applied edge and the leg, combined with the top being doweled into all four legs will give the table great racking strength and avoid the need for any kind of stretcher lower on the legs.
You can see that this is a serious mechanical press. Inside was the bottom panel of my table, once again veneer construction and sandwiched under great pressure to ensure that everything bonds as it should. The thing is intense, we've actually crushed pieces in it when we cranked too hard on the clamps. Even with the 4 inches worth of cauls, you can sometimes crush shallow valleys into softer materials if you get too excited about the tightening.
The joinery dryfit.
I had to establish the dimension of the top of the leg in order to reference from the outside for the joinery. This was in order to ensure a consistent offset between all of the legs and the aprons.
The applied edges going onto the drawer partitions. Notice the baked-in edge between the outer veneers. We sandwich those in so that you have a long grain glue surface onto which we apply our edge.
The bottom panel is held in with a series of splines around the three sides. The front edge is once again tenoned into the legs. I elected to go with a panel on the bottom at the suggestion of Lord Godfrey, one of our guest teachers, instead of a web frame because as he pointed out, it looks clean and finished from underneath.
The chamfers we cut on the tablesaw and bandsaw and then cleaned very carefully by hand with chisels and files. It was a very intense process because unlike most handwork where a small error can be cleaned up by taking a little more off or whatever, in this case a slip leaves a less than crisp line and is quite obvious.
The top after veneering and being cut to shape. The curve, while symmetrical, is not a radius but actually tightens on each end and is flatter in the middle. The process of refining the curved front and curved sides with a spokeshave was really enjoyable. I like being reminded of how far I've come since September. All of the above, 7 months ago would have sounded like gibberish to me but now...
I guess I kind of gave up on having this done by break when I was convinced to do a Frieze around the top of the table. I think Robert sees the maple as boring because he suggested it and I saw it as an opportunity to not only try something new but also add some flash to the top. This photo is of the first step in that process, routing a channel around the edge of the table.
A Frieze involves glueing individual pieces around the perimeter using either grain or prismatics to make a pattern. In this case I chose to alternate the grain 90 degrees, but the prismatic effect works beautifully as well.
I spent almost 2 whole days patiently fitting and gluing on the little squares.
In the end I was really pleased with the effect and felt it was well worth the time and energy. Do not however, hold your breath to see this type of thing in any of my work in the near future.
With the Frieze done it was time to flush off the edges again and apply the solid wood edges.
And lastly, the top can be planed down, flushing the edges, the frieze and the top veneers. At this point I have put it aside, awaiting the rest of the table before I will really surface it, finish it and get to see how it truly turns out. I'll keep you posted.