Archive for the ‘Stickley No. 634 Table’ Category

Stickley No. 634 Table Build: Part 6

December 29, 2009

The table has been finished for a long time now; I apologise for taking so long to post the finished pictures.   I have a slow internet connection (about the only drawback to living in the country that I know of), but mostly I just procrastinated.

Above is the table with no leaf.  It seats up to six people.

With only one 22″ wide leaf added it can seat 10 people!  The racetrack shape is more efficient than a square shape (you can’t seat people at the corners of a square table).  The ability to seat this many people is a real wife pleaser.  The dimensions of the table also give you plenty of room for dishes in the middle.

The pegged through tenon was easier than expected and turned out well.

I love the proportions of the table.

The top was attached with homemade wooden buttons to allow for wood movement (22 in all; I went a little overboard).  I had to tighten up on them after I brought the table into the house; the wood dried slightly and shrank just enough to make the buttons a little too loose.  My workshop is not climate controlled.  Wood in equilibrium in my shop averages 11 percent; in the house it averages 8 percent.

Until I built this table I never knew there was such an animal as curly quarter-sawn white oak.  I don’t know how well it shows in the picture above, but some of the oak had a little curl in it.

The morning  sun brings out the ray flecks.  Beautiful!  My wife catches me admiring the grain sometimes (she thinks I’m weird).  Some people see God through nature; I see His handiwork through beautiful grain.


Stickley No. 634 Table Build: Part 5

September 26, 2009

I have skipped alot of steps; for some time I was too much into a work flow to stop and take pictures.

This picture shows the table aprons being cut apart so the table can be expanded to accept a leaf.  I decided it would be easier to clamp and glue the table up as one solid unit; then cut it apart into two halves.

I wanted the thinnest kerf possible, so I used a Japanese flush cut hand saw.  I love flush cut saws, they are my most used hand saws in the shop.   The saw is guided by the two blocks you see clamped on. It’s hard to see, but I have low friction tape between the blocks and the saw blade.  This worked out well; giving me a precise thin cut.


Here is the table after the aprons were cut.




Stickley No. 634 Table Build: Part 4

May 21, 2009

In which a circle gets cut  . . .  and a table top is created. 

This was fun, and the router jig worked real well.   Of course I took small bites with the router, so this process wasn’t fast.




Stickley #634 Table Build: Part 3

April 10, 2009

While I was building the legs, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I was going to cut the tenons on the end of the curved apron pieces.  What would be my reference point on a curved surface?  I couldn’t figure out a way to come up with the perfect angles for the tenons in order that the assembled aprons and legs formed a circle.  I finally decided the only way was to draw a full scale drawing . . .


and lay the apron directly on top of the drawing in order to mark it out.  I extended the lines on my full scale drawings,  laid a ruler over the end of the apron, and by aligning it with my drawing by sighting with my eye I marked the lines for the tenon.


I decided to cut the aprons by hand using a small dovetail saw and my japanese cross cut saw, and clean up the shoulders with, oddly enough, a LV shoulder plane.  These were not the most ideal saws (they were too small).  The first tenon I cut on my extra practice apron was way off.  The second one was acceptable.  The third one was perfect.  I inserted the tenon, the shoulders hit evenly on the legs, and as I held it up to my full scale drawing it lined up perfectly.  I was proud of myself, and a little surprised that I was this good!  I showed it to my wife, bragged a little bit, and went to bed that night thinking that I had it licked. 


The next morning, starting on my first real apron, I cut a worse tenon then my first practice one! 


I could of fixed the shoulder alignment with a shoulder plane, but the big problem was that the apron was extending out of the leg at the wrong angle when sighting against my full scale drawing. 

So now, out of four tenons hand-cut, two are good and two are bad.  Not a very good record.  Luckly I had enough length left on my apron to cut off the offending tenon.  So now I was forced to lay down the saws and revert to a jig and power tools.  Hand tool woodworkers, I am deeply sorry I have let you down.  In my defense, I do not have a carcase or proper tenon saws.

I traced out the inside radius on some scrap plywood and laminated and pattern routed several layers together.


Clamping an apron to the jig . . .


and using a miter sled on my router table . . .


I started cuting the tenons.  I had to take multiple test cuts on my extra apron and keep shimming the jig before I ended up with the right angles.


To be continued . . .

Stickley No. 634 Table Build: Part 2

March 27, 2009

I started the bent laminations to form the table aprons.  This technique is a first for me, but I didn’t find it too hard.  Like most techniques in woodworking, it comes down to careful preperation and dry clanp rehersals.  By experimenting with different thicknesses, I found that 3/16″ strips bent pretty well to the 20.5″ radius of my plywood form.  I used 8 of them for each apron.

I decided to take the extra time to make clamping cauls to help spread the clamping pressure.  Maybe they aren’t necessary, but the off-cuts from the form were handy to use for cauls.  Stupidly, I almost made the curves on the cauls the same as the curve on the form, but luckily before I started cutting I realized that I had to make them the same radius as the outer radius of the apron.


Below is how I started the clamp-up process.  I found it really helped to put temporary clamps on the ends to start establishing the curve before putting on the rest of the clamps.


Below is a shot with all the clamps on.


Two of the finished aprons stacked on top of each other.  I made them much longer then necessary so I could cut off the ends with the planer snipe.  An extra apron will be made this weekend so I can use it to practice cutting my tenons.


Now I know what you are wondering; how much springback did I get?  I got a consistent 1/8″ springback on each end.  I tried two kinds of glue, Titebond Original, and the Pro-Glue you see below.  The springback was exactly the same no matter what glue I tried.   Each apron was left in the clamps about the same amount of time (overnight).   This leads me to believe that the thickness of the strips is the factor causing the springback.  I probably should have gone a bit thinner on the strips; although the little springback I got isn’t really going to affect much.


Stickley No. 634 Table Build: Part 1

March 23, 2009

In accordance with my Supreme Commander’s Directive No. 1, I am building a dining room table and chairs.  The table needs to be round, expandable, and very strong and durable.  It must also be a simple style to fit in with our simple home.  This means Craftsman style.  Stickley’s No. 634 table fits the bill perfectly.  The center pedestal splits to allow for expansion.


I purchased dimensioned drawings from Mr. Bob Lang (Editor at Popular Woodworking Magazine).  They were well worth the price; very professionially done.  They don’t tell you how to build the table, but they give all the dimensions you will need along with expanded portions of the drawings for critical joints.

I started with the four outer legs, which are 3 1/2 ” square, which means hollow legs.  I experimented with beveling the edges of the four sides of test pieces and using biscuit  joints for alignment . . .


. . . but I was quickly reminded how much I hate cutting miters.  The slightest imperfection on the bevel face shows up as a gap at the ends.  I got some pretty good results, but they were not perfect.  Since I strive for perfection (but constantly fail) I moved on to method #2.

I ran across this idea on Woodnet, and gave it a try.  I rough cut a rabbit with the table saw, cleaned it up at the router table . . .




. . .clamped the four sides together…


. . .  and it came out great.  The non-rabbitted sides were left slighly proud so clamping pressure could be applied to them.  The legs came out perfectly square (which I don’t think would be case with beveled edges).  After the legs are planned down on all four sides, and a bevel is cut on the edges, the seam will be hidden.

Next up:  bent form laminations.