A model railway dining table – Part 7.

August 11th, 2014

Time to make the top! Unfortunately now I am working again the only time I have to do things is weekends and after work. Still progress is being made. I decided to do a simple lap joint on the ends. It is easy to do and will be strong. It’s just a square lap, I didn’t fancy my chances of getting a flash 45 degree one right! I am going to use the tongue in the floorboards as the lip to hold the glass. It’s already there and will easily support the glass. The groove happens to neatly hide all the cuts and ends and I can fill in the groove with an interesting piece of timber later to finish things off.

First I squared up the ends with my circular saw. Then I marked and cut out the lap joints. The first one I did all by hand with a chisel.

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That took bloody ages. Then I realised there was a much easier way. I did the end cut nicely with a hand saw but then did a series of cuts with the circular saw down to 5mm above the final depth (which is half the thickness of the timber). Then I could easily chisel out the wood in big chunks. With Rimu being so prone to splitting the blocks practically fall out themselves.

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Next I bolted my router to a board (actually the one I use for routing circles) and used that to cut out the last few mm. The flat board was slid over the timber to keep the router level and a block nailed to the timber provided a stop so I didn’t cut too close to my nice edge.

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That left a nice, flat lap surface exactly the right depth. I have now made the two short ends and cut the laps in one end of the long sides. Next I need to cut the long sides to length then make the laps in them.

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If I made the two pairs of sides exactly the same sizes then make sure the corners are square I should have an accurate opening for the glass to drop into. Once everything is glued up (and screwed from underneath) I can run the router over the ends where the laps are to finish the groove already running around the side pieces. Then I can insert a wooden strip to fill the gap. Perhaps using a dowel planed down to be flush.

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The other thing I would like to do it run the wood through a thicknesser. That planes the top of it smooth. This would remove the old varnish and also make the top thinner so I don’t need to raise the glass up so much. The glass will probably be 6mm toughened glass and at the moment the lip is about 16mm deep. The boards are also beveled on the edges so the lap joint has a little gap that’s not really ideal. I just need to find someone with a thicknesser who can do it for me before I glue things together. I might try the cabinet maker in New Lynn.

 

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