The Dining Table

Though I frequently post incomplete pieces on here, this one is particularly rough. Essentially, it’s a mock-up of a mock-up, but one I am most excited about. It is also one of the final pieces of the puzzle. Finally, I have made a start on the Dining Table.

This has been left to last for a couple of reasons, but the biggest problem I had was I didn’t believe I had much space for one. I had been picturing a table, which would double as my desk, that would have to pack down to fit at the end of the Murphy bed, a space only 100mm wide. It was going to have to be a darn slim table, only functional when it had been unfolded. Not ideal, but better than nothing. It was only last week that I realised I had a rather perfect sized gap between the couch and the kitchen counter. A space I hadn’t considered, with the exception that if I was going to need a fan or a heater it could sit there out of the way. It didn’t take long to decide that would not be the best use of this spot.

I had always been keen on the Ikea NORDEN Gateleg table but it’s rather chunky, and even now wouldn’t fit, but now that I had a bit more space, there was no reason I couldn’t build my own. With a bit of research, I found two DIY gateleg tables with instructions, the first a sewing table using pocket holes and scrap wood, the other a handsomely crafted piece of furniture with drawbored mortise and tenon joinery. Opposite ends of the spectrum, both time wise and expense wise. Knowing I would have to make adjustments to suit my own scale, yet uncertain on the exact dimensions, I decided I would start with the first design, made from pine and ply. This would be relatively speedy and allow for mistakes and change of mind, and will be the table that I can road test. Once I am happy that it will comfortably seat five, function as both a desk and dining table, prove to be easy to move around and use, and free from any other issues, I shall invest my time into building the final piece with nice timber and slick joinery, as per the second method. A sensible plan! More excitingly, it means I get to pretend to have a dining table so much sooner, which is what this afternoon was all about. 

Yesterday I cut the pieces for the centre base and the first gateleg, and this afternoon I assembled the sections and had a play. I don’t currently have any plywood pieces large enough for the tabletop, but I found an offcut that was almost the right size, at least big enough to give a good indication of what the table could be. I also didn’t have enough hinges, hence the single gateleg for now. Despite it’s humble state I was quickly using it as a desk even though the table top was only sitting in place- a promising start! You may have to use your imagination a little, but these photos capture the general construction of the piece.

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The Pantry Door

The Pantry Door

Back Track: February – March 2020

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  • As of: 30 . 03 . 20
  • Special Mention: That dowel jig is the very best thing! I do have my own which I picked up at Bunnings, but this old-school, Australian made, Silex dowel jig that my Uncle lent me is entirely superior! I attempted the first batch of holes using my jig, but it failed to keep the drill bit square with the timber. (This is an issue when you’re as wonky as I). The corresponding holes would veer off at opposing angles, causing great difficulty when I attempted to join ends together! Following the laments of my troubles, my Uncle pulled out this gem, and I tell you, I would like to find one for myself.
  • Materials: Left over Dressed Western Red Cedar from my window build.
  • Satisfaction? Immense. First: It is such a pleasure to work with pre-dressed timber for I can get stuck straight into the build without fussing around! (Yes, you could call that laziness). Second: This was a new technique for me- I haven’t often used dowels as a joinery method so it was a fun to give it a proper go. Third: Have I mentioned before how much I enjoyed building my front door? This was no less agreeable.
  • Going Forward? The plan is to finish off the door with mesh panels, a good-looking handle and a lick of oil.

Test Fit – Kitchen Cabinets

Test Fit – Kitchen Cabinets

Back Track: February – March 2020

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  • As of: 30 . 03 . 20
  • Status: Incomplete – Frames only
  • Materials: Structural Eco Ply 15 – 17mm