Making a Reading Table – Part Four

The dust board consists of two book-matched boards which I rubbed together and then cut the ratchet teeth into. That completed, I glued up the top frame and then glued it onto the top of the box carcase. The carcase ends were then veneered and the whole cleaned up.

The box carcase awaiting its mouldings.

I wouldn’t normally glue-up the pillar for a pillar and claw table, instead, preferring to turn it from a single piece of wood. However, the rising column that I’m incorporating in this table necessitates the pillar being made in two halves so the recesses can be cut for the column to telescope in and out of.

I made two parallel saw cuts in each half of the pillar with a handsaw and then chiselled and planed out the waste. The corners of the recesses are canted which slowed progress somewhat. The purpose of the canted corners is to allow the maximum size of column for the given diameter of the pillar – I don’t want the column flexing when the table is at full extension.

The two halves of the pillar.

I glued and cramped the two halves of the pillar together and then planed the majority of the waste off the corners. A pine cap was screwed over the open end so the pillar could be centred on the lathe.

The pillar prepared for turning.

With the pillar mounted in the lathe, I turned what will be the bottom of it to a cylinder in preparation for attaching the three legs.

The partially turned pillar.

The remaining octagonal section will allow me to easily position and cramp the pillar in the vice while I chop out the sliding dovetails for the legs. Once that’s done, I will turn the remainder of the pillar to shape.

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About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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