Making a Table, Part Three / The Base

Laminated legs

The base of this table is a simple traditional frame, four legs and aprons joined with mortises and tenons, reinforced with glued corner blocks and a central stretcher. The top and base are joined with traditional cabinetmaker's buttons screwed to the top and tongued into a groove milled in the aprons.

Leg mortises

The 3" square legs were built up for thickness and in order to show a consistent grain pattern on all four sides, with the glue joints obscured by their location at the legs' corners. They were tapered with a table saw jig and cleaned up with a hand plane, then mortised on a horizontal slot mortiser.

Tenoning on the shaper

The rails were tenoned with matched diameter cutters on  a sliding table shaper, then haunched to reduce their height on the tablesaw with a dado head. The tenons then were rounded with a rasp to match the round mortises.

Due to the length of the frame, a central stretcher was used to ensure the long rails did not bow. The stretcher was tenoned into the rails. then the end rails to the legs and finally the stretcher/rail assembly was glued to the end frames. Waterborne pva glue (Titebond) was used throughout. The corner joints were buttressed with thoroughly screwed and glued corner blocks. 

 Final glueup

Final glueup

The top and based were stained with lye to accelerate and deepen the natural darkening of black cherry. After numerous coats of Sutherland Welles Hard Oil, the table was assembled with wooden buttons and delivered to its home. It was a good example of a simple traditional design enhanced with exceptional matched lumber.

 

 The finished table

The finished table