TABLES FOR THE KIDS
Home-grown lumber and fancy parquetry distinguish these great little tables.
SHOP OWNER: Basil Bailey
LOCATION: Lancaster, SC
The table at left is my first project. I gave it to the grandmother of these little girls (see below), out of gratitude for all she did for me when I was a teenager 40 years ago. I made the table of slightly spalted pecan, walnut and maple. It is my own design, if you can call building something this simple out of your head "designing." Grandmother was thrilled and so were the little girls.
I should mention that each diamond in this table and the one below is made in two separate pieces that are at least 1/2-in. thick. This is so the kids can use and enjoy my tables for a long time to come. When they grow up, the tables can be resanded, refinished and restored again and again.
This table was my second project. My little boy said, "Daddy, I want me a pretty table," and here's the one I made him. It's made of spalted hickory, holly, cedar and mulberry, with walnut plugs over the screws.
The table is 18 in. high, 20 in. wide and 30 in. long. The legs and table skirt are at 10 degrees in both directions to give the base greater dimensions than the top for safety.
The legs are attached with (7) #8 x 2-in. screws and Titebond glue. I purposely didn't round over the edges on the legs and table skirt in the area of the glue joint to provide more glue surface--8 sq. in. of glue surface and 9 screws in each corner. These areas are not exposed anyway.
The benches measure 9 in. high x 10 in. wide x 26 in. long. Their legs are also mounted at 10 degrees for safety. There is a strip of wood (1 x 1 1/2) on the underside of each bench to help attach the legs and give more strength. I drove three screws directly into each leg and three into the strip for a total of 18 screws in each bench and 4 sq. in. of glue surface for each leg.
I'm proudest of the walnut plugs, which I made with a pocket knife, a hammer and a 7/16-in. coarse-thread nut. To make a short story long, I live in a small town where you can't find anything for hobby woodworking. I couldn't get walnut dowel rod and didn't want to order it. After a whole day and several failed attempts at other methods to get 18 in. of the proper size walnut dowel rod, I just trimmed down a 1/2-in.-sq. rod with a knife, then drove it through a 7/16-in. coarse-thread nut. This method gave me a perfect snug fit. Fifty cents' worth of dowel rod for eight hours work ain't bad; I've worked for less! (hahaha)
The top is made of 1/2-in.-thick blocks of holly, cedar, and mulberry. The frame, legs and benches are made of spalted hickory. The finish is Cabot's polyurethane. I think this design is pretty simple to build, it's strong and stable, and most importantly, it makes kids proud to have one.
I made the table at right from some spalted maple I have. I glued up a panel just to have a look at the maple and get my wife's opinion. Now she wants a coffee table and two end tables made from it.
The table has only sanding sealer on it in this picture. I'm working on two benches to go with the table, then I plan to give it away....Basil Bailey
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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081