Episode #17: Porringer Tea Table – Part 6

In this episode I finish up the base of the table. I start by assembling the aprons to the legs, then I make, attach and shape the knee blocks. I’m getting close to putting the done stamp on this one. Now if I can just manage to get a finish I like on the test boards, I’d be home free!



10 thoughts on “Episode #17: Porringer Tea Table – Part 6

  1. Thanks for taking the time to make such awesome tutorials. You have a beautiful way of working, and I have learned a lot from your work!

    (In particular, seeing how to do layout with a story stick was a revelation.)

    • Federico,
      Thanks for the comment! It is very nice being able to work precisely, all while not relying on a ruler.

  2. Hi Bob. So if I understand correctly, the knee block material came from the top end of the leg blanks prior to shaping the legs. I assume each leg yielded two blocks each. If this is correct, do you make any effort to match the knee blocks to the legs they originally came from and do you try to orient them the same as you chose to orient the legs? I realize you’re gluing end grain to end grain, but I’m talking about matching the way the rift saw grain is going in the leg. Or doesn’t it make any difference?

    Thanks for another great lesson.

    • Vince,
      Yes, I typically try to cut my leg blanks long enough to get two knee blocks from the top of each leg blank. In the case of this table, I made a mistake in my layout in my haste to film the episode and only left enough stock to get one knee block from each leg blank, so I had to make up the second knee block for each leg from some other stock. However, I do label each knee block to keep it with the leg blank it was cut from and I do try to orient the end grain of the knee block so it flows with the grain of the leg. This keeps the lines more consistent. Someimes it doesn’t work out that I can orient the end grain the same though. What is important is that the long grain of the knee block flow with the long grain of the leg as best as possible. Sometimes though, you just can’t get a good match, no matter how hard you try. Then you just do the best you can with the stock you have available.

  3. I have enjoyed this table build emensly, I can’t say it enough. I am anticipating the next(last) episode. Just out of curiosity, I noticed the table rocking on your bench top. Is it the bench or the table thats not flat?

    • Kip,
      The table base has a slight twist, about 1/16″. It can be fixed after by marking each of the pads and planing the high ones until it sits flat on the bench. It will be unnecessary for mine though as it’s going in a plush carpeted area which will take up the unevenness.

  4. Hi Bob–I’m loving this series, thanks for posting! Just wondering if hot or cold hide glue will swell a wooden joint in the same way as pva? Maybe not so much of an issue if you’re working quicker (seems like the open time is not very long at all)?

    • Michael,
      The hide glue will swell the tenons slightly just like PVA as it is a water solved glue. However, this isn’t much of a concern as I like my joinery to fit with hand pressure only. I find that if I have to hammer a joint home (before the glue is added), it’s too tight. If I can assemble the dry joint with hand pressure only, it comes together perfectly once the hide glue is added. In addition, I’ve read that hide glue likes a small glue line, unlike PVA, which, according to the manufacturer, requires high clamping pressure to cure full strength. Hide glue requires no clamps to cure full strength, so it lends itself well to things like rub joints. It does begin to gel fast, but if I need more open time, like for a complicated carcass assembly, I’ll use liquid hide glue, which has a much longer open time than hot.

  5. Hello Bob, I’ve stumbled upon your blog recently and think it is one of the best woodworking resources on the internet. I’ve watched about 15 hours worth of videos this month already. Question: When you glue up boards to make wide panels what kind of glue do you use and what kind of clamps and clamping pressure.

    • Hi Stan,
      Thanks! And welcome!

      I’m kind of partial to hide glue, in both hot and liquid forms. That’s not to say I never use anything else, but 95% of the time I’m using one of these two forms of hide glue.

      As for clamps, hide glue requires little in terms of clamping pressure, so when I glue up a panel I typically use just 2 or 3 cheap “F” style clamps. I’m hoping to make some historically accurate panel clamps in the coming year to replace these, but for now, that’s what I use. Often with hide glue a rub joint is sufficient and no clamps are needed at all.

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