Saturday, March 30, 2019

American Trestle Table - Part VIII - Tusk Wedges

Short version: I made a couple of flat sticks prettier!
Completed wedges.
Long version:  While I'm in Spain and the table is in Germany, I can make some wedges for the tusk tenons that will hold the connecting trestle securely.

The tenon on the trestle is about 3/4", so the wedge should be about 1/3 of that. 1/4", however, seems pretty flimsy for this stout table. Therefore I pulled out a piece of ebony from my stash that finishes out to about 3/8". I think this will be just fine in the end. If not, I'll just plane them down a bit more when I fit them.
Hunk of 3/8" ebony from my stash.
I think if I had thought this out ahead of time, I would have made the mortises a bit wider to take a beefier tenon. I think a 3/8" wedge would do better in a tenon that is around 1 1/8" thick.

Too late now.

It should be fine in the end. If not, I can always cut off the tusks and mount the tenon in the mortise permanently like Christopher Schwarz did in his article.

I started by smoothing out the bandsawn surface on the ebony I chose for the first wedge. It turns out it was a bit figured, and very difficult to plane. I got there in the end.

At first, I was going to try to get two wedges from this one stick, but decided not to be stingy. I had some more of this thickness of ebony, so I pulled out another one, and cross cut it to length.

This time, I smoothed an edge, and drew out the final angle of the wedge on the rough face, and ripped it to final shape. This made smoothing it a bit easier, because there was less material to work with.
The second blank on top of the first.
After smoothing out the second blank, I realized it has a lot more blond wood in it than the first. I have another piece which matches this one, so let's get it out and look...
The third blank, with a nasty hork in the middle.
This one has a nasty dent in the middle, which I could not avoid. Instead, I lined up the first wedge, which is about 7 1/2" long, and put that defect right in the middle. It will be buried in the tenon, so will never be seen.

After crosscutting it where I wanted, I marked the wedge shape from the first one one the rough surface again. The shape is about one inch rise in 12 inches of length.
Ripping the wedge shape on the rough blank.
After the edges were smoothed out, I smoothed the faces.
Artsy smooth planing photography. - With my phone.
After all that, I have two very nice looking, unique wedge blanks. This wood should look really cool with the cherry table.
Getting there. I even put some wax on one side to see what it will look like.
I had considered making some angular designs to match the feet of the table, but in the end I decided strength was needed where it will be whacked with who-knows-what kind of hammer when it is set. I settled on a rather plain looking roundover, which should look perfectly fine with this table.
10 ct. for the toe, a whole Euro for the heel!
I drew a profile using coins as a template, then I used my paring chisel to remove most of the waste.
Paring was quicker than sawing.
I then clamped the two pieces together, and finished the roundover shape with a rasp, a file and then through the sandpaper grits to 320.
Starting the roundover shape with a rasp.

Finishing it with sandpaper.
One makes do with whatever workholding is available. This worked fine.
After this, all I did was gently break the arises with sandpaper, and slather on some of my famous Mediterranean Sea Water Sun Bleached wax blend.

I think they will look nice.
Glamour shot.
Next time I'm in Germany, I'll fit these bad boys to the trestle.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI 
Part VII

1 comment:

  1. I think those wedges are going to look great on the finished table, nice work! Also I have to say the name for your wax is awesome, you could definitely market that to customers.