Fumed White Oak

fumed oak09 fumed oak08 fumed oak05 fumed oak06 fumed oak07 fumed oak04 fumed oak03 fumed oak02 fumed oak01 fumed oak10DSC_0360DSC_0372 fumed oak11 fumed oak12 fumed oak13 fumed oak14 fumed oak20 fumed oak19 fumed oak23 fumed oak22 fumed oak24 fumed oak17 fumed oak16
The above are eight turned pieces from a single 24″ section of a 24″ diameter white oak from Boaz, Kansas. The tree fell over and across the Van Horn Branch Creek about 10 years ago- We finally pulled the log out 2 years ago, and it has laid in my log pile since then, although I did mill a portion of it. The heart wood is still green, so these bowls were turned green and allowed to warp as they dried. Ultimately all the pieces were exposed to ammonia vapors (fumed) which reacted to the tannins in the wood, darkening the surfaces.

Champion Table Build, Part 4: Base & Arc

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preparing to fit the base to the leg assembly
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defining a semicircle with 3 saw cuts
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3 saw cuts get refined into facets with a paring chisel
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and again
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then shaped with a rasp
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the base of one of the leg assemblies after the 1/2 lap-tapered dado has been cut
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here, mated with the white oak leg
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a different piece of white oak being shaped with a rasp, one of three slats joining the top of the leg assemblies together and to the table top
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the slats also receive a long bevel
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the slats will rest in the notches being cut into the top of this leg section
base arc11
clearing out material from the notch with a 1″ chisel
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establishing the final depth with a router plane
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here the slats are temporarily in place
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an arsenal of shaping tools to begin sculpting the legs
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shaping inside-curves of the leg assembly with an aggressive rasp
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forming a radius where the legs meet the base
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the preliminary drawings had a horizontal stretcher connecting the two leg assemblies at floor level. Having rough-shaped the components and taking a look, I started visualizing an arc instead. PVC pipe (already bent from a previous life in some low garden tunnels) offered a quick prototype to help see how it would look.
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the arc made sense, so now setting about squaring up a white oak timber for re-sawing
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re-sawn white oak and a glue-lamination form ready to make an arc
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the glue lamination in the form- my 8 year old son was indispensable in this process, helping to roll glue, assemble, and clamp
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rhythm is in unity to woodwork
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the white oak timber, reconfigured as a messy arc
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work for the jack plane
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now the smoothing plane
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cutting the tapers along the length of the arc at the band saw
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marking the taper at the width
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cutting the taper at the width
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more elbow grease with the smoothing plane
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shaping the many curves and facets along the arc, first with a drawknife
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then with spokeshave
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establishing details with knife
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facets ease into curves
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test fitting- some refining-shaping to go yet
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setting the location of the chamfers on the leg-base
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shaving away rasp markings
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carving corner transitions
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so many details to bring together- here the leg base is about done.

That’s it for this round- next week there will be lots of sanding, also carving and inlay work as the table finally starts to become unified. Thank you to everyone for following along, and for your encouraging comments.

The Champion Table Build, Part 3: Leg Joinery

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flattening walnut stock with a wooden joiner for the top rails of the leg assembly
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using winding-sticks to make sure there is no twist in the board
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finishing up with a #7 jack plane
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squaring up the remaining edges and dimensioning the walnut on the bandsaw
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layout lines
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initial shaping of the curves on the top rail of the legs
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testing it against the table-top
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sawing lengths of white-oak for the vertical posts of the leg assembly
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the white oak after squaring-up
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testing the concept and a few angles before committing
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laying out the leg joints
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establishing the sliding dovetail angle with a knife
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cutting the front of the sliding dovetail
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all the bandsaw work done, now the hand-tools will finish
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paring the back cheek of the tenon
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the joint is most of the way there- the waste between the mortise and the dovetail is yet to be removed
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the four white oak legs all cut
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the arsenal of tools to accurately transfer the dimensions of the tenon/ dovetails onto the walnut rails
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starting the cut for the sliding dovetail socket with a carcass saw
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another view cutting sliding dovetail sockets
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chopping out the waste in the socket
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paring the sidewalls unreached by the saw
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using a router plane to achieve an accurate floor of the joint- the leg on the cutter allows it to reach the angled corners
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another view of the router-plane
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starting the mortise with a 3/4 mortise chisel
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the first row is delicate- just establishing the shape and protecting the corners
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going the full depth of the mortise with an auger – you can see the round-topped sliding dovetail socket parallel to the mortise
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squaring the mortise the rest of the way with the mortise chisel
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cleaning the sidewalls with my extra-big paring chisel
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thank God, they fit!
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step one is successful- to get to this point took endless drawings and two complete practice joints and a lot of patience
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marking the leg rails for some shaping/ sculpting cuts on the band saw
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the top rails post rough-shaping, and the taper of one of the white-oak legs marked with blue tape
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dry re-assembly just to make sure
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the glue-up
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next week will concern the joining of the bottom rail and the final shaping of the leg assemblies

Der Aufbau des Champion-Tisches, Teil 2: Rand

Champion Table Build Part219
surface preparation with a Stanley #80 scraper
Champion Table Build Part218
the swirly walnut grain is difficult to plane but the scraper is able to deal with it efficiently
Champion Table Build Part201
beginning to fit the side rails and bread-board ends
Champion Table Build Part203
marking the end cuts with a sharp knife
Champion Table Build Part202
then creating a shoulder along that line with a chisel assures a clean cut without tearing the grain
Champion Table Build Part204
cutting along the shoulder with a sharp crosscut saw
Champion Table Build Part206
a small array of saws to do this job
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cutting the central breadboard tenon
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coming up to the other side with a pull-saw
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both ends of the table are now cut
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cutting the base of the tenon “cheeks”
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really no other position to accurately make this cut
Champion Table Build Part211
cutting away the “cheeks”
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the finished tenon, and a groove has been cut to receive a floating tongue to align the breadboard
Champion Table Build Part213
laying out the positions of the mortise and tenons on the side rails and breadboards
Champion Table Build Part214
cutting the tenon on the side rails
Champion Table Build Part216
checking for a tight fit. the side rails are attached with glued tongue and groove joints, while the breadboards are “floating”, held in place by a tongue and groove joint and two “draw-bored” mortise and tenon joints, which will allow for expansion and contraction where the grain intersects perpendicular rather than parallel, yet holding the boards tight to the edge of the table. Two opposing corners are pinned miters and the other two are mortised.  imagine the table being able to expand in width along the length of the two boards left long to see the allowance for seasonal cross grain movement.
Champion Table Build Part220
treating the edges before the final assembly
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drilling for the dowels for the pinned miter joints where the live edges come together
Champion Table Build Part221
a brad point drill marks the center of the tenon inside
Champion Table Build Part222
re-marking the tenon with an offset so that the dowel pin will “draw” it tight to the edge of the table.  the holes will be elongated laterally to allow for joint movement.
Champion Table Build Part223
altering geometry with violence
Champion Table Build Part224
shaping the dowel pins by pounding the straight oak through a succession of smaller holes drilled in a steel plate until they are round and the size I need
Champion Table Build Part225
nearly there
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a batch of pins
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planing a taper
Champion Table Build Part228
the taper will allow the pin to engage the offset hole in the tenon and slowly pull it tight
Champion Table Build Part230
pounding the pins home for the final assembly
Champion Table Build Part229
a little help form a ratchet strap to pull the center tight
Champion Table Build Part232
cutting away the exposed ends with a saw
Champion Table Build Part233
a tightly pinned joint
Champion Table Build Part234
the top all joined. there will be a considerable amount of detail work on the top yet, but first the base


The Champion Table Build, Part 1: Compose, Scribe and Fit

Champion Table Scribe02
the beauty of God’s edge
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composing pieces
Champion Table Scribe01
flattening black walnut with a router and jig
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more looking, more composing
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smoothing and shaping edges
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smoothing and joining white oak
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assembling white oak panels
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white oak and black walnut adjusted and clamped for scribing
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knife scribing every curve
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the white oak panel marked and ready to cut
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rough cutting on the bandsaw, staying about 1/16th to 1/8th away from the scribed line
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cutting the line deeper
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paring away the waste to establish a shoulder along the scribe-line
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making the shoulders broad and deep
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chopping and paring right up to the line
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the shoulder becomes a jig to cut the rest of the piece right to the line using a pattern bit and router
Champion Table Scribe18
after cutting a slot for a floating tenon, dry-fitting pieces
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the floating tenons cut and laid out
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tenons glued in
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glued and clamped
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joining and smoothing the new edges
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on to the next step…