Friday, November 17, 2017

Bistro Table, Part 1: Design

We have a couple chairs sitting in the front patio of our townhouse that need a small table to go with them.  I don't know if "bistro table" is the correct name for this, but I'm using it anyway.
The location
She got some ideas from small tables we've seen around.
This small table was at a little cafe and we liked the top
This table was at a soccer stadium food area
I liked the base of the second table and the top of the first table.  So I got on Sketchup and worked out some details.
Sketchup model
The table is about 29" tall and the top is 24" diameter.  There are 32 top slats, for no particular reason other than that was how many the table above had and it looked proportionally good when drawn up.

The pedestal base will be made from 1" thick, 2" wide material - I first modeled with 1 1/4" thick, 3" wide material and it looked too clunky.  The uprights have a concave curve that I think will make it look more elegant.
View of pedestal
You can see there will be a ring supporting the top slats.  I'm probably going to make that from 8 pieces, mitered at 22.5° and joined like tongue and groove boards (or maybe more accurately like stub tenon and mortise).

I've been working on the joints of the pedestal.  In the model, they are bridle joined, with the uprights being tenoned into the feet (and top supports).  But I've been experimenting with a mitered bridle joint, that I think might look better.  It's just more tricky to get it to fit right.  So I did some tests in some scrap pine.
Standard bridle joint
Standard bridle joint, disassembled
Mitered bridle joint
Mitered bridle joint, seen from below
Mitered bridle joint, disassembled
Here's what they might look like in the model.
Standard bridle
Mitered bridle
I think the mitered bridle looks better.  But the added complexity might not be worth the effort.  What do you think?

For this project I have the last of some old redwood 2x6 boards that were once a part of a deck.
Raw material - knotty, weathered, painted, ugly,
but I know there's some beautiful redwood inside
Next time I'll get to some construction details.  Enjoy your Thankgiving - hard to believe the holidays are upon us already.