Thursday, April 15, 2021

Demilune Table, Part 4: Glue-up, Making the Top and Finishing Up

When we last left our intrepid joiner, the undercarriage had been dry-fit.  Next on the list was to make and apply the apron beading.  This was simple - I put some 1/4" thick material under the apron pieces and use a pair of dividers set at 1/8" to trace a guideline 1/8" away from the front of the apron.  Cut, smooth, round over and glue-up.  The apron pieces were a little long and the ends were trimmed flush with the shoulder of the apron pieces after gluing.

Two apron pieces having the bottom bead glued on

I rehearsed the overall glue-up 3 or 4 times.  It turned out to go fairly smoothly.  Because of the way I laid out, cut and fit the mortises and tenons, I thought there was a good chance that I'd get a leg that looked a little wonky.  But it was a lot of worrying for nothing.

Since few pieces were square to one another, I worked out a way to attach everything together that put very little stress on the joints.  If not done properly, you could end up having to bend things a lot to get the last joint to fit.

The two legs at left with a curved apron and the back were one assembly.
The two legs at right with their two curved aprons were another assembly.
The remaining m&t joints were close to parallel to each other.

Glued up using hide glue and in clamps

I was trying hard not to have to go out and buy more cherry to complete the top.  I had a piece of really nice-looking 7" wide, 6/4 material that I resawed, leaving a 7/8" thick piece and a scant 1/2" piece (after planing).  But I couldn't just edge-glue the thin piece to the thick piece.  I ended up "thickening" the 1/2" piece by face-gluing another board to it.

Used the frame saw to resaw the board.  First time in a long time using this saw.  It's a beast.

Note to self: cover the under-bench plane storage before resawing!

I used my trammel points to mark out the semi-circular top and marked a second semi-circle 1/8" in from the first to guide a subsequent round-over for the curved edge of the top.  In the pic below, you'll notice that the fixed point (center of circle) is 1/4" behind the rear edge of the top.  This was to compensate for the legs being 1/4" smaller in dimension that originally planned.  So the semi-circle was just shy of a half circle.

Marking the half circle

Cutting close to the line with a coping saw (the red blur)

Used a heavy set jack plane to get close to the lines, then spokeshave to finish

The 1/8" secondary layout lines guided a roundover (not yet done)

Buttons were used to attach the top to the undercarriage

And there she is

So far I've put three coats of shellac on the undercarriage and two on the top.  I'll put at least two more on the top, then wax it and put it into service.

I'm very happy with how it came out, but still it feels like the undercarriage is a little flimsy.  Attaching the top will make it more sturdy.  I'm planning to put it out into the sun for a while to quicken the pace of the darkening of the cherry.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Bob. It was a challenging project, for sure. Far more so than I thought it might be.