Federal Card Table -- Finished Pictures

creasman

Jim
User
What technique did you use to get the curves on the aprons?
I first glued up the substrate from the pine. After that I sawed the curve on the band saw leaving just a hint of the line. The hammer veneer requires the surface to be pretty flat for a good application. In this case I was making sure the curve flowed continuously and was flat across the grain. I used a small plane working across the grain on the convex sections and a scraper for the concave portions. A compass plane would have bee the right tool for this, but I don't own one -- yet.

Once I was satisfied the surface was even I took an old hack saw blade and roughed it to help the glue. Normally, you might use a toothing plane for this job before veneering, but the hack saw blade was the only way to get around the curves. Since the curve exposes end grain in places I applied a wash coat of hot glue to act as a sealer. This prevents the end grain from drying too quickly once you start the veneer.

The veneer was applied in small sheets. The sides each have three and the front has four. The layout is important so that the seams end up in the right place. I book matched the sheets and made sure they were from contiguous slices for the best possible match. Let each sheet overlap the next slightly then slice through both as you're veneering to get a perfect joint. Needless to say I practiced all this on a sample curve before doing the real ones. @danmart77 was my mentor for the veneering.

Here's a view that shows the curved side apron during glue up.
IMG_2246.JPG
 

creasman

Jim
User
What technique did you use to get the curves on the aprons?
I first glued up the substrate from the pine. After that I sawed the curve on the band saw leaving just a hint of the line. The hammer veneer requires the surface to be pretty flat for a good application. In this case I was making sure the curve flowed continuously and was flat across the grain. I used a small plane working across the grain on the convex sections and a scraper for the concave portions. A compass plane would have bee the right tool for this, but I don't own one -- yet.

Once I was satisfied the surface was even I took an old hack saw blade and roughed it to help the glue. Normally, you might use a toothing plane for this job before veneering, but the hack saw blade was the only way to get around the curves. Since the curve exposes end grain in places I applied a wash coat of hot glue to act as a sealer. This prevents the end grain from drying too quickly once you start the veneer.

The veneer was applied in small sheets. The sides each have three and the front has four. The layout is important so that the seams end up in the right place. I book matched the sheets and made sure they were from contiguous slices for the best possible match. Let each sheet overlap the next slightly then slice through both as you're veneering to get a perfect joint. Needless to say I practiced all this on a sample curve before doing the real ones. @danmart77 was my mentor for the veneering.

Here is a picture of the curved side apron during glue up.
IMG_2246.JPG
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Wow, you put the inlay and stringing on more than just the front face of the legs. I had never seen different views of a card table like this, so I assumed you only had to decorate one face of the legs. I am impressed. Very fine craftsmanship.

Did you use a vacuum bag for the veneering or hammer veneered it?

Roy G
 

creasman

Jim
User
Did you use a vacuum bag for the veneering or hammer veneered it?
It's hammer veneered. I have a vacuum bag, but trying to learn the "old ways". Regarding the inlay a lot (most) of the period examples I studied only have the inlay on the front and side of the legs that would be visible. It's not usually found on the back side, but somehow this just didn't seem right to me. Here's an example from the Colonial Williamsburg Museum. Not the best quality photo, but you can see no oval or stringing is applied on the back. The banding stops at the corner as well. Makes sense if you're making a piece to sell. Buyer probably doesn't want to pay for what they will seldom see.
1585670826249.png
 

creasman

Jim
User
It is so nice, I wouldn't know where to put it.
You raise an interesting point that I believe is somewhat of a challenge for all woodworkers. There is often a tension between the choice of object I want to build and the need for such an object. Period furniture is a good example. The design and utility is for another time and doesn't always translate to our modern world without adaptions. In the case of the card table I altered the design to add a drawer -- something you're not likely to find in an original. This was so it could be used as a desk since we rarely, if ever, play cards. Regardless, I was determined to build it as much because of the style and challenges offered rather than its utility.

There is a quote by William Morris that I've kept in mind ever since I first read it years ago in college. He was a bit of a renaissance man in 19th century England. While I do not agree with much of his world view, this thought has guided my furniture making endeavors, "have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
 

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