Sunday, April 13, 2014

Back in Sequence - more on the Pedestals

Even with the "crowns" placed on top of each of the two pedestals, the concern over balance (or lack thereof) is still there. The tabletop is very heavy, and if someone were to place their hands on the edge to help themselves get up from their chair, the whole thing could tip right over.

The solution? Well, Katherine took a walk up to the shop to see how things were coming along, and came up with idea of "fusing" the two pedestals together to make one central piece. After positioning and re-positioning the tow pieces about a hundred times, they did seem to fit together pretty well. Brilliant idea, Katherine!

Problem was they didn't fit together well enough naturally in order to attach them to each other with any degree of permanence.

So, grinding and shaping looked to be the only way to get the nooks and crannies to fit together well enough to work. First step - scribe some contours and use the lines as guides for the angle grinder.

Not only for the top, but also where the branches and other concave/convex contours wouldn't allow for symmetrical meshing.

Even on the bottom of the two pieces, contouring had to be done.

After several hours of wrestling with some pretty unwieldy and uncooperative pieces turning them over and over, grinding, trying to fit them together, more grinding, trying again to fit them together, still more grinding, the final results were satisfactory - not great, but satisfactory.

Some additional top and bottom planing will need to be done. If you look really close, the tops do not align perfectly with each other anymore - a result of the two pieces not fitting together perfectly.

Decisions, decisions - should dowels and glue be used to attach the two together? Or should very long lag screws be drilled into the two to hold them together.

It didn't take long to figure out dowels would be problematic in getting them aligned perfectly if more than one were to be used.

So, long lag screws saved the day. Luckily, I have a very long drill bit to use in these instances - just have to be careful NOT to drill all the way through. The final step in this process will be to bore out a little larger hole to accommodate the screw heads and then plug the holes with dowels. Not the most ideal scenario, but the only one I could see that would work.

The last thing to consider before planing them level again is how much to actually take off both the top and the bottom. With the screws in, it is very solid with neither piece moving even a little bit - very tight and secure.

Even with the joining that took place, there's still some concern about the possibility of tipping. That begs the question, then, of whether or not to mount the now single pedestal to a larger round base to stabilize it further and give it more weight. If I do that, more will need to be taken off the top and bottom.

What do you think? What should I do?