Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pedestals

Well, now we're getting down to the nitty gritty - the pedestals for this table.

After a whole lot of searching for the "right" pieces, these two were chosen. The problem? Wasn't sure if they'd be sound enough to use for their intended purpose. The one on the left was really punky. A lot of dry rot. Hoping the core was sound and that there'd be enough of it left after grinding to be usable. The one on the right didn't survive a forest fire. The charring in places was over an inch in depth. Again, wasn't sure it'd be salvageable, but was hopeful.


Bark stripped from pedestal number one. Dry rot deeper than anticipated. Oh, well. Keep going and see what happens.


A LOT of worm holes I'd like to keep, if possible. Adds character to the piece.


Lots of grinding, lots of dust in the shop - still too cold to do this outside. Couldn't save the worm holes. The wood was just too soft in those areas, and would eventually cause some problems down the road. Pretty nice looking piece, though, if I do say so myself.


Eyeballing the second pedestal. Not so sure I even want to try saving this one. Oh, what the heck - give it a try!



Results, results, results. This one really surprised me. There are a couple of structural issues involving cracks that I'll need to address, but overall, this one definitely has appeal.


In looking at the two, the ends intended to be the tops are too small to provide stability for the tabletop. That dang thing is heavy! Don't want someone getting up from the table putting their weight on it to help lift and winding up with the table tipping over into their lap!

What to do? What to do? Aha! Make a crown! It'll involve cutting each pedestal down a bit, and planing the tops and bottoms again, but this should work!


The trick is in finding pieces that come relatively close to matching the pedestals. Not as easy as it sounds! Luckily, two pieces were available, and the fun began.


To plane them down using the router planer, each piece had to be secured to a 2x6 and then secured to the table. No movement! That's a good sign, for sure!


Adjust the height of the sled, and we're ready to rock and roll.


Set the crowns on top of the pedestals, and whaddya know - just under 31 inches total. Leaves some wiggle room to play with in getting the overall table height down to the 28-29 inch goal.



Next step was to attach the crown to the bottom. Luckily, three pipe clamps did the trick. One short dowel helped guide the location of each crown. Some popping and cracking along with a whole lot of glue seeping out all over everything, and everything is good to go.


I mentioned earlier there was a large crack that needed attention. The solution? Drill a very deep hole and use a long lag screw and lots of glue to snug the two sides of the crack back together. In order to accommodate the screw, a larger hole had to be bored out to hide it. Once that was done, more glue into the void along with a dowel used as a plug.


Once the glue set, it was a simple procedure to cut off the dowel and sand it flush to the contour of the pedestal.


And here are the results of all that effort.




And here is the second pedestal also ground down to look almost like the crown and the pedestal were meant for each other.



Tools used were the angle grinder pictured above and a long necked electric die grinder. Switching from the angle grinder chainsaw wheel to flap sander happened more than once in this process, and the results were more than satisfactory. The grinding attachments for the die grinder included a round carbide tipped ball and a longer, narrower 2 inch carbide tipped crevice rod (shown in photo above). One of my next investments will be to get a couple of fine grit grinding attachments as these two are course and leave way too many striations that I can't get to with any kind of sander including my hands.

Next post will include more progress on the pedestals.