200+ Year Old Pub Table

Finally construction is complete. After a few revisions and re-dos on the main pedestal parts I have finally completed the assembly.  See what happens when creativity and schedules collide?  Creativity can sometimes win.  I didn’t like the way the top section of the pedestal turned out. The pedestal is taller or longer than my current lathe will allow, so I had to build the pedestal in sections.  I did not like the proportions of the upper section to the other sections of the pedestal.

This was totally my own doing.  I was in a hurry to complete this project and went straight to the lathe with the glued up blanks.  Instead, I should have laid out my plan of attack and completed a full size drawing.  I guess I  am falling into a trap of sorts, due to the economy. Everyone wants work done faster and cheaper these days, so we try and cut corners to make ends meet.  So back to the drawing board I had to go and re-think the upper section.  Now that it is complete,  I believe rebuilding the top section was justified.

With the pedestal assembled I turned my attention to the 36″ diameter top.  I had already rough cut the boards and set them aside.  These boards have been allowed to acclimate to the shops environment for several weeks now.  I joined several boards together to make up the width for the top.  After gluing up and cutting the blank into a circle on my band saw, I addressed the final edge treatment.  I wanted the edge to be smooth but not ornate, so I eased the upper edge slightly and rounded over the lower edge with a 1/4″ beading bit.  As you can see from the photos, there are several dovetail patches or “Dutchmen” as they are called.  Dutchman are patches or repairs to a surface to hide blemishes.  Dovetail Dutchman have traditionally been used to keep two adjoining boards together.  In this top they are only a 1/4″ deep and hide the existing holes  left over from drilling into the old beams at some point in their former life.

Now that all the construction is complete I have applied a coat of diluted shellac to reduce the checking as the w00d continues to dry.  Even lumber 200+ years old continues to dry out when you expose previously interior wood surfaces to the atmosphere.  Over the next couple of days, maybe weeks, I will make up color samples for the final finish.  My gut is telling me to just finish sand the table and apply a couple coats of dark paste wax.  We shall see who wins.[slideshow]