Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Oh, those pretty legs!

In a much earlier post I mentioned Osborne Wood Products as the provider of the legs I used to make a coffee table for the Docs.  I need to give them another shout-out for recently custom making the most beautiful furniture legs I've worked with!  And, they provide the most wonderful customer service.  If you ever need special legs or fittings be sure to check them out!  Vanessa and Austin were such a great help to me.   Osborne Wood Products (and, no, I don't get paid to say that!)

I didn't get a picture of the legs before I started working - darn.  But following are some pictures of the project in process and completed, but before final finishing.  My friends/clients are having this painted by a professional finisher - thank God!  You know how much I hate painting/staining and anything I would have put on this piece would not have done it justice.  I can't wait to see it finished and will share pictures when I get them, which should be in a few weeks.

The beautiful legs were for a console table that needed to be a specific size to fit perfectly in the dining area of my friends' condo.

So, dimensions are approximately 66" long x 34" tall x 16.5" deep.  It's made with soft maple legs and stretchers.  I used maple boards for everything else but the back and drawer bodies.  For the back I used poplar - it won't be seen, but it still stains or paints well.  The drawers were made with 1/2" plywood and 1/4" ply bottoms.  

This is me making the first cut into the small stretcher.
Custom legs are not cheap - I was really anxious that I not screw up and have to order replacements!
Basic structure complete.
Ready for pick up.

In place at the condo.

Notice the height - it's a few inches higher than the table so once painted, it will not be lost to view.

Plenty of room between the console and chairs - perfect fit thanks to the great design eye of my friend!

Will provide lots of space for small necessities and be perfect for serving or just displaying pretty things!

Check back in a few weeks for pictures of finished table!  
This was the most expensive project I've worked on.  Although lumber is fairly reasonable, those beautiful legs did cost a bit of money.  The thing that put this over the top though was that beautiful stretcher you see above.  Not only did the set-up to create this lovely piece take some special consideration and planning, in order for it to be stable and maintain its structure it had to be made of a hardwood that would be less likely to sag over time - soft maple was the best wood for this project.  Soft maple is actually a very hard wood; the "soft" is more of a category of different maples rather than a description of the wood itself (oh, the things I'm learning!). 

Working with hardwood was really different - and harder - than working with the common lumber types of pine and fir that I usually work with.  Routing bits don't go through this hardwood like it does pine, nails don't shoot in as easily either.  Drilling was even more difficult.  This turned out to be a real learning experience - one that I really enjoyed.  I'm convinced that as long as I'm learning and trying new things, my retirement will be enjoyable and "successful".  It will certainly be colorful - You probably wouldn't have wanted to be around me as I was learning that my router bits were burning my beautiful maple, or when I was pulling out nails that stopped short of burying themselves in the wood.  Unfortunately, I've learned that I can swear like a sailor when I'm frustrated!

Have you learned anything new lately?  Was it frustrating or interesting during the learning process?