Noob woodworking: Table Project

Table legs next to my taper jig.

I’ve decided to give woodworking a try, and for my first project I am making a knitting machine table.  Last week I went to Lowe’s and bought the wood, stain, and varnish.  I started out by cutting the legs from 2 X 4’s since they really didn’t have the exact wood I needed.  I ripped the 2 X 4’s into the 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ pieces I needed and tapered them using my taper jig from Rockler.  I then drilled the dowel holes with my drill press.  So far everything seemed to be going ok.

Today I decided to put the legs and the apron pieces together and stain everything before assembling the tabletop.  I cut my first apron piece and had my first woodworking noob mistake:  the wood I bought for the apron was lacking 1/2″ in width, so the holes I drilled for the dowels weren’t going to work.  After some cursing, I decided to go out to my shed to see if there were any pine boards that I could use to cut new pieces for the apron from instead of making another trip to Lowe’s.  Luckily, there was a long board in the shed, but it was in really rough shape.  I needed practice ripping boards anyway, so I decided to try to make do with the rough piece of lumber I found.

Luck was with me, underneath the rough exterior of the board was some nice useable product!  I managed to cut the old boards into the dimensions I needed without destroying them.  I was pretty pleased!

Before and after ripping on my table saw


Closer look.
Improvised jig

After getting these boards cut, I had to drill my holes for my dowels in the ends.  I rigged a quick jig by taking a piece I cut from the end of an apron and measured the hole locations.  I then nailed two small pieces of scrap to two edges so it would fit square on the end of the apron pieces.  Next investment will probably be a real jig for doing this, my solution was neither pretty nor elegant.

It was finally time to break out the glue and clamps to start putting this thing together!  I inserted my dowels into my glue-filled holes only to discover noob mistake #2!  I had drilled the holes on the wrong side of the legs!  Argh!  I got my tub of wood putty to fill in the holes, and will hopefully be ready to sand down and re-drill on the CORRECT side in a couple of hours!

NOOB! : )




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