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Chet

Not My Coffee Table Project

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I started a new project/adventure yesterday.  Of the four, my 10 year old grand daughter is the grand kid that has always shown the desire to learn woodworking, she is also the youngest.   The intelligent questions that come out of her mouth can stun a college professor.

So I decided to ask her what she would like to build, you know bird house, napkin holder, those kind of things.  Nope, that wasn't going to work, she said with no hesitation I want to build a coffee table for my mom and dad.   So that is the project.  We spent some time looking at pictures of coffee tables on the internet, after we got some ideas we drew up a design and I showed her how to make a cut list.  Then off to the lumber yard.

Yesterday in the shop we rough cut all the pieces, jointed and planned them and then stickered them for a couple of days.

She is a quick learner and understands the process of being safe so when I took each of these pictures I had her turn the tool off so I could take the picture with out worrying about her safety at the same time.  When she was putting pieces through the planer, my wife took the pictures because I was catching for her.  The only thing my grand daughter didn't want to do was running the pieces through the jointer so I did that for her and I was glad that she was willing to make a decision like that instead of thinking she "had to" do everything.

Laying out the parts with a tape measure and chalk.

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Rough cutting with the jig saw.

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Ripping the pieces to rough width on the bandsaw.

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Running them through the planer.

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And sticking the parts.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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Now that is darn cool Chet. Great experience for both of you! 

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Good for you Chet! She will learn so much during this project, way more than she could from a class at school. Plus when she is older it will be a constant reminder of time spent with grandpa!

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Some of the greatest memory’s with my grand dad is helping him with projects in his basement. I was a senior in high school he got a big kitchen cabinet project we did together. Still til this day every time some one ask me about a project I’m working on he will bring up that job. I think it meant as much to him as it does to me now. At the time is was just a job. Now it’s a great memory. So keep it up Chet it will mean even more to both of you as the years go by. 

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Not to much to show for today but the first thing she did was rip the top pieces to width to get ready for glue up.

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Then a little lay out for Dominos to help with the glue up.

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Then she practiced using the Domino on some scrap.

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Then on to the actual thing.

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Then it was time for some glue.

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...and into the clamps.

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After this she practiced cutting curves on the band saw and then cleaning the curves up on the spindle sander.

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and then the spoke shave.

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After this and some lunch we took the top out of the clamps and cleaned up some squeeze out and ran it through the drum sander, and I didn't get any pictures of that.

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She learned how to do an epoxy fill on some small knots in the top.

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And she learned that everyday, at the end of the day the shop gets cleaned up.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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This is absolutely awesome!  This young lady is doing a fabulous job and has a great teacher!  Well done!

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We started of today by cutting the legs and aprons to final length.

First she trued up one end of all the legs using the cross cut sled.

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Set up a stop block to cut them to final length.

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Here she was learning how to check the setup of the stop block for correct length before cutting the long aprons to final size.

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And making the cuts.

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Next we did all the joinery for the legs and aprons.  For this we used Dominos.  I forgot to take pictures of this because I was enjoying watching how well she has adapted to using this machine in such a short period of time.   If anyone is interested in how we decided to use dominos for this instead of a more traditional mortise and tenon joint for her first project, let me know and I will be happy to share it with you.

This is the first dry fit of the project.  This brought a real smile to my face to see her work on her first project come together this well.  The table looks chunky right now but we still have to add some curves to the aprons and legs and a chamfer to the underside of the top among other things.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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I'm in complete awe with how she's handling the "big boy" tool and looks like a pro!  A good teacher for sure!  

I'm interested in why you chose the domino..  I think I know the story but, I'd like to hear..

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39 minutes ago, Kev said:

I'm interested in why you chose the domino..

We pulled out both the router and domino.  With out any bits in either one of the tools and no power I had her go through the steps of using each tool.  Using the domino she can use more of her body mass behind the plunging process.  With the router she was struggling with the plunge.  You don't realize as an adult that it is more of an upper body strength to plunge the router.  I wanted her to get the most experience and do as close to 100% of the work that was safe and humanly possible for her so she would come away feeling like she built the project, I didn't want her feeling like she was just helping grandpa.  So far the only thing I have done is anything requiring the jointer.

47 minutes ago, Kev said:

I think I know the story but, I'd like to hear..

How close was I to your thinking? 😉


“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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2 minutes ago, Chet said:

We pulled out both the router and domino.  With out any bits in either one of the tools and no power I had her go through the steps of using each tool.  Using the domino she can use more of her body mass behind the plunging process.  With the router she was struggling with the plunge.  You don't realize as an adult that it is more of an upper body strength to plunge the router.  I wanted her to get the most experience and do as close to 100% of the work that was safe and humanly possible for her so she would come away feeling like she built the project, I didn't want her feeling like she was just helping grandpa.  So far the only thing I have done is anything requiring the jointer.

How close was I to your thinking? 😉

I'll fully admit that I was way off!  I'm also impressed!

I was thinking about doing the tenons and she seems like a pro at the table saw!  I didn't think about the mortises and what you said makes perfect sense!

I'm impressed because the project has been this thought out, rehearsed, and practiced to pull it off for such a young person to perform the tasks!  Well done!

Next questions..  Tapering the legs?  Curves in the aprons?  It's looking awesome!

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19 minutes ago, Kev said:

Tapering the legs?

No. They will have a slight curve ending wider at the bottom.

 

20 minutes ago, Kev said:

Curves in the aprons?

Yes.

This is the table legs that she liked off an internet picture although her table will be taller.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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That child is a natural! And I agree with Kev, she has a great and patient teacher. I’d love to see her comments on the build, in 1,000 words or less! 

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34 minutes ago, Chet said:

 

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Ok,  now I'm blown away!  Such a unique leg design!

Beautiful design!  So many things to to catch the eye!  All of this without altering the top!  Absolutely brilliant!

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this is an amazing project!! I cant wait until my kids, hopefully, want to start learning the craft! 

 

Also, great look design on the table as well. Cant wait to see the end product! 

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