There’s progress on our table!
and I measured and cut 8 tenons (two per apron plank) last week.
These are apparently the easy part. Even though I was comfortable doing calculations, scoring, and marking, I was pretty nervous about making such crucial cuts. Thankfully, my brother wasn’t nervous at all and did a fine job. 🙂
It was essential that they were cut well to ensure they’d fit snugly inside the mortises.
We decided to save money on the (pine) legs and (poplar) apron, so they’ll receive coats of fresh, white paint.
It seems to be a trend to build your own furniture from pine or other cheap soft woods, then stain it.
Luckily for me, Dad educated me about the difference in finish on soft and hardwoods. That blotchy, uneven look is not really desirable in the world of woodworking, apparently.
Since I wanted a natural wood finish on at least part of the table, we’ll construct the top from a hardwood, stain it, and seal it. We’re settling for hard maple, which is a cheaper hardwood that will still be suitable for a tabletop. 🙂 This wood will accept a stain more evenly than pine or poplar, and (theoretically) hold up a little better over time.
Maple is apparently still tricky to finish. So far, I’ve ready that seasoning the wood (from about.com: “[wood should be] acclimatized to the environmental surroundings in which the project will be used permanently”), sanding with progressively finer sandpaper (giving special care to the edges), and using a pre-stain conditioner will help to minimize uneven absorption.
I’m so thankful to have two guys with years of experience, plenty of know-how, and willingness to spend hours blessing me. 🙂