Lie Nielsen’s Open House and the making of a table top part 6: Dealing with eventualities

After the glue, which secure the dowels dried, I planed the dowel and its surrounding surfaces flush. Then I started to rabbet the boards edges to allow them to fit in into the table frame.



I did not want to connect the board to the frame with fasteners; it was not necessary, as I created an internal rabbet (or lip) on all the table apron/rails which will accept the rabbet on the table top.



But then alas…!
Someone (It probably happen when I took a brake form work and ran to have a brownie and tea) evidently knocked my piece down and a chip of wood broke-of of it.



It was a pity but actually not such a bad one. As it happen often: mistakes and accidents can lead to discoveries. In this case, and instead of trying to embark on a restoration mission (fitting a replacement piece of oak and then planing it down) I decided to change the design a bit. I went on to create a slanted chamfer on all edges. I planed the chamfer until the missing wood chip blended in the angled strip. Before starting to plane the chamfer I scored its parameters. I did it for two reasons: to help me know when to stop planing; and to create a defined transition line between the chamfer and the table top.



You see, it would be very difficult to recognize a  chamfer of such a subtle slanting angel – as an intended design feature – without the border line. When it is difficult to pinpoint a transition between structures or materials, people tend not to notice it…. or worth: think that the maker made a mistake or neglected to think the design through.





American Woodworker Blog
Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.