Type case low table, part one

03 Oct 2015

Type case low table, part one

Type case low table

I am trying to finish up a couple of long-stalled projects these days, and this one has been stalled for almost the longest. It is, however, a project I’d really like to finish and start living with!

The idea is simple: build a small, low, unobtrusive table out of an antique type case. The case itself will be a pull-out drawer that sits under tempered glass. So the table itself will be sort of a horizontal curio cabinet, with many spaces for little knicknacks and trinkets that you can see under the glass. I have found a couple of places that will cut custom shapes of tempered glass for this part, and I think I can just have neoprene grommets that the glass rests on.

What I am really lacking is a good plan for the legs - how to make sure they are stable, where to source the wood, and how to join and finish them. I’d like to make a jig for my CNC mill that allows me to make lap joints, or even mortise-and-tenon if I can figure out the fixturing.

This use of a CNC mill, where I fixture a piece that is way larger than the traditional build area, appeals to me because I am interested in expanding the range of everyday uses for my mill. Mathias Wandel’s pantorouter is a big inspiration here. Thinking of the mill as a rigid, controllable tool that can do a repetitive task (like peck-drilling a bunch of pieces that I feed in by hand), for example.

I’m currently stuck on where I can find nice wood for the legs, particularly because I don’t have many tools or work surfaces that would allow me to do any significant final dimensioning of the wood I get - this means I’d have to buy the wood basically in its finished dimensions, or very close to them.

Since the table is supposed to be quite small and short, I may end up trying to turn four spindles on my lathe for the legs. Im’ not sure about this, thoguh, because aesthaetically I lean towards a gentle taper and a rectangular profile. But perhaps I can turn the very ends, the feet, and mate them with a rectangular profile halfway up the leg?

I have some Sketchup renders of the structural plan for the piece, and I actually ended up getting two type cases at the antiques joint I frequent in Tuftonboro. If I find I have a good time making the first one, I may go ahead and make a second version…

Type case low table Type case low table

Published on 03 Oct 2015