11/06/2000-Another busy weekend! I was able to get quite a bit accomplished
this weekend. I finally got a chance to throw in some 1/4 inch lag bolts into the legs. I did 3 per leg
this will ensure that if a fat guy leans into my table to make a shot that the legs will go NOWHERE!
I pushed around the idea of not putting in a vertical support but finally forced myself to. It is funny how you get anxious to finish something and try and skip steps. The clincher was after going out into the garage for a smoke and looking at the legs and asking myself "Why would you spend 4 weeks carving the legs and then skip the step of putting in the vertical support that is probably one of the most important parts of the table. It is the part that pulls the frame together. It is wierd how it works. It creates 6 squares in the frame, but don't look at it that way. What it actually imposes is 24 triangles. One corner supports the opposite corner. With the weight of the slate if the sides start to bevel out it pulls on the horizontal support thus pulling on the end support and pulling the ends up. And vise versa on the ends, if they start to pull away it pulls in on the sides thus lifting the slate again. It becomes sort of a self leveling mechanism in the table. You will mostly find these in your high end tables. Not that they are difficult or expensive to install, just time consuming. To make them you will use the same method of calculating the sides bevel when we did the horizontal cross members. But you will have to use a sliding square. What I did was loosen the nut on the square. Lay the ruler portion of the square on the top of the frame. Line up an inch mark on the ruler to the inner corner of the frame. Then slide the 90 degree side until it just touches the inside of the frame. Tighten the screw and take it to the left over 2 x 5 fir that we had left over from the horizontal supports. Get a straight edge and line it up with the inch mark and the bottom of the 90 degree and draw a line. You now have a perfect angle of the side drawn on your board. Cut the end of the board. Now measure from the inside corner of the frame to the first horizontal support. Cut you fir the exact length of this measurement. Do the same thing for the other end of the frame. Then measure from inside of one horizontal frame to the inside of the other. Cut the rest of the fir to this dimension. To make up the glue blocks. I cut 8 blocks 4 inches long by 1 5/16 square, 4 blocks 5 1/2 inches by 1 5/16 square, 4 blocks 4 inches by 1 5/16 inches with 15 degree bevels at the end (like a parallelagram), and 2 blocks 5 1/2 inches by 1 5/16 square with a 15 degree bevel on one side. The reason for the bevel on the one side is so when the glueblock is in place on the 15 degree sides will be level against the bottom of the support. Ok now put the 5 1/2 inch glueblocks on the bottom of the U on sides and the horizontal supports. Attach them so the top of the supports align with the top of the frame. Remember to use the blocks that have the 15 degree bevel on the sides with the bevel facing up. You want to also make sure that they are in the middle of the table. Then attach the 4 inch blocks to the sides and the supports. With enough room for the vertical boards to fit snugly between them. Now you can slide your in supports and glue them into place.
Now we can put on the slate support. Remember the poplar that we have been using as a straight edge for our table saw. Guess what, we are no longer going to use it for that anymore. To cut the pieces for the slate support you take the 2 by 3 poplar and cut 45 degree angles at the ends as they would line up with the pockets. You have to leave clearance for mounting the pocket leathers to the slate liner. So your best bet is to cut 1 inch back from the holes in the pocket. What I did was measure 2 1/8 inches from each corner and make a line. Then go from the center line that we marked to find the center of the frame for the horizontal supports and mark 2 lines 3 inches from that line on either side. Now measure from line to line on each side. And cut opposing 45 degree cuts on your poplar, and glue and bolt them into place. Then I measured from poplar to poplar at the horizontal supports and cut 2 pieces the exact distance between them. Glued and bolted them onto the support, this will give our slate a place to sit on the seams. It is safe to say at this point that the frame is done, and we are ready for slate!!! I have cloth coming this week and must clean up the garage. Because once the slate gets installed on the table it cannot be moved (Heavy, Heavy, Heavy). Hope you are enjoying the ride. See you next week when we start to glue the slate liner on the slate.