Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Change of Pace

I had a little time on my hands the past few weeks, so my better half found a great project for me to put my mind and hands to.

The inspiration for this table came from a post she saw on and the simplicity and beauty of it inspired me a lot.

The first problem I saw and one that kept me thinking for awhile as I built the table and the base, which are pretty straight-forward, was how to figure the angle of the top and bottom cuts on the legs. I knew the two cuts had to be at the same angle because the base and top were parallel, but I also knew the angle could and would change depending upon how high the table stood.

Putting that in the back of my mind again I addressed the fact that I would like the table to be easily disassembled should the need to move it come up. For that I decided to use a plate on the top of the angled legs that would screw into top from the underside, thus adding another 3/4" to the project that would change my angle again. When and where was I going to come up with that darn angle solution?

Upon looking closely at my miter saw, which I received as a generous gift from a friend I helped to finish his house, I noticed a detente in the angle adjustment at 30 degrees. This was expected as 30 degrees is used in several instances in building a lot of things. But then I noticed a dotted line marking 32.6 degrees on the table. What the heck is this, I asked myself? It must have a purpose but what it was for escaped me entirely.

Placing the top and the base on their sides and at the location to give me the proper ending height of 39 inches, I laid the 4"x4" post across them at about the right place and saw the angle did, in fact, need to be near 30 degrees, but not quite.

Some feeling went through me and I decided to go with the 32.6 degree marking just to see if Karma was telling me something I didn't really know at the time.

Leaving plenty of length to re-cut the angle when and if it was off a bit, I cut both ends of the legs at the 32.6 degree setting while holding my breath. Amazingly, that setting was right on the money to give me both a flush fit and at the correct height! I really don't know how to explain it, but I am one to go with what works, damn the reason. What is it about 32.6 degrees that I don't understand?
Bare pine in final resting place.

In deciding the finish, we were going to place the table in the entry below a lovely mirror purchased at a home store called Tai Pan Trading. This store is now out of business in our area, having lost their lease. The mirror has a frame of dark brown with traces of copper running throughout.
Sealing coat of primer applied.

We decided that a faux type finish of near black over a solid base of copper might come close to matching this frame.

The copper color comes in either a latex brush on paint, or it can come in a spray can of enamel. For ease of application we decided on the spray paint solution and it seemed to work well, shining brightly in the high desert sun.

Final leather finish.
The top coat of black was cut with a glaze and applied over the copper using a sea sponge in a daubing or plunging effect. This, while being somewhat tedious to apply, gave the table a leathery appearance that matches well with the mirror frame.

Overall and from a slight distance the table takes on the espresso look of the mirror frame while being different enough  to set it off as an individual piece.

Oh, and the marking on the miter saw of 32.6 degrees? I found that when a carpenter is cutting for the angles used in crown molding, using this angle on the molding when laid flat on the miter table gives the perfect angle to a 90 degree corner. While I have no desire to install any crown molding in the near future, that mystery is solved and it was just a happy coincidence that it was the proper angle for our table as well.

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