I have been putting off this blog post for far too long. But as it's still January, it's still a little relevant. :)
So a week before Christmas my wife reminded me that we had 8 coming for dinner on the big day and only had a table that comfortably fit 6 people. Apparently I was to provide a solution in time for Christmas lunch and she would prefer the table to be circular. The simple option would have been to just cut an MDF circle and use to brackets to fit to the existing square table. But that seemed to easy and we had wanted a round table since we moved to this house. So I sat down with Sketchup and started throwing ideas around.
As far as design requirements go, I could take the height from the existing table which was 735mm. I looked around the web for standard sizes of round tables that would seat 8, but didn't seem to find an obvious rule of thumb. So I took and average size and used a tape measure in the dining area to make sure it would fit in the space comfortably. The final top radius I decided on was 1300mm. Taking into account the time constraint and the fact we have small children, hardwood was out. I already had a couple of 18mm MDF sheets in stock, so that MDF it was. The rest of the design was down to personal preference. Though I was trying to keep it within the 2 sheets of MDF and not be overly complicated to build. This is what I came up with.
Very simple design, using 18mm throughout. The four legs are 2 sheets to add rigidity and also for aesthetics. So with the design sorted I could load the dimensions into CutList and work out my initial cuts. I optimised for cross cuts as my 2700mm Festool Rail was out on loan to a customer. Although it would have been simple to join 2 1400's together, I felt I could move quicker with just the one 1400mm Guide Rail and wasn't too concerned with saving offcuts.
At this point it's taken me a day or two to work out the details and what with the insanity that was the run up to Christmas, it was Monday 21st December before I could start making saw dust. Using some rigid insulation boards, I set about knocking down the MDF into manageable pieces.
The TS 55 & Guide rail made this task very quick and simple. I only needed to make about four cuts before I had pieces I could safely push through the table saw.
Using the Festool CMS TS 55 Table Saw I made quick work of processing the MDF into parts.
The sliding table is great for accurate cross cuts and a block of wood and lever clamp made for a quick impromptu stop.
The next step was marking out for the curves in the legs. Normally I would have printed off the profile from the drawing[...]