Fixing A Table Top

This table is in our workshop. We think that it was made, judging by its style, in the 1930’s. We know it was made by GA Harvey in Dudley because it is signed on the underside. 

Its top is stained and the central joint has failed. Thus we have two main jobs 1) to remove the stains best we can and 2) fix the central joint.
The central joint will be planed by hand so that the two halves fit perfectly for re gluing. Planing will be tricky because as oak ages it hardens and thus becomes more difficult to plan. Ideally we’d prefer to have a carpenters bench for its stability but at present we don’t have one. So in true workshop tradition we do the best we can with what we’ve got. As you can see in the picture we use a workmate The plank that is G clamped to the workmate extends to a solid post that, when we start planing the whole thing will be prevented from sliding away.

Before we start we sharpen our plane blade and do a few test cuts.

Flattening a joint needs really fine cuts so we’ll adjust our plane to take such cuts. And in this case we’ve got our cut to about .08 mm. The shaving will also tell us, by its width, if we’re taking an even cut. All this analysis will help us know where we’re going. And so we start.

The plan is to get both edges as straight and flat as possible. Then we only work on one board and fit that to the other. It becomes a process of cut, test fit, analyse and adjust as necessary. Once we’re happy with the fit we do a trial clamp up ready for gluing which will really show us if the joint is tight. This is how it started.  

And here’s how it all ended.

 As mentioned before a carpenter can never have enough clamps. There’ll be more on this as we proceed.

A Piece of 315 Million Year Old Tree Bark

Here, from the Dudley Museum and Archives is a piece of fossilised tree bark 315 million years old. Worth reflecting that trees were a pretty major part of the landscape then as they are now. 

Chainmakers Festival 1 July 2023

Another reminder if one were needed that this years Chainmakers festival will be held on 1 July 2023 from 11:00 to 17:30 at Mary McArthur Gardens, Whitehall Road, Cradley Heath, B64 5BG. Provision House will have a stall there come and visit us, we’d be pleased to see you and have a chat.