(A second real photo as the feature image - this can't be right?)
Another weekend, and another woodworking project - this time, the California Casual Patio Table. This is the first official project on the course, which is reflected in the simplicity of the design and build method.
Although it is suggested you build the workbench first which I did last time, due to it being a key component in building the rest of the projects (more on this shortly), it is undeniably the harder project due to the required materials and tools, so after a trial by fire, it was nice to reduce the learning curve a tad.
The main tool used in this project is the mitre saw, which I spoke about in my last post, so I don't plan on repeating myself - but I will mention that this build used both the mitre and bevel features of the saw (which the workbench didn't) and that towards the end of the build it became unsquare (possibly due to the aforementioned use of the mitre and bevel features). I'm going to have to learn to calibrate it correctly, as I quickly found that even a small deviation from perfectly square cuts can make all the difference.
The only other thing I should mention is the saw was causing a lot of splintering on the wood at the point of exit. I don't know if this is due to the quality of the wood (I got the cheapest I could), the saw blade (it's designed for multiple materials, so maybe one made specifically for wood would work better), or simply because I'm not doing it right (maybe I'm cutting the wood too quickly?).
Also introduced this in this project were jigs. These are temporary tools you build yourself to aid in construction, such as the right angle jig shown above.
This was screwed directly into the workbench to aid in the joining of the legs, helping ensure that each piece was perfectly square as it was glued together. And it worked really well, as when I stood it on the floor for the first time, it was perfectly level without any wobble caused by one of the legs being longer than the others.
Also new to this project was the concept of applying a finish to the build, with a choice of spar urethane or paint - I went with the latter, and I think it's come out really nicely, even if I did almost run out before I could cover it all. It needs a second coat, but I'll do that later in the week.
I also spent some time this weekend adding further personalisation to the workbench via stencils, and some stickers I got from Maker Central event a couple months ago. I think it's looking really good, and am excited to personalise it further as time goes on.
All in all, I enjoyed this build. I can see myself building more stuff for the garden - both functional and ornamental - which is handy as the next project is the Harmony Garden Bench, which truly is a thing of beauty. I'm aiming to do it at the end of September - so make sure you come back then.