Synopsis: A companion to his “Folding Tabletop” article in the identical situation, this grasp class particulars find out how to veneer and add a leather-based floor to the highest. Particular methods are wanted as a result of this tabletop folds, however leather-based is usually a sturdy and viable floor on tops for tables and desks of all varieties.
A leather-based high provides pizzazz to a chunk, a sure formality usually related to giant govt desks. When leather-based is touched, its slight springback tasks sturdiness, consolation, and virtually a way of kinship. Which may sound odd however as people, we now have an historical relationship with leather-based that existed millennia earlier than our use of cloth. In my thoughts, leather-based’s imperfections make it excellent, with its pure defects and wrinkles breaking apart the monotony of a static flat aircraft.
Along with its attractiveness, leather-based is a really pragmatic selection. As a writing floor, it has no equal. Upholstery leather-based, which I take advantage of, requires minimal maintenance. It holds its personal towards life’s day by day assaults and I’ve by no means needed to change a broken piece. I want the identical might be stated for the numerous wood tops which have left my store over time.
With slightly expertise, leather-based is simple to work and requires no particular tooling.
Veneer one facet of each leaves
To start, I took two items of 5 ⁄ 8-in.- thick by 15-in.-wide by 24-in.-long Balticbirch plywood and glued a 1 ⁄ 2-in. strip of cherry to 1 lengthy edge on every of the leaves. As soon as the highest is accomplished, these would be the edges on the fold.
After slicing two items of cherry veneer a bit oversize, I laminated a chunk to 1 facet of every leaf utilizing yellow glue and a vacuum bag. When the glue had completely dried, I lower every leaf to 14 in. by 22 in., leaving the cherry strips untouched.
Earlier than you get to the leather-based, you’ll apply veneer to 1 face of every leaf of the highest.
Add leather-based to the tops
With the veneering full, lower a chunk of upholstery leather-based giant sufficient to cowl each leaves of the highest with a 1 ⁄ 2-in. overhang all the way in which round.
Align the cherry edges with one another and place a strip of veneer between the 2. To maintain elements from sticking through the glue-up, cowl the cherry edges with clear packing tape and wax the strip of veneer. To maintain the leaves from shifting within the vacuum press, tack a brief cleat to the sting, straddling the leaves. Do that on each ends. Roll a pleasant movie of white glue onto the unveneered faces of the leaves. Lay the leather-based on a flat floor, and set the leaves on high. With the leather-based facet down, put the meeting on a platen within the vacuum bag and let the glue do its factor.
As soon as the glue has absolutely cured, pull out the highest and take away the cleats, and the spacer between the leaves. The leaves ought to simply fold onto one another at this level. Take a pointy single-bevel knife and, with the highest face down, trim the leather-based to the sting of the leaves.
Prepare for the leather-based
Previous to gluing a chunk of leather-based to the 2 leaves, add a spacer between them. And safe the leaves with two tacked strips to make sure they don’t shift through the glue-up.
Apply the leather-based
Gluing the leather-based in place is just like gluing veneer.
Edge the perimeter
The three uncovered sides of every leaf now get edged with a 1-in.-wide strip of cherry mitered on the outer corners. Including biscuits or splines alongside the joint will assist with alignment and slippage. Take the time to make your biscuit or spline joints extraordinarily correct, as a result of after the edging is glued it should be completely flush with the floor of the leather-based. The edging might be flushed on the veneered facet of the leaf however I don’t take that danger on the leather-based facet.
As soon as the glue is dry on the leather-based, it’s time to consider edging the skin.
Contributing editor Steve Latta teaches woodworking at Thaddeus Stevens Faculty in Lancaster, Pa.
Images: Anissa Kapsales; drawings: John Hartman.
Obtain FREE PDF