It's not just building the project I have chosen (a 1/2 scale table prototype), it's building all the jigs and such that it requires. It seems like there is an awful lot of them this time.
The first things I made were this drawing bow and a crude compass for drawing arcs. Both are scrap wood. The compass has a hole at one end sized to friction-fit a pencil and a nail driven through as a pivot at 12". Using the compass I marked out a couple of arcs on the MDF to make a bending form. After rough cutting the arcs from they were rounded on this jig at the oscillating spindle sander.
The pin is just a nail with the head cut off. It engages a hole drilled at the centre point of the arc.
The two pieces were screwed together to make a form 1.5" thick.
If you're wondering about the tongue cut out of the bottom edge it's because I had to overlap them a bit to get two pieces out of the one piece of MDF that I had. It's partly because the 2 x 4 challenge is about using as little as possible but mostly because I was too cheap to buy a bigger piece of MDF.
After screwing some plywood to the back side to act as a backer for the form I covered the edge with Gorilla Tape. If you don't want glue to stick to something, cover it with Gorilla Tape. If you've ever used it you know what I mean.
The holes were drilled with a brace and bit so I could put clamps around the edge.
The next jig I built was to hold everything in place so I could work out some joinery.
Once the joints were made I used another jig to align a mortise chisel so I could make a square hole.
This hole goes right through the legs at each end so a square rod can tie the legs together. That makes six jigs just to make the legs.
With the legs set aside I began making jigs for the top. I used this set up along with the drawing bow to mark the curves for the rails of the table top.
A similar set up was used to mark the curves on the styles. I'm counting that as two.
The next set-up was to control the depth of cut for the notches in the rails that were to accept the slats of the lattice.
I know it doesn't look like much but it still took some time to get everything straight and square. Again, I used a similar set-up for the rails. Two more.
The last jig I made was to cut the half-laps in the lattice slats. I used the same one to cut the notches in both the short and long pieces.
That makes 11 jigs to make one project. I'm not sure if I spent more time on the jigs than I did on the table, but they did take up a lot of time. Was that time as much fun as working on the project itself? I'm not sure about that either. I didn't build all the jigs and then build the table, I switched back and forth as things progressed. Part of it may have been that I was trying to meet a deadline for this project, and that is not the way I normally work, but this just seemed to be an exhausting project. How did it turn out? Stay tuned.