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Bowfront Hall Table

author-gravatar quillwoodworks Aug 13, 2020

I have an unusual wall in my house that curves and wanted a table to fit up against it. I designed a bowfront table where the front and back aprons have curved bent laminations and a matching top. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

It starts with a sketch. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

A mock up of the table top.  Glad I did this as after seeing it “in person” I decided to make the top 1” narrower from front to back. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Bending form for the aprons made of several layers of MDF. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Six 1/8” slices to make up the 3/4” aprons. Walnut was resawn on the bandsaw then brought to final thickness with the drum sander. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Glued and clamped up. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Carefully squaring up the stock on the tablesaw. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Drawer cut out from the front apron so the grain is continuous. . 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Domino at an angle. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

So far so good. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Leg front faces get an angle, to match the curve of the apron, by running across the jointer with the fence set at a few degrees off of 90. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

And this is what we get. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

I missed some pics here but I just marked out the aprons for the dadoes and rabbets for the drawer rails. Those were then cut at the tablesaw. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Glued up. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Stretcher is dovetailed to the drawer rails. The cove is for finger access when opening the drawer. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

And here’s the drawer. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Base pre-finished with Osmo TopOil. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Used a router to make a 1/8” groove for brass bar to be inlaid to. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

After the brass was inlaid it was carefully sanded flush to the walnut. The top was sanded to 320  

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

Edge treatment was done with a fingernail bit for the bottom curve and a chamfer bit for the top. 

Photo of Bowfront Hall Table
Photo of Bowfront Hall Table
Photo of Bowfront Hall Table
Photo of Bowfront Hall Table
Photo of Bowfront Hall Table

And that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the overview of the build. Any questions, ask away!

4 comments

Most impressive! I have inlaid brass into Walnut before in my picture frames. I am curious how you cut your brass to where they fit with the next piece. I usually use 4 pieces and get my 45 degree corner angles on my bench sander with the table set to 45. I sneak up on the brass to get a "close to" perfect fit. I tried cutting it on the table saw but ruined a blade doing this even though the brass is soft and "experts" told me I should be able to use that method so I stopped doing that. 

I used a Japanese dovetail saw to cut my 45s  I would then set the piece in the groove and mark the exact angle I needed with a chisel by lightly scoring the brass. Since I was mitering curves together it was never actually exactly 45. I then brought the piece to the Ridgid belt sander and sanded to my scored line. 

It worked very well. I used eight pieces of brass. Four long lengths on the sides and four corners. There’s a hairline gap in one corner but that’s it. 

Bending the material for the corners proved much more difficult than mitering them!

@WoodGate  said:

Most impressive! I have inlaid brass into Walnut before in my picture frames. I am curious how you cut your brass to where they fit with the next piece. I usually use 4 pieces and get my 45 degree corner angles on my bench sander with the table set to 45. I sneak up on the brass to get a "close to" perfect fit. I tried cutting it on the table saw but ruined a blade doing this even though the brass is soft and "experts" told me I should be able to use that method so I stopped doing that. 

FYI: I have gotten gaps before. Try mixing your brass dust with CA glue and filling the gap with that. 

Thanks for the tip!

@WoodGate  said:

FYI: I have gotten gaps before. Try mixing your brass dust with CA glue and filling the gap with that. 

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