In the last post I documented the process of dovetailing the top rail and doing the scroll work on the front and side aprons of the table. With all of the joinery completed on the table carcase it was time to glue up some of the components and to begin work on the interior drawer runner assembly.
The table was glued up in stages in order to make the process manageable. What I have found to be the biggest benefit when doing glue ups is to have everything ready and available and to do a dry run rehearsal of the the entire process before every spreading any glue. This allows you to make your mistakes without the pressure of drying glue and stuck joints while trying to remedy a problem situation. By the time the real glue up occurs, all of the bugs are worked out, materials are at the ready and the process generally goes off without a hitch.
With that said, I started by gluing the back legs and apron as one assembly and the front legs and apron as a second assembly. Though not terribly exciting, in the pictures (click for larger view) you can see these two assemblies in the clamps. As I said, uneventful is a good attribute for glue ups! At this point I also took the time to glue up the boards for the table top. Because four boards make up the top, this too was done in stages. I glued two boards together at a time and then once they had dried, the two pairs of boards were glued together to complete the top.
With the front and back assemblies dry, the next step was to add the side aprons. However, because the drawer runner assembly still had to be installed, this too needed to be done in stages. The process was to first glue the side aprons to the front assembly only. This was done by assembling the entire table carcase to ensure that everything was square and true, while only gluing the front portions of the side aprons. This allowed for the assembly to be disassembled once dry so that the drawer runner could be installed from the back and then the remainder of the table carcase could be glued together.
The drawer runners are fairly simple and consist of an extension of the front apron with an L-shaped runner assembly on each side. There is a small mortise and tenon between the front extender and the L-shaped runners. The joints on these pieces were small so, I decided to mill the mortises with the router and to cut the tenons by hand. The back of the runners are mounted to the rear legs with screws.
You can see in the picture that the front extender was glued to the front apron after the side apron glue up had dried. At the same, time the drawer runner assemblies were glued so they would be ready for assembly once dry. The final glue up consisted of the two drawer assemblies being glued to the front extender and the two side aprons being glued to the back apron assembly that had previously been glued up. This step was the most complex part of the table glue up but, with a dry run everything went together very smoothly.
While the table carcase glue dried I spent some time working with the new (old) smoothing plane on the table top. With a sharp blade and after a bit of adjustment I was able to get some nice fine shavings and a very smooth and flat table top. That was very gratifying and made the previous time I spent restoring the plane all worthwhile.