and Inlay for Curved Tables
by Schiffer Publishing, West Chester, Pennsylvania USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 193
The majority of woodworking books focus upon broad subjects within the craft - subjects that have probably been treated hundreds, perhaps thousands of times before. Most of these books arouse our interest because they either present new ideas, or at least old ideas in a new way. Many that are reviewed in these columns fall into these two categories.
But occasionally a book appears that tackles a truly unusual topic. This certainly describes Hardwood Edging and Inlay for Curved Tables.
The reason the topic has been rarely dealt with by other authors is surely because it involves difficulties that many have found insurmountable while those who have achieved successful results have apparently been unable or disinclined to try to describe the process for less experienced woodworkers.
The author describes the nature of the task in his Introduction:
‘Applying a hardwood edge to an organic or complex curved table can be a challenge. When the curve is a French or serpentine curve, it can be a test of patience and craftsmanship to precisely match up the hardwood edge to the table edge.
‘This book shows how to apply a hardwood edge to a curved tabletop edge using a set of large, offset template guides installed on a router base that, when used properly, will accurately match a hardwood edge to any curve. This template system also lets you cut seam inlays quickly and cut perfect parallel outside edges that match an inner seam.’
He goes on to say that he originally developed the system for an oval demilune table, but has since used it for various complex curves, ‘large and small, graceful and squiggly’.
The project used to demonstrate the technique is a small assymetrical heart shaped table. The author describes his method as a ‘system of templates and template guides on a router, which allows you to cut on either side of the table field and hardwood edge seam.
The same template is used to cut an inlay directly centred on the seam as well as to cut the outside edge parallel to the seam. Once set up, edging can be applied to any curve quickly and precisely.’
The book is well illustrated with informative photos and drawings. The text is clearly written and the work is laid out logically. An Appendix offers an overview by listing the Patterns and Templates included in the 8 Steps involved.
The book will appeal to intermediate and experienced woodworkers wishing to achieve superior results in the creation of striking pieces of furniture.
Units of Measurement: Imperial
2. Drawing the Table Shape
4. Hardwiood Edge