Pretend you have a small, poorly equipped shop and half the skill you
have. Someone asks you to help build some props for a community theatre
production of Fiddler on the Roof. They need 4-6 cheap, basic
"farmhouse" tables; folding plastic tables won't cut it.
I decided to try my hand at learning the rudiments of SketchUp last
night, using their description of the prop tables as an exercise. I have
a little less hair than I did when I started, but this is what I whipped up:
The tables would be built of 1x6 pine and some sort of square stock for
the legs. Two of them would be roughly 2' x 4', the others maybe 2' x
2'. The legs should be removable for storage.
Quick and dirty is the order of the day. As they explained, these will
never be seen at a distance closer than 30' and hey, Tevye was a poor
man. I have a few questions.
Can I simply pocket-screw the slats together to make the top panel? I
know that's not the traditional way, the best way or the right way, but
would it be adequate?
While the tables need only look good at a distance, I have suggested to
them that the end grain on the table edge will get beaten up over time.
They would probably keep the tables for future (stage) use. I'd like to
put on some sort of edge, maybe 1x2 maple, oriented horizontally
(meaning, as an extension of the 3/4" thick pine edge). But I don't have
a biscuit joiner. I do have a router, and yes, I suppose I could rout
biscuit slots, but each little thing like that adds time; time I don't
really have. I'm wondering if pocket screws would be a good solution, or
might they split the wood edging? Or is this yet another situation in
which wood movement would rear it's ugly head and lead to problems later
How do I fasten the table tops to the frames? I've read about the little
clips that go in grooves in the apron, but is there some method that
would accommodate movement without making grooves? Should I just tell
them to use plywood instead? We'd have to edge all around then, but I
know how to do that.
For all I know, they are expecting to paint these; they paint and
repaint more or less everything for each show. But I'm thinking that one
of those MinWax all-in-one stain/poly things would be just the ticket
for speed and 30' viewing distance. :)
These are friends of mine, by the way, and my wife and daughter will be
in the production.
As always, be gentle. :)