Cockpit Table - Style II

Project date: 2004

This table is made from Cherry - which matches the trim on the rest of the boat. Using the same glue-up construction techniques as with the previous table, I made a table "blank" out of built-up Cherry boards. I then found a humorous parrot that I improved a bit by adding a pirate hat.

After finding the center of the table, I then transferred the outline of this guy onto the board with a piece of tracing paper. Do you know how hard it is to find carbon paper now that computers do everything? At this point, you can re-work any of the outline that seems out of place.



Again with the same micro-router, I set the depth to about 3/16in and routed out all of the lines. This is a painstaking process, and requires a steady hand, some practice, and a little luck. But the result is very nice. I have adjusted the contrast in this photo so that you can see the routing job.

Using casting epoxy and dye from the epoxy manufacturer (RIT dye will work in a pinch), I mixed multiple colors for a dazzling effect. While it doesn't look too good here, the final result after sanding the epoxy smooth is really great.

Sanding the table smooth, which gets rid of the excess epoxy, reveals the effect I was looking for. The epoxy is absolutely flush with the table top, and while a bit dull at this point, the application of a Polyeurethane finish will give it a glossy look.

When you woodwork, there is no such thing as having too many tools, and this is no exception. I have a hinge mortising jig with a sewing machine hinge insert. Using a router with a pattern bit results in perfect hinge pockets.

Finishing the table came next, with several coats of polyurethane finish. The hinges were then installed, and the table is really taking on a character of itself. I think this is going to look really nice.

The table is now in its natural element - sitting in the rear cockpit of my boat. While the previous table was nice in its own right - this one, well, you can judge the results for yourself. There is some difference in color between the pieces of Cherry, but these should be less apparent as the sun darkens the wood.

And finally, the table with the leaves folded in allows more room to get around the table. One of the things I wanted to accomplish was the ability to get to the starboard side of the boat if I needed to adjust the camper canvas. Prior to this table, I had to remove it. But by closing the leaves of the table, I can do so without removal. A second advantage is that we found the hinghes are stiff enough that the leaves can be put at a 90 deg angle, so the table can also be used as a Butler Table of sorts. This is important when we prepare a quick meal in the galley in the cabin, but want to bring the meal out on deck. Just fold the hinges up and the table becomes a serving table.

I normally store the table under the seat in the cockpit. Unfortunately, if it can get wet, it will warp severely. Therefore, Cherry is not a suitable wood for a wet environment.


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