Bedside Tables Part II

  Here's the physical start to the bedside tables. I've already cut the table legs and the shelves (see the photo to the right). However, I still need to cut the corners off of the shelves to get the desired look. So here's a detailed look at this step.
  Of course, you'll need a few tools, here are mine; a jigsaw and a couple of clamps. I also have a folding table that you can see in the next picture.

  I clamped a guide board to the bench, and am using it to pin the shelf to the bench. I have a couple of shims to help keep everything almost the same height. While cutting, I make sure to put my weight on the guide board, preventing the work piece from moving. At this point, it's still adjustable slightly so I can make sure the saw will cut through at the right points.

  Check that the saw-blade lines up, both where the blade will start and finish cutting the wood. Make sure that the edge of the blade is on the line, and not the center of the blade. Otherwise your cut will be smaller than you want it to be, as the blade will annihilate the wood in it's path, and then a little bit.

  Four cuts later, we have one done! I think they look pretty good, and also reminiscent of something out of the Battlestar remake. Trim the corners to keep the Cylons from assembling the tables.
  Here's a glimpse of what it will look like when finished the inner shelves are a few inches smaller than the top shelf such that the legs are flush with both shelves. When this is finished, it should give it a nice recessed look along the sides and front, while hiding the ugly plywood edges of the sides.
Here are some "pro tips" I've learned while cutting the 24 corners off of the shelves. First the one I knew going in;
Face the edge you want to look nice downward (on the opposite side as the jigsaw).
  The orbital jigsaw blade moves down, forward, and then up, the amount of forward and back is what gives it the orbital name, and most orbital jigsaws allow you to adjust the amount of forward and back motion. For instance, I usually set mine to cut with a light orbital action on plywood because I want a fairly reasonable finish (our plywood is going towards furniture after all), however, you could set it to a larger reciprocal (back and forth) action for rougher, but faster, cutting along plywood.

  I also noticed that the direction of the grain matters. If at all possible, aligning the grain direction with the direction of the jigsaw cut produces a much smoother and nicer cut. It seems when it cuts against the grain, it is more likely to catch and pull up splinters.
  Well, that's the cutting of the main pieces of the bedside tables. Next up will be sanding and staining, followed by putting these pieces together.

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