Decomposition Table: production / by Ian Devenney

Here is the order of operations I used:

1) Joint stock square (in this case, 2" square, 16" long sticks of walnut)
2) Rip to final thickness (1.5") on the table saw in one dimension only
3) Glue panels (3 of them) from the stock
4) Plane panel to thickness across the grain (I know you're not really supposed to to this)
5) Rip panel into five 2.5" wide strips, and rotate to reveal end-grain blocks
6) Layout end-grain strips in book-matched pattern
7) Trim to length according to location of the cascade
8) Glue strips in a staggered formation into the final table-top
9) Flatten bottom of table with router sled


10) Sand bottom of table to 220-grit
11) Map out length of blocks needed for each line in the cascade formation (ensuring 2.5" of glue surface area between each block).
12) Cut the blocks slightly over-size (20-30 thousandths of an inch over)
13) Hand sand the individual blocks on the front and back faces to 220 grit.
14) Dry-fit blocks together, and apply paste wax on the inside corners (to enable removal of glue squeeze-out)
15) Glue entire row of cascade together

16) Hand sand whole row to the proper thickness (also flattens the surface)
17) Dry-fit whole row onto the table top and wax surfaces of adjoining inside corners.
18) Install row, position with clamps
19) Repeat steps 12-18 for each of the rows in the table.
20) Have coffee
21) carefully scrape glue and wax residue from inside corners
22) Flatten top of table with router sled

23) sand table to 320 grit
24) Apply Danish oil finish
25) find more glue residue revealed by the finish.
26) scrape it off, re-apply finish
27) Measure exact height of cascade, order CNC cut steel plate to match.
28) Mortise underside of table with router jig and bushings for mounting the legs
29) Mortise underside of table for steel-tube stiffeners

decomp mortise.JPG

30) Beg your friend Marina Guglielmi to weld the plates together

decomp leg weld.JPG

31) Beg your friend Aaron Gough to help you cut slotted holes in the tube on his milling machine.
32) Mark out mounting holes for the legs and tubes
33) Install insert nuts for 1/4-20 stainless machine screws.
34) Get busy with another project for several weeks, only to find that the whole thing has shrunk and the steel doesn't fit anymore.
35) Repeat steps 28 & 29.
36) Install UHMWPE strips to bottom edge of steel plate with pop-rivets (this is really several steps in one...)

37) Apply final finish, clean, photograph!
38) Yay, you're done!

Which is all to say that it took a little while.