One of the critical components for the success of the bow front table is to make a full-scale drawing which clearly shows the intersection, lengths and joinery for all the parts. Since the front is curved, there are a few unknowns such as the angle of the tenon into the front legs and the length of drawer rails from back to front aprons. I created a full scale drawing and used the actual curved front to finish it off. I used the front apron instead of the curved template because I did have some spring back from the bent lamination (about 1/8″).
With the full-scale drawing in hand, I could cut and dimension all my parts. I milled stock from a couple of walnut boards and two cherry boards. I jointed and planed everything to final thickness, but oversized in width and length.
I wanted riftsawn grain for the legs to get nice straight grain on all four faces. To achieve this, I ripped the legs from 8/4 walnut stock. I used a template to figure out the angle of attack for each leg in order to have the grain flow the way I wanted. Unfortunately I don’t have a bandsaw which would be ideal for the ripping operation, so I had to use my tablesaw which was fine.
With the legs roughed out, I went back to the jointer to straighten and joint two adjacent faces. I then used the tablesaw to finish cutting to width in both directions. I cleaned up the mill marks from the jointer and tablesaw using an old (tuned-up) stanley #6. This is one of the first time I’ve incorporated handtools into my work and I absolutely loved the results! (Before and after shots below).