Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dining Room Table 1

5:10 PM Comments 0

Material = Superior Grade Alder & Steel

May 2008

This is a dining room table I am building for a client. Its design is based on a picture of a table the clients saw in a restaurant.

The top measures 10′ long by 4′ wide, is 2″ thick, and is being built out of premium grade Alder. There is metal work on the underside of the table consisting of two 7/8″ thick steel rods. The lower ends of the rods have a decorative rosette on the outside of the leg that will screw into a threaded sleeve, sandwiching the leg and providing the necessary support. One last detail, that is hard to see in the Sketchup drawing, is that each leg is canted outward by 2″ from top to bottom.

The first step was to pick through the boards I had and choose the best layout for the top. The surface with the least number of knots was placed face up and the grain direction of the boards were arranged to ensure maximum stability and minimize any potential warping and cupping in the future.

After planing each board down from 2.5″ to a finished thickness of 2″, a straight edge was clamped on each board and the edge was cut using a skill saw. Usually this step is accomplished by running the board through the jointer, but given the length, weight, and general unruliness of each board, moving the machine over the board was easier than moving the board over the machine.

Once the boards were planed and jointed, they were ready to have a slot, or dado, routed down the length of the board. This dado accepts a spline that is glued in, which not only creating an amazingly strong joint, but also helped to align and level the surface of each board during the glue-up.

Each spline was 2″ wide, which allowed for plenty of gluing surface, ensuring that over the years, as the boards react to fluctuations in humidity, each seam will stay flat and straight.

Here are all six boards awaiting the gluing process.

I tackled two boards at a time. This allowed me to spread the glue and clamp the boards before the glue dried to much. It also allowed me to focus on leveling only one seam at a time, which takes a lot of the stress out of gluing up a table top.

A close-up of two of the boards as they are gluing up. I estimate that by the time all five splines and joints are glued up I will have used two quarts of glue!

More to be posted later!

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