Sunday, January 17, 2010

Group of Cherry Tables – Part 1

9:32 PM Comments 0

Solid Cherry Dining, Kitchen, Coffee, and End Tables

We just finished up a suite of tables for a client that were very modern in design, yet were still elegant, warm, and inviting. Each table consisted of a solid 1.5″ thick Cherry top, two solid 1.5″ thick Cherry legs, and one solid 1.5″ thick Cherry stringer.

After the designing of the four tables was complete, it was time to turn our attention to the 250BF of 8/4 Cherry that we ordered to built all of the tables!  The top of the dining table was 36″ wide and we were able to construct it from just the four boards above! One board was 12″ wide, one was 10″ wide, and the final two were about 8″ each!

Once we had run the boards through the joiner to flatten one side, and the planer to take the thickness down to the final 1.5″, it was time to route a dado down the entire length of the boards to accept a spline.  Whenever we make table tops from solid wood that are thicker than 1.25″ and longer than 5′, we will join the boards with a spline, not just butt them together.  The spline, usually 1″-1.5″ wide, helps prevent the boards from ever separating vertically or horizontally.  The splines may be overkill, but with large table tops I tend to assume the environment is going to wreak havoc on the boards, so we engineer against what we see could be the worst possible outcome.

With all the splines routed into the sides of the boards, it was time to glue everything together.  I am not sure how much glue was used for these two table tops, but all three glue bottles you see in the picture are empty!  You can almost never add to much glue. The excess will just ooze out. If you don’t add enough, you will regret it later, and there won’t be much you can do about it at that time.

The next day, after the the six leg assemblies and the three table tops had glued overnight, we scraped off any remaining glue, and sent everything through a 37″ widebelt sander.  After dozens of passes, every uneven seam and joint was a thing of the past!  Next, we cut one edge square on the panel saw and made the final pass on the table saw.

With all the legs and tops sanded and cut to length, we focused our attention on routing the dados to the underside of the tops to accept the legs and stringers.  Two .5″ wide mortises were routed crosswise for the two legs and one mortise was routed lengthwise for the stringer.  The full length mortise-and-tenon joints would assure, once again, that the table top would not ever cup or separate, and that the table would be incredibly stiff and sturdy.

More on how that would be accomplished in the next post.