Thorsen table challenge #2: Thorsen Table challenge a 'challenge'

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Blog entry by BarbS posted 04-17-2007 08:16 PM 4132 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Thinking through a design Part 2 of Thorsen table challenge series Part 3: Only three days left..... »

I’m going to be using two slabs of mahogany I had been saving for something special. They are both 2” thick, 15-1/2” wide and 4’ long. These are remainders after a $165 purchase several years ago; wood which has gone into a blanket chest frame, a chess board box and several other smaller projects. I want to make two Thorsen-inspired tables as bedside tables.
It is cupped a little, so I’m intending to square it up with hand planes before sizing parts. Here’s the rub: to save wood, I’d like to rip cut a 1-1/2” wide slab 15”x14” into two tabletops each 3/4” thick. I don’t trust myself to hand saw a line that deep and stay on it. My band saw is a 16” Laguna (not the HD; it would be a real challenge to do this) and I have a 1” 3TPI resaw blade, but, but….the only way I can see to do this is to use a point fence and pray a lot. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Edit post: Well, forget that idea. I’ve owned this bandsaw for six years now and have never tried to resaw something this big; forgot my resaw capacity is 12”, so the bandsaw is out.
Second plan: I’m thinking I could add a high box fence to the table saw, bury the blade and cut in all around the squared up piece in the center, sort of like parting off a closed box top, and then hand saw through the middle. Too dangerous to bury the blade in that heavy a cut? I have a fairly good contractor’s table saw, an old Sears built by Edison that has never failed me in power, and I do have a new blade for it and link belt. Opinions, please!


10 comments so far

View roundabout22's profile


94 posts in 4449 days

#1 posted 04-17-2007 08:50 PM

BarbS, I don’t have a bandsaw so I have to use a tablesaw when resawing. I usually do it the way you have planned. One thing that works for me though is to take multiple cuts. The sears contractor saw I’ve used didn’t have the power to make deep cuts when resawing. After making the cut with a handsaw all it should take is a smoothing plane (or a littling sanding to clean up the cut.

-- remember always measure once and cut twice

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4452 days

#2 posted 04-18-2007 12:46 AM


Have you thought about ripping the stock down the middle…. Then resaw… Then joint and reglue?
Or glue up one book matched panel for one table and the other half for the other?


-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Karson's profile


35186 posts in 4763 days

#3 posted 04-18-2007 12:49 AM

Yes PW talked about using 2’ Mahogany and resawing the table top and aprons etc from the 2” wood and Bootmatching the top.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4662 days

#4 posted 04-18-2007 01:07 AM

If you ripped it down the center, you would eliminate the cupping without planing. Then go ahead & resaw the halfs & bookmatch.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4448 days

#5 posted 04-18-2007 01:29 AM

Hmmm. I really wanted to avoid ripping and bookmatching, using the slab as one piece for the tops. The hand planing is not that hard, but I wonder if I’m defeating my purpose and should expect more cupping after hand-flattening. One side is slightly (1/8”) high in the middle, the other side would be flattening the edges to match the center, so more taken off the center of one side than the other.


View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4690 days

#6 posted 04-18-2007 02:43 AM

If you don’t want to rip and bookmatch, then you could proceed as you mentioned on the tablesaw, just keep the same side to the high fence and go for multiple passes, should be pretty easy to finish by hand with a western or japanese saw. then you’ll have to clean up the inside faces with a plane for sure… Which you’ll be doing to correct the bowing anyhow. I suspect you’d end up with a 3/4 or 5/8th thick top.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4460 days

#7 posted 04-18-2007 02:58 AM

Perhaps you could make a frame saw out of an old bandsaw blade.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thomas Porter's profile

Thomas Porter

127 posts in 4494 days

#8 posted 04-18-2007 02:59 AM

The wood whisperer has a great podcast on setting up the bandsaw and about resawing. He talks about adjusting the table to follow the drift from the saw for straight cuts. It’s a great little podcast, and if your bandsaw is setup properly, you should be able to do it very easily.

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ,

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4448 days

#9 posted 04-18-2007 04:14 PM

Thanks for the comments. I’ll be cutting it apart on the table saw, and doing it in increments instead of full-height (3-1/2”) cuts. Thanks, Tom, for the podcast reference, and I’ve done a lot of resawing, just not in this size before. My band saw only has a 12” resaw capacity, so that won’t work for this 14” by 15-1/2” slab. I’ve already flattened one face by hand, so should get this done by the weekend, if not swamped with outside work. And Wayne, the frame saw idea is interesting, but this time I think I’ll depend on the machines; building a new fence setup and hand planing will take enough time without building a new frame saw. Thank you for all the input!


View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4673 days

#10 posted 04-19-2007 04:03 AM

I hope it works out for you, BarbS.

-- Jesus is Lord!

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