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The Big Table: Part 2 The Top

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Project by Luddite posted 09-08-2019 03:31 PM 695 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

8 Sep 2019

As the name implies, this is the second part of the ‘Big Table’ projects. The Base detailed the steps taken in the design and construction. The Top describes the design and re-design of the table top.

Oh oh too big!
The first cause for re-design came from the fact the “Big Table” was just that, too big for 1 person to handle. I’d had wanted to have full length top with breadboard ends but it just got to big and bulky. The top is 78×40 x 1.25. This boils down to 27 bf or 2.25 cf or about 80lb. This, as a whole piece would be awkward to work with. Just jointing the edges on my jointer became difficult with a nearly 7 foot piece. All this was floating in my head as I spent a couple of long days surface planning these cherry boards.

The solution was to make the top in two pieces joined at the center.

I resized the end boards and inserted a 2.5 in center piece that will be hard fixed to one end with biscuits. The other end will be joined using counter sunk edge clamps. Actually all this made sense since I did want the table to be easily taken apart.

The Build
Started by cutting down the top boards to manageable lengths keeping the pieces well marked to maintain the grain and flow of direction. Did a great deal of layout on the reverse sides to mark where the edge clamp will be placed as well as marked areas for biscuits.

Glued up the top in sections using the middle and top cross pieces to aligned the ends of glue up. Each panel prepped for the next step until both halves were ready.

Added a strip of black mesquite inlay to the end boards. Rounded edges began the finishing portion. One thing I did find to use is Abranet sanding discs. They are absolutely the best thing I’ve ever used for final fine sanding.

Finally fitted the top to the base.

The Finish
Used Watco natural oil on all surfaces, several coatings. Used Waterlox rubbing varnish, four coatings and many rubbings. I found that using the Abranet 600 grit by hand really made the final product shine.

Easy to assemble.

Thanks for viewing.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense





11 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3219 posts in 2768 days


#1 posted 09-08-2019 03:40 PM

Hi, Terry, that is one great looking table. The finish really highlights the wonderful grain. I am curious about the center strip. Will the biscuits permit adequate wood movement or is that not an issue in the desert?

-- Art

View Luddite's profile

Luddite

230 posts in 1749 days


#2 posted 09-08-2019 03:48 PM



Hi, Terry, that is one great looking table. The finish really highlights the wonderful grain. I am curious about the center strip. Will the biscuits permit adequate wood movement or is that not an issue in the desert?

- AandCstyle


Hi Art, Thanks. You know I’ve not been bothered by wood movement living here in the sonoran desert. Well, it’s having a good internal humidity constant that really helps. When we do have humidity it’s not caused any change that’s noticeable. Having second thoughts I probably could have used the edge clamping for both halves rather then have a solid glued edge on one. Oh well. Next time.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11852 posts in 3939 days


#3 posted 09-08-2019 04:48 PM

Yay Terry!! Another beautiful mesquite creation.
Most of my mesquite stuff stays in the desert, too. But, one large piece went to Illinois and it has not seen any wood movement. I just don’t think mesquite is all that susceptible to humidity. However, I’ve never captured a cross grain piece like your center slat.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23384 posts in 3616 days


#4 posted 09-08-2019 11:45 PM

Nice work, Terry. That is a lot to handle!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View swirt's profile

swirt

4233 posts in 3483 days


#5 posted 09-09-2019 01:53 AM

Beautiful piece and a very clever knock-down design. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View dannmarks's profile

dannmarks

1005 posts in 1092 days


#6 posted 09-09-2019 02:46 AM

a lot of wood went into this project. I love the color and the styles – mid support of the legs gives it class.

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