1500 mm x 1500 mm dining table

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Project by robscastle posted 10-01-2019 04:10 AM 569 views 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In 2016 I built a huge table for No 1 Son and his family.

When I say huge it was 1500 mm x 1500 mm and a first attempt at large scale furniture building for me, and as a consequence I made a few mistakes and a few oversights.

Its was the subject of a series of blogs by the same name when I commenced building it.
Upon completion I only sealed it as I was unsure of how it was to be finished.

Well its now 2019 and I had to do some running repairs to the top due to some stability and shrinkage issues.

The shrinkage:-
The shrinkagehttp:// issue was a concern raised by a couple of LJs during its construction.

Shrinkage issues:-

I routed out two grooves to accept inserts with a small router trimmer.
glued up and drove both inserts in with a rubber hammer hence the black marks showing in picture No 4.
Next I added two plastic shims to the base of my trimmer and set the depth using a pane of glass, routed the excess from the inserts so they were almost level with the original table top.
Then did a bit of sanding finishing and sanded from 60 to 240 grit.
As a suggestion from No 1 Son he thought Oiling it may stabilise it, so I then added something very close to 500ml of Tung Oil to the top over a week period.
Tung Oil is something I had never used before but its virtues were discussed with Anthm27 when we were doing the Sungka boards so I thought it should be given a go.

Once the Tung Oil ceased being absorbed and started to pool on the top I removed the excess.
From the instructions it will harden and become waterproof in about 1 week.

For a very detailed explanation and application of Tung Oil look here.

Its $40 for 1 Ltr from Bunnings (almost as expensive as a slab of beer) so don’t be kicking the tin over by accident when using it.
Also a safety note:- contaminated rags present a combustion risk.

With the original build I forgot to “kid proof” the construction and sure enough and No1 grandson decided to do a monkey boy on the edge one day breaking the glue sections and causing the top to wobble a bit, which was no good for glasses of wine or beer so that had to be fixed.
To do this I removed the top and attached a 1.2×1.2 m piece of structural ply wood as an intermediary top removed all the fancy bracing I had made earlier and presto it now looks a million dollars again!

The table is a bit of a heifer and took the three of us to rotate after it was reassembled

Will it shrink again for the third time? Time will tell!!

-- Regards Rob

26 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


1503 posts in 1654 days

#1 posted 10-01-2019 05:08 AM

Aussie Robs back,
Interesting repair work, I remember before you went away you where telling me the story.
Do you have a pic before the repair work?? Looks like what you did brought it up a treat.
Nice one. Its a Real good original design that quickly or slowly becoming a family heirloom.
Excellent work.
Now your back my guess is you’ll get all bored and be on lumber jocks chatting with rif raf all night. Pottz, LBD and the like. (Edit: just stay off that great northern beer)
Good to have you back mate,
I,ll call you later in the week.

-- Hand Skills provide freedom.

View robscastle's profile


6502 posts in 2748 days

#2 posted 10-01-2019 05:57 AM

A shot showing the power of shrinkage has been added, note where the glue held the timber splintered around it.

Bloody Great Northern no wonder there is a marlin shown should be relabeled sea water!

Or as goes with marlin fishing … catch one then throw it back!

Hey I actually found some Carlton Cold in NSW go figure!

-- Regards Rob

View anthm27's profile


1503 posts in 1654 days

#3 posted 10-01-2019 07:11 AM

mate you did well to compress all that shrinkage.

EDIT: Catch and release, hilarious.

-- Hand Skills provide freedom.

View hunter71's profile


3464 posts in 3730 days

#4 posted 10-01-2019 10:29 AM


-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View recycle1943's profile


3398 posts in 2166 days

#5 posted 10-01-2019 11:03 AM

I missed the original build ( beautiful table ) but the repair is top notch
shrink again ? there’s a lot of individual pieces – -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


3029 posts in 1365 days

#6 posted 10-01-2019 11:46 AM

In 2016 I built a huge table for No 1 Son and his family.

When I say huge it was 1500 mm x 1500 mm…...

- robscastle

For those TV dinner snacks, it might be a huge table, however, for a family of 20 you’d be playing musical chairs all day and always eat cold food.

Master craftsman Google states ”All you need is a little laundry detergent and some water. It takes a little more time and effort, but hand washing your timber is one of the safest bets to prevent shrinkage and maintain shape.

PS. You could follow it up with a good shellacking… Somewhere I had a link to how to French polish… properly.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4253 posts in 1126 days

#7 posted 10-01-2019 11:58 AM

Nice work, Rob. It’s a very handsome table.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View sras's profile


5246 posts in 3673 days

#8 posted 10-01-2019 03:23 PM

Nice looking table and a attractive fix!

If the table is in a very stable climate you might have a solid fix. However if the humidity varies you may still be at risk. Wood can expand as well as contract – if the moisture level varies. The larger the table the more vulnerable to size changes.

If you see further damage from expansion/contraction you may want to consider a breadboard end. Here is a view of the details:

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

487 posts in 1836 days

#9 posted 10-02-2019 12:56 AM

Good one Rob. Looks very solid and will last generations.
Never heard of Great Northern Brewing co. Is it that bad mate?

-- James E McIntyre

View Ivan's profile


15217 posts in 3411 days

#10 posted 10-02-2019 03:58 AM

Can’t decide which I like more – legs or the top. Magnificant table!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View robscastle's profile


6502 posts in 2748 days

#11 posted 10-02-2019 06:18 AM

Anthm27:- GN what a gimmick that beer is

hunter71:- Thank you!

recycle1943:- Thank you yeah agree a lot of individual pieces possibly spells trouble later

LBD:- Thanks nice to see you back and participating again not sure where the Pot man is.

Dave:- Thank you Dave, I hope the relocation is going well!

sras:- Thank you and yeah bread-boarding may be the answer

James E:- Thank you and don’t be disapointed if you never get to see the beer its a sad affair

Ivan:- When I did the legs initially I thought they were a waste of timber but agree they finished OK

-- Regards Rob

View pottz's profile


6761 posts in 1528 days

#12 posted 10-02-2019 06:03 PM

hey hey welcome back my friend i seem to have missed this thread the other day.yeah thats a big table and could have a lot of movement as i can see in your pic’s.yeah sras suggestion about the bread boards is the answer to preventing and learn right.hey i see teds is welcoming you back with some spam,i hear it’s good fried!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6931 posts in 3897 days

#13 posted 10-02-2019 06:44 PM

Beautiful table Rob and nice repair too! I wish I had a room big enough to fit a table like that!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


3029 posts in 1365 days

#14 posted 10-03-2019 12:05 AM

....yeah thats a big table and could have a lot of movement ….
- pottz
rc, with all that proposed movement, may I suggest you set it up in your loo!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View woodworkfkdn's profile


296 posts in 49 days

#15 posted 10-03-2019 07:37 PM

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