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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Test Drive

The first installment of this blog is here due to LJ blogging technical issues…

To make sure the dimensions are correct for our new table, we decided to do a little test drive. It didn't hurt that we're having eight people over for a Fourth of July BBQ. We ran over to the big box store and bought a sheet of particle board for $29. When we got it home, I cut it down to 45" x 72", the finished dimensions of the table top. After I sanded it and eased the edges, we spun our little table around and centered it in the dining room. It's a lot bigger than I was expecting, but I'm getting used to it. It fits eight comfortably. My girlfriend likes it, although when it's just the two of us, it'll seem a bit large. The good news is that the wine barrel end lazy susan I'm planning on building will look quite nice in the middle of it. I'll be heading down to San Jose to make a major lumber purchase soon. I'm still going with Schroeder's Rodel design.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Template Adjustment

So, we decided that 72" was a bit overpowering. I yanked the pseudo-top out into the garage and cut a foot off, and then to preserve the Golden Ratio (we just watched a documentary about the Parthenon), cut the width down to 37". This size is much better, and is more amenable to placing a Limbert Lamp Table or sideboard in the dining area. It seats six comfortably instead of eight, but we'd rather setup another table or TV trays instead of having a monolithic table 24/7. This size is also much more acceptable for just the two of us, without vast expanses of table top unused. Albeit, this may impinge on my wine barrel top lazy susan plans. C'est la vie…
 

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Template Adjustment

So, we decided that 72" was a bit overpowering. I yanked the pseudo-top out into the garage and cut a foot off, and then to preserve the Golden Ratio (we just watched a documentary about the Parthenon), cut the width down to 37". This size is much better, and is more amenable to placing a Limbert Lamp Table or sideboard in the dining area. It seats six comfortably instead of eight, but we'd rather setup another table or TV trays instead of having a monolithic table 24/7. This size is also much more acceptable for just the two of us, without vast expanses of table top unused. Albeit, this may impinge on my wine barrel top lazy susan plans. C'est la vie…
look forward to photos
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rationalized Need



After working in the Valley for a couple of weeks, I decided to spend some of my harder than I thought earned money to get a mortising machine. I settled on the DELTA 14-651 because of its Amazon reviews and price point ($289). I would've loved to get the Powermatic, but that would've taken another year to justify ($480).

I rationalized that with all of the mortises that I'll need for the dining room table, that this additional expense will pay itself off on this one project when you figure all of the time I'll save not dulling my Narex chisels. It was a lot heavier than I expected. I used to have a cheap Chicago mortiser, but it wouldn't cut butter. It was rather late in the evening when I started assembly, so I was a little tired and the directions were just unclear enough to confuse me for a bit. I got it all put together and working and cut a nice little mortise in a piece of scrap walnut. Other than the fence and bit weren't square to each other, it worked pretty well. Once I get up and running with it, I'll post a more thorough review in the proper location.

I've been waiting a long time to get a mortising machine, but with the potential for a lot of pegged picture frames and the table w/ six chairs coming down the pike, I thought it made sense. Luckily, I have a microwave stand out in the garage that I will be able to attach it to as a dedicated station.

Wish me luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Change of Plans?

Thanks in large part to WhatTheChuck, I'm giving serious thought to changing the design of the underbody of the table. With all due respect to Schroeder's table, which I prefer the looks of in many ways, I think the lack of a footrest underneath is a good thing, and the spindles underneath are magnificent, yet kind of a waste of time, energy, effort, and lumber as they'll be hidden by chairs. I think the trestle-style design might be more pragmatic, and still embody the simplicity and elegance that I'm striving for. It looks like I'll still be making the Rodel chairs, which I guess in some way completes the set (but without the fillers in the back splat).







Cool video of Kevin Rodel making the back splat of his chair on Finewoodworking.com
 

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Change of Plans?

Thanks in large part to WhatTheChuck, I'm giving serious thought to changing the design of the underbody of the table. With all due respect to Schroeder's table, which I prefer the looks of in many ways, I think the lack of a footrest underneath is a good thing, and the spindles underneath are magnificent, yet kind of a waste of time, energy, effort, and lumber as they'll be hidden by chairs. I think the trestle-style design might be more pragmatic, and still embody the simplicity and elegance that I'm striving for. It looks like I'll still be making the Rodel chairs, which I guess in some way completes the set (but without the fillers in the back splat).







Cool video of Kevin Rodel making the back splat of his chair on Finewoodworking.com
I think both designs are interesting. I don't think that the long rail functions as a footrest. You can't even reach it with your feet on mine. Also, you can sit eight easily at my Stickey Table
 

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Change of Plans?

Thanks in large part to WhatTheChuck, I'm giving serious thought to changing the design of the underbody of the table. With all due respect to Schroeder's table, which I prefer the looks of in many ways, I think the lack of a footrest underneath is a good thing, and the spindles underneath are magnificent, yet kind of a waste of time, energy, effort, and lumber as they'll be hidden by chairs. I think the trestle-style design might be more pragmatic, and still embody the simplicity and elegance that I'm striving for. It looks like I'll still be making the Rodel chairs, which I guess in some way completes the set (but without the fillers in the back splat).







Cool video of Kevin Rodel making the back splat of his chair on Finewoodworking.com
I prefer the trestle style also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Change of Plans?

Thanks in large part to WhatTheChuck, I'm giving serious thought to changing the design of the underbody of the table. With all due respect to Schroeder's table, which I prefer the looks of in many ways, I think the lack of a footrest underneath is a good thing, and the spindles underneath are magnificent, yet kind of a waste of time, energy, effort, and lumber as they'll be hidden by chairs. I think the trestle-style design might be more pragmatic, and still embody the simplicity and elegance that I'm striving for. It looks like I'll still be making the Rodel chairs, which I guess in some way completes the set (but without the fillers in the back splat).







Cool video of Kevin Rodel making the back splat of his chair on Finewoodworking.com
I should probably post this design by Rex Alexander as my other choice:



It's a free plan on FWW. I'm going to print it out and compare the design to Kevin Rodel's. Luckily, I still have time to decide. To date, I've only made the template for the Rodel chair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Slight Change of Plans

Just a short update. While surfing plans, as I am wont to do, I stumbled across these trestle table plans. I didn't give much thought to it, as it's a bit too modern for me, but when I looked at the detailed preview, I saw something quite interesting. The plans include a leaf extension system that will work perfectly with my oversized breadboard ends. This means that I can make a table that seats six and with just a bit more work, seat eight.

 

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Slight Change of Plans

Just a short update. While surfing plans, as I am wont to do, I stumbled across these trestle table plans. I didn't give much thought to it, as it's a bit too modern for me, but when I looked at the detailed preview, I saw something quite interesting. The plans include a leaf extension system that will work perfectly with my oversized breadboard ends. This means that I can make a table that seats six and with just a bit more work, seat eight.

If you made swing-out legs, you could even make the extensions long enough that it'd go from seating 6 to seating 10. That is a neat design, and simpler (and more structurally sound), I think, than having the table split in the middle.
 

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Slight Change of Plans

Just a short update. While surfing plans, as I am wont to do, I stumbled across these trestle table plans. I didn't give much thought to it, as it's a bit too modern for me, but when I looked at the detailed preview, I saw something quite interesting. The plans include a leaf extension system that will work perfectly with my oversized breadboard ends. This means that I can make a table that seats six and with just a bit more work, seat eight.

I'll let you learn first, because that's what I wish to do down the road as well.
 

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Slight Change of Plans

Just a short update. While surfing plans, as I am wont to do, I stumbled across these trestle table plans. I didn't give much thought to it, as it's a bit too modern for me, but when I looked at the detailed preview, I saw something quite interesting. The plans include a leaf extension system that will work perfectly with my oversized breadboard ends. This means that I can make a table that seats six and with just a bit more work, seat eight.

interesting aproach
 

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Slight Change of Plans

Just a short update. While surfing plans, as I am wont to do, I stumbled across these trestle table plans. I didn't give much thought to it, as it's a bit too modern for me, but when I looked at the detailed preview, I saw something quite interesting. The plans include a leaf extension system that will work perfectly with my oversized breadboard ends. This means that I can make a table that seats six and with just a bit more work, seat eight.

Nice looking table too.
 

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Slight Change of Plans

Just a short update. While surfing plans, as I am wont to do, I stumbled across these trestle table plans. I didn't give much thought to it, as it's a bit too modern for me, but when I looked at the detailed preview, I saw something quite interesting. The plans include a leaf extension system that will work perfectly with my oversized breadboard ends. This means that I can make a table that seats six and with just a bit more work, seat eight.

nice approach to an old problem ,
and the footprint stays the same !
thanks .
keep us posted .
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Hard Part

So, today I ran over to Plywood & Lumber Sales in Oakland, CA and purchased about 100 board feet of quartersawn white oak. I finally have enough lumber to do the dining table. I'm going to start with the top and get that finished so I can bring it into the dining room and set it on top of my old table. This will get rid of the MDF table top we've been using for months. It'll also let me use the MDF for more important things like jigs. I also abhor the tablecloth we've been using to cover up the MDF. Now that the Limbert Table is about done, I can focus on the top over the next week. It'll have breadboard ends and ebony splines/plugs, I just don't know about Schroeder's base or Rodel's. I think Rogowski has a nice design too. Sigh…
 

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The Hard Part

So, today I ran over to Plywood & Lumber Sales in Oakland, CA and purchased about 100 board feet of quartersawn white oak. I finally have enough lumber to do the dining table. I'm going to start with the top and get that finished so I can bring it into the dining room and set it on top of my old table. This will get rid of the MDF table top we've been using for months. It'll also let me use the MDF for more important things like jigs. I also abhor the tablecloth we've been using to cover up the MDF. Now that the Limbert Table is about done, I can focus on the top over the next week. It'll have breadboard ends and ebony splines/plugs, I just don't know about Schroeder's base or Rodel's. I think Rogowski has a nice design too. Sigh…
hey--add a link to those guys designs so we can take a look and help you decide--lol…

I FINALLY GOT TO MACBEATHS in Berkeley and it was fun…I had wife and toddler's in tow since we were on the way to the oakland zoo…but i still had fun….its not too far from napa…especially on a saturday morning…and maybe next time I will add PALS…
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The Hard Part

So, today I ran over to Plywood & Lumber Sales in Oakland, CA and purchased about 100 board feet of quartersawn white oak. I finally have enough lumber to do the dining table. I'm going to start with the top and get that finished so I can bring it into the dining room and set it on top of my old table. This will get rid of the MDF table top we've been using for months. It'll also let me use the MDF for more important things like jigs. I also abhor the tablecloth we've been using to cover up the MDF. Now that the Limbert Table is about done, I can focus on the top over the next week. It'll have breadboard ends and ebony splines/plugs, I just don't know about Schroeder's base or Rodel's. I think Rogowski has a nice design too. Sigh…
Dude! I live like a block from the zoo. Next time, we gotta hook up! I'll add the links in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Hard Part

So, today I ran over to Plywood & Lumber Sales in Oakland, CA and purchased about 100 board feet of quartersawn white oak. I finally have enough lumber to do the dining table. I'm going to start with the top and get that finished so I can bring it into the dining room and set it on top of my old table. This will get rid of the MDF table top we've been using for months. It'll also let me use the MDF for more important things like jigs. I also abhor the tablecloth we've been using to cover up the MDF. Now that the Limbert Table is about done, I can focus on the top over the next week. It'll have breadboard ends and ebony splines/plugs, I just don't know about Schroeder's base or Rodel's. I think Rogowski has a nice design too. Sigh…
OK, as promised, here are the links to the various designs I'm mulling over. I think I can still go ahead and laminate the four-sided quartersawn legs.

Schroeder's Table based on a Rex Alexander design (I'm concerned about the footrest):


Kevin Rodel's desk (can be slightly modified to make a trestle table):
#

Gizmodyne's Stickley #622 dining table (wanted something a bit fancier):
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep...

When I bought the $500 worth of quartersawn white oak a few months ago, I promised my girlfriend that I'd make a dining table for Thanksgiving. We had to run down to the Caribbean for a business trip over Turkey Day (don't cry for me), so we fried a turkey the weekend before. Long story short, Christmas and New Years came and went and we're still serving it up on the MDF mock up. Sigh… I found an unexpected week off between sailing lessons (I've got 20 days worth in January, so much for the off-season), so I got myself all jazzed to make progress on the dining room table.


^ I busted out all the QSWO I had and selected the best pieces for the top, then I arranged them according to medullary ray flake, color, grain, etc. with the help of my furry supervisor.


^ I was dreading the glue up until I remembered that I read on here somewhere that you don't have to glue up all the boards at once (duh!). I did one seam at a time and was able to control things (with the help of the "persuader"). It took all night to do all of the glue ups, but the end result was the largest, and best table top I've ever done. I no longer use biscuits for these kinds of glue-ups because for some reason they have caused me more alignment problems than they solve.

I flipped the table over and sanded the joints until the entire top looks practically like one huge slab. I bought 5/4 and only planed the top surface to leave it as thick as possible yet still achieve uniform thickness.

Then there was the breadboard ends. I thought I was going to make fixed ends, but we made an executive decision to make it expandable, so I ran off to the woodworking store and got some hardware for just such an occasion. I was rather proud of the tongue I milled into the top of the table (I offset it to make the breadboard end top as thick as possible. We also decided on a completely flush top (ala Kevin Rodel), so the placemats would sit flat. Needless to say, I had to cut my tongue off and then use a straight edge to trim it flush with the router.


^ I made a template for the router to plow out the notches in the breadboard ends necessary to seat the slider bars deep enough for strength, but tucked back enough so you wouldn't necessarily see it unless you were looking. I taped everything to reduce chipout and was relatively successful. I bought 8/4 for the breadboard ends specifically so I wouldn't have to glue up a thicker board and stare at the seams. The proportions turned out amazing. The field of the table is beefy enough for the size (38" x 62" = Golden Ratio), and the ends give it enough mass to feel solid. I used all of my safety gear when cutting the 8/4 stock. It made me considerably more confident.


^ I then had to make the brackets for the sliding bars to slide through. I made the sliders thick enough to bear the weight of the leaves, so I had to make the brackets large enough to handle the sliders. I drilled a large diameter hole in the inside corner to reduce splitting (splitting is inversely proportional to the radius of the intersection) and milled the rest out. Doing anything eight times is tedious. I had to focus on safety as what's left of my fingers were very close to the blade.


^ Here you see my sliding expanding table in all it's raging glory. I think it might actually work. I glued the pads to the underside of the table to match the thickness of the breadboard ends, which make the hardware line up. I could've routed a notch into the breadboard ends deep enough so the bottom would be flush with the bottom of the field, but I didn't want to undermine the solidity of the ends.

Tomorrow is more sanding, some small tweaking, and laying out the base onto the bottom of the top. Because of the way I jury-rigged everything to make the breadboard ends slide out, I need to lay out the 4"x4" legs, aprons, etc. to make sure nothing interferes with the sliding mechanism. To complicate matters further, I learned from my old apartment table that you need to make sure two chairs can fit easily between the legs, side by side. As a result, I'm going to lay out the leg spacing very carefully. Of course that is completely determinded by which base I'm going to make. I guess I'll make that permanent decision tomorrow morning over coffee and my daily LJ's fix. Sigh…

Unless some cosmic event interferes, I'll be using the formula that I used to finish the pagoda tile frame. I'm hoping the table will look instantly like it's a hundred years old.
 

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I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep...

When I bought the $500 worth of quartersawn white oak a few months ago, I promised my girlfriend that I'd make a dining table for Thanksgiving. We had to run down to the Caribbean for a business trip over Turkey Day (don't cry for me), so we fried a turkey the weekend before. Long story short, Christmas and New Years came and went and we're still serving it up on the MDF mock up. Sigh… I found an unexpected week off between sailing lessons (I've got 20 days worth in January, so much for the off-season), so I got myself all jazzed to make progress on the dining room table.


^ I busted out all the QSWO I had and selected the best pieces for the top, then I arranged them according to medullary ray flake, color, grain, etc. with the help of my furry supervisor.


^ I was dreading the glue up until I remembered that I read on here somewhere that you don't have to glue up all the boards at once (duh!). I did one seam at a time and was able to control things (with the help of the "persuader"). It took all night to do all of the glue ups, but the end result was the largest, and best table top I've ever done. I no longer use biscuits for these kinds of glue-ups because for some reason they have caused me more alignment problems than they solve.

I flipped the table over and sanded the joints until the entire top looks practically like one huge slab. I bought 5/4 and only planed the top surface to leave it as thick as possible yet still achieve uniform thickness.

Then there was the breadboard ends. I thought I was going to make fixed ends, but we made an executive decision to make it expandable, so I ran off to the woodworking store and got some hardware for just such an occasion. I was rather proud of the tongue I milled into the top of the table (I offset it to make the breadboard end top as thick as possible. We also decided on a completely flush top (ala Kevin Rodel), so the placemats would sit flat. Needless to say, I had to cut my tongue off and then use a straight edge to trim it flush with the router.


^ I made a template for the router to plow out the notches in the breadboard ends necessary to seat the slider bars deep enough for strength, but tucked back enough so you wouldn't necessarily see it unless you were looking. I taped everything to reduce chipout and was relatively successful. I bought 8/4 for the breadboard ends specifically so I wouldn't have to glue up a thicker board and stare at the seams. The proportions turned out amazing. The field of the table is beefy enough for the size (38" x 62" = Golden Ratio), and the ends give it enough mass to feel solid. I used all of my safety gear when cutting the 8/4 stock. It made me considerably more confident.


^ I then had to make the brackets for the sliding bars to slide through. I made the sliders thick enough to bear the weight of the leaves, so I had to make the brackets large enough to handle the sliders. I drilled a large diameter hole in the inside corner to reduce splitting (splitting is inversely proportional to the radius of the intersection) and milled the rest out. Doing anything eight times is tedious. I had to focus on safety as what's left of my fingers were very close to the blade.


^ Here you see my sliding expanding table in all it's raging glory. I think it might actually work. I glued the pads to the underside of the table to match the thickness of the breadboard ends, which make the hardware line up. I could've routed a notch into the breadboard ends deep enough so the bottom would be flush with the bottom of the field, but I didn't want to undermine the solidity of the ends.

Tomorrow is more sanding, some small tweaking, and laying out the base onto the bottom of the top. Because of the way I jury-rigged everything to make the breadboard ends slide out, I need to lay out the 4"x4" legs, aprons, etc. to make sure nothing interferes with the sliding mechanism. To complicate matters further, I learned from my old apartment table that you need to make sure two chairs can fit easily between the legs, side by side. As a result, I'm going to lay out the leg spacing very carefully. Of course that is completely determinded by which base I'm going to make. I guess I'll make that permanent decision tomorrow morning over coffee and my daily LJ's fix. Sigh…

Unless some cosmic event interferes, I'll be using the formula that I used to finish the pagoda tile frame. I'm hoping the table will look instantly like it's a hundred years old.
WOW. looking great. I will interested in following you progress

I recently found this site. It explains many of the 'Do and Don'ts' of dining room table construction, includng measurements.
http://www.tablelegs.com/WoodworkingPlansAndArticles/DiningTableDesignBasics.aspx

When you are done, please post final pic's and report…..As I must start my first dining room table this spring.
 
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