Rip and power plane table?

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Forum topic by oliussw posted 06-19-2015 05:29 PM 819 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1588 days

06-19-2015 05:29 PM

I’m fairly new to woodworking but have completed several smaller projects over the last 3 years. Now I’ve agreed to build my wife a live edge dining table. It will be 62”x42” with a traditional apron type base. I have 3 pieces of 6/4 wormy butternut for the top. The two pieces live edges are around 16” wide and the middle “filler” piece is about 10” wide. My question is about how to join up the three pieces. I have a Dewalt 735 planer and can rip both side pieces and plane all pieces with it. Then I would have to re-join those pieces and end up with 4 glue joints. Or I could joint and glue up the three pieces. This way I would have to hand plane the top but would have only two glue joints. The three pieces are all within ~1/8” in thickness but there are a few places with tear out from the milling I would have to deal with if I went the hand route.

What do you all think?

3 replies so far

View Imakenicefirewood's profile


77 posts in 1809 days

#1 posted 06-19-2015 07:02 PM

I think I would go with the 2 joints method. Then, if the top needed to be flattened, I would build a temporary router sled to even out the top and remove the tear out. This can be done for both sides, and will create a nice flat surface to start smoothing.

I used a temporary router sled to flatten a cabinet top that was made of rough, reclaimed, white oak, and it worked well. (This was not nearly as big as your top.) I put bar clamps under the piece and clamped long, straight boards on either side. I then used additional straight boards resting on top with a gap between them for the bit to protrude through. (I really should build a router sled, but I have a tiny shop with almost no storage for jigs.)

Just my thoughts on how I might do it. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

View oliussw's profile


6 posts in 1588 days

#2 posted 06-20-2015 11:55 AM

Imakenicefirewood, I’ll look at putting together a sled. Hopefully my little Ryobi router is good enough to get it flat.

View jerryminer's profile


960 posts in 1894 days

#3 posted 06-20-2015 04:40 PM

I would also choose the 3-board, 2-joint option, as long as you can get the glue joints clean and tight.

You might consider “cheating” the after-glue-up flattening by finding a local cabinet shop with a wide-belt sander—-a few passes can work wonders on a big top—-or take the “purist” route and flatten with hand planes.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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