A small conference table - the build #1: Preparing the boards

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Blog entry by Al Navas posted 01-26-2009 03:39 PM 4418 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A small conference table - the build series Part 2: The full-size table: Gluing up the top »

From my blog:

Now I start the full-size conference table for a client. This table will be 2X the size of this one I shared here, and submitted to the Winter 2009 Woodworking Awards:

But I will change the edge treatment as follows:

I want to be able do preliminary grain matching, before cutting the boards closer to size. Since at this stage I am not flattening the boards, the #3 is perfect and fast for the job:

Rough boards are not perfectly flat, so my planing stop did not do its job. Time to bring out something more substantial – the Gramercy holdfast – one good WHACK!, and I can resume planing:

Cleaned up, so I could use the floor to match the boards before cutting them to length plus about 6 inches:

Now I can better match the boards, and decide where to cut them:

Once cut, I use the power jointer and planer to make these perfectly flat. The edges needed a little tweaking, so I used the “other” jointer, to create a little “spring” in the joint, to minimize the risk of gaps developing near the ends of the table; the boards in the clamps are already done, and the surface between them is perfectly flat; but I still must do the third and fourth boards:

At the end of the day I had to peek at the grain on one of the boards for the aprons:

The build continues… Thanks for following along!


-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

6 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#1 posted 01-26-2009 04:05 PM

This is off to an interesting start and it looks like this is going to be a nice series to see. I am looking forward to the next installment. Construction posts like this give a lot of detail and add a lot of interest in the completed project post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3586 days

#2 posted 01-26-2009 04:14 PM

Wow I salute you Al ( since I don’t wear hat) for doing board truing (from roughing… to smoothing) all by hand planing. I appreciate your effort and hardwork. Because not only I do not have the skill, I have two small hands with no muscle to flex.
I’m following your progress – since I started to like working with wood mostly by hand.
Great work Al!
Thanks for sharing.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3739 days

#3 posted 01-26-2009 04:16 PM

Looks like you’re off to a good start, Al. I always love it when you get the flake exposed on white oak, then the fun of matching all the pieces together. Waiting for the next installment.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3683 days

#4 posted 01-26-2009 04:41 PM

Excellent blog so far ….I can’t wait to see the final results : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3957 days

#5 posted 01-26-2009 06:40 PM

looking good, Al.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 3870 days

#6 posted 01-27-2009 03:13 AM

Thanks, Scott! I will be posting from time to time, but mostly as I make true progress.

Thanks! I did the first joining and planing using power tools, and then switched to the hand plane to refine the edges to get a sprung joint.

It is truly exciting to see those flakes come up – agreed!

Thanks, Dusty!

And my thanks to you, Thomas!

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

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