I finally gave up on the original design for the table’s frame. It turned out wobbly, and because of the A frame style of a sawhorse, I was constantly tripping over the legs since they extended out a bit further than the table top. That and I really did not like how it looked. So I went on to start rebuilding. Here is what I am going to build:
I went the Schwarz route – buy wood that is cheap and readily available, and bought a bunch of Douglas Fir from the Borg. I followed additional Schwarz advice by digging through the wider and longer piles and found much better quality lumber. I eventually selected five 12 foot long 2×12s that I had the store cut into 4 foot lengths for me. I could have hauled them home intact, but it was easier to have the store cut them.
Next was to rip the 4 foot lengths in half. I use a piece of UniStrut (less than $15 for a ten foot stick) clamped to my table saw fence when cutting material that does not have a straight edge. Once I figured this out, ripping larger pieces has become much easier and safer. Occasionally the wood will clamp down on the saw’s blade – if I see this happening, I screw a piece of scrap to the end to maintain the width of the blade’s kerf. The end gets trimmed later after planing to thickness.
This gives me 30 pieces of fir that are about 5 3/4” wide. The final dimension of the legs will be 5 inches square.
Another run through the table saw brings all the pieces down to 5 1/2”.
Everything got planed down to just over 1 1/4”. 4 pieces thus gives me just over 5 inches in thickness. Now to start gluing up. I have read many a blog and website story about laminations gone bad, where the boards have slipped by their intended position once lubricated with glue. I came up with an interesting solution that worked very well. I intentionally glued the boards together offset, using 2 pennies stacked on alternating edges to ensure the offset would give me one protruding edge to reference against the table saw fence later on. Some clamps and blocks along the width make this work.
Once the glue was dry, I then ran the pieces through the saw (referencing the single protruding edge against the fence), flipping the leg end for end to ensure everything was cut square. The opposite side (with the protruding edge) was run through the planer. I stopped planing before I got to 5 inches – I still have one more piece to glue on.
Once I had two legs glued up and squared, I used them as cauls for the remaining legs.
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally had six legs. They are square at 5 inches. And I did it without a jointer. I had a bit more waste material than some people would be happy with, but I am pleased they came out right. They got sanded and chamfered.
-- I can complicate anything