The client liked the idea of bookmatched top. Four boards would make it 42 inches wide. That meant, to get balance in the knot patterns, that the two outboard boards would be matched and likewise the two interior ones. It came out quite nice.
There were nailholes that had been split, and they were blackened. I used a mixture of epoxy and carbon to fill those. Other knots that were loose and had been removed for planing were replaced and superglued in. In some cases I sliced pieces off those knots and used them to fill where knots had shattered or were gone. Other areas were reinforced with epoxy/local sawdust.
Fir is hard to sand flat because of the contrast of hard areas and soft. I took advantage of that by hand sanding with a random orbit and getting a graceful swooshy feel to it. Well used.
There were small areas of planer tearout, often right upstream or downstream from a knot. Those I just dented deeper with the head of a carriage bolt. Enough finish will get down there so that attention won’t be drawn to it.
These became the top. Final dimensions, 41×81
The leaves net 33 inches apiece. The whole table extends to a respectable 12 ft. 3 in.
And here’s the finished, unfinished look:
The actual top has two large dowels in the bottom which register in holes in the center panel. It has to be a little movable for the leaves to escape.
The first time I pulled out a leave with the top on, I was stunned: zzzzzzzzz clunk! The two surfaces lined right up. Way cool. Same on the other end.
The table has been delivered to the client who is doing his own finishing. He is pleased. Me too. I signed it under the fixed center panel.
-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"