Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table

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Blog series by TungOil updated 06-05-2017 02:47 AM 14 parts 20481 reads 59 comments total

Part 1: Designing the dining table

02-04-2017 02:02 AM by TungOil | 6 comments »

I recently started the design work for my next project- a dining room table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen House table. My wife has been requesting a new dining room table for quite a while. Her biggest requirement is that it “must seat 12 people”. I decided to blog the construction of this table, I hope a few folks will be interested in following along and provide advice along the way! Since I have always liked the Greene & Greene style, I started looking a...

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Part 2: The First Derivative

02-07-2017 12:16 AM by TungOil | 2 comments »

I think every project I have ever done has led me on at least one tangent, derivative project. This one has already spawned it’s first…… Since I have not used my vacuum bagging system for quite a while, I decided to pull all the equipment out and look it over to make sure everything was still in good working order. When I set up my system originally, I went really basic- an old roughing pump from a mass spec coupled to a home made bag fabricated from heavy plastic drop cloth materi...

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Part 3: A Visit to the Hardwood Dealer

02-12-2017 03:15 AM by TungOil | 4 comments »

Now that my table design is finalized, it was time to head to the hardwood dealer to pick up materials. Hearne Hardwoods in Chester Country, PA is my hardwood dealer of choice for projects requiring very fine wood. They have an extensive selection including figured woods, which I wanted for the top on this table. I loaded up the trailer with 75 bf of 8/4 and 35 bf of 5/4 sapele, along with 40 bf of highly figured 8/4 to be resawn for my top veneers. I unloaded everything and broug...

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Part 4: Veneer Thickness

02-25-2017 01:25 AM by TungOil | 2 comments »

With my materials procured, it’s time to start planning the cuts to make the veneers for the table top. If I’m careful, I can plan the cuts to yield all of the veneer used for the top from a single board. This will give me the best grain and color match across the table, especially important when using figured materials. My table top is designed around 5” wide boards- the veneered cores for each half of the ellipse are made up of seven 5” wide boards totaling 35&...

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Part 5: Veneer Resawing- Bottoms

03-07-2017 04:05 AM by TungOil | 4 comments »

I spent some time this weekend setting up to resaw my veneers. I put together a quick jig to help assure my veneer thickness came out as even as possible. Since even a variance of just 0.005” over ten slices of veneer could add up to nearly 1/16”, I made sure my jig was parallel to the blade. In addition, I flipped the board for each slice of veneer to cancel out any error accumulation. Each veneer slice is 5-1/4” wide and 5’ long. The cuts take about 18 m...

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Part 6: Resawing Top Veneers & CNC Forms

03-15-2017 03:25 AM by TungOil | 4 comments »

This weekend I was able to resaw all the veneers for the top from the figured sapele. These three boards started out as a single 9/4 board 16’ long. There was quite a bit of bow and twist to take out, but light passes with the jointer flattened one face with minimal chip out. Once I had a flat face I was able to resaw into veneer. The figured sapele proved to be far more difficult to resaw than the quarter sawn I used for the bottom veneers. The blade had more of a tendency to ...

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Part 7: Preparing Cores and First Test Bagged Board

03-21-2017 02:08 AM by TungOil | 0 comments »

Now that all of the veneer material is ready it is time to prepare the baltic birch plywood cores. Each finished board consists of two 3/4” baltic birch center cores with a sapele veneer top and bottom. I first cut each 5’x5’ sheet roughly in half for easier handling. The cut is placed slightly off center to be sure I get the maximum number of strips from each piece of plywood. The top shelf on my parts cart is high enough to allow large parts to pass over my join...

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Part 8: Bagging the Leaves and a Design Change

03-29-2017 02:39 AM by TungOil | 11 comments »

Time to start vacuum pressing the boards. I start with the leaves on the theory that if something does not come out quite right, the mistake will be hidden away most of the year. I spread out all of the veneers to arrange and number them in the preferred sequence on the ping pong table, which makes a convenient work surface for sorting and arranging. For this table I like the look of a slip match arrangement over book match. My original design has three 20” wide leaves. On...

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Part 9: Gluing Up the Leaves

04-11-2017 03:07 AM by TungOil | 2 comments »

The next step is gluing up the four leaves. Each of the leaves consists of three of the laminated boards edge glued. I contemplated adding biscuits to help with alignment for the glue ups. When I dry fit the boards before gluing, everything was extremely flat and well aligned, so biscuits were not needed. The glue ups came out very consistent, I measured no more that 1/64” misalignment after I pulled the four leaves out of the clamps. The random orbit sander quickly lev...

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Part 10: Gluing Up and Pattern Routing the Table Halves

05-01-2017 01:20 AM by TungOil | 6 comments »

With my four leaves glued up it is time to move to the elliptical table halves. Each half consists of seven boards and is 35” wide. With so many glue joints to align I break the glue up into two parts. First I glue up four boards, and after that assembly is dry I add the remaining three adjacent boards to complete one half of the table top. A little cleanup with a belt sander levels the glue joints, then I switch to the ROS with an 80 grit disk to clean up the belt sande...

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Part 11: Pattern Routing the Segmented Table Edges

05-06-2017 02:33 AM by TungOil | 3 comments »

In laying out the segmented edges for the top, my goal is to highlight the figured grain in the center of the table without drawing attention to the edge border. I select a single 8/4” quarter sawn board long enough to cut all of the border parts in sequence. The quarter sawn material has a distinctly different appearance and displays the classic ribbon strip pattern. By cutting the borders from a single board I get the best color consistency around the table. By laying out the part...

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Part 12: Table Edge Assembly

05-16-2017 01:32 AM by TungOil | 7 comments »

With the pattern routing complete, it’s time to drill and punch the holes for the square ebony plugs and attach the edges to the table cores. First I layout full scale ebony plugs on pieces of post-it paper so I can make any final adjustments to the location and size before I commit to drilling and punching the holes. I also layout for screws to attach the edges to the table. I set up drill press stops to drill the pilot holes for the square punches to be sure they are all co...

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Part 13: Final Table Edge Routing

05-29-2017 10:55 PM by TungOil | 3 comments »

With the table edges assembled, the next step is the final pattern routing of the outside profile. I route the final shape after the edges are assembled to be sure the ellipse is smooth and continuous. I start by leveling any minor misalignment between the edges with an 80 grit disk on the random orbit sander. The assembled table top is about 1/16” larger than the outside pattern to allow for the final shaping. I use a solid carbide spiral upcut bit to get the smoothest finis...

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Part 14: Assembling the Leave Edges

06-05-2017 02:47 AM by TungOil | 5 comments »

Now that the table ends are assembled, I have all the final dimensions needed to finish the leaves. By waiting until the table ends are completed, I can adjust the size of the leaves as needed to match the ends exactly. I start by sizing the inner cores. After striking a cut line square to the edge, I clamp a waste piece to the leave to prevent blow out. I carefully line up a straight reference edge to route the end of the leave straight. The finished cuts are clean and tea...

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