Figured Maple and Walnut Coffee Table #2: 2nd weekend

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Blog entry by bohnsai posted 10-17-2010 04:15 AM 2929 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting started Part 2 of Figured Maple and Walnut Coffee Table series Part 3: Second Weekend part two »

So last week I left off getting a straight edge on all my boards to start out with.

The jig I use for the table saw is below. I got all the boards cut last weekend but just didn’t get around to updating the blog until today.

So it figures that while thinking about this project during the week, I decided to change it a bit. It’ll likely go through about half a dozen design revisions before I’m done with it :-)

Step Three: Panel Glue Ups!

I decided I was going to just use the biscuit joiner for everything on the this project, including the panels. I have a panel glue bit for the router but since I’m going to be able to see end grain on the top, I opted to skip it and just go with a flat edge.

Here is the top and shelf glued up for starters

For the shelf I’ve added a maple strip to either side of the panel for and inlay looking effect. Now I haven’t used biscuits on these piece yet as they will be bordered by walnut again.

I will note that once I get a panel clamped up, I will take it off the work table put it on end and move some of the clamps to the other side of the panel. This helps equalize the clamping pressure on the panel

After waiting most of the day for the glue to dry, I trimmed the shelf to size and put the other bit of maple edge. Yes I’m gluing face to end grain, and yes I know about wood movement. However, I have many tops like this, some 15 yrs old and never had a problem with the seasonal movement when using walnut and maple. Oak, that is a different story. Plus once I cut the biscuits for the final edge, it will be much stronger and resist movement better.

Step Four: Finish the maple top.

While waiting for the shelf to dry, I started working on the Birdseye Maple top.

First I took the belt sander to the underside and flattened it out a bit. Next, I trimmed it up using a crosscut sled on the table saw. Finally it started to look like a top.

This Birdseye Maple board had a couple of cracks and checks from drying, not surprising given the figure. Instead of putty, I used the super glue/sawdust trick to fill in the cracks. After waiting for the glue to dry I took the belt sander to the top.

Then I got out the cabinet scrapper and started to scrape it. And scrape it, and scrape it!

Finally, once it was flat, I took a 1/8 round over bit and treated the edge

Finally, since the maple top is going to sit about 1/2 inch higher than the walnut border, I wanted to add some thickness to it so the bottom edge of the walnut would be flush with the maple.

I was originally going to glue the top to a piece of 1/2” MDF but it already weighs a ton. Instead I cut 2” strips of MDF and glued those to the edge.

So tomorrow when it finally dries, I can start putting the walnut border on it.

I was originally going to go with keyed miter corners but I’m still a little worried about wood movement and wanted a stronger joint. So instead I’m going to go with a loose tenon reinforced rail and stile joint. I will copy this approach on the shelf as well.

-- You're not a real wood worker until you've been to the Emergency one year...wait a minute, this isn't right.

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