For the top, I decided to use construction grade 2×4s. However, I did not realize that I was short by a few when I started. My father in law gave me some redwood 2×6s from a deck he took down a few years ago. He told me all the rich people in Belle Meade, TN used to have their decks built from the stuff, but now you can’t find the stuff anywhere. The 2×6s he gave me were rotten for first inch. I ripped it off the top inch at the tbsw and planed them down to 1.5”. Then I ripped a 0.25” off each 2×4 at the tbsw, to take off the rounded edges.
This is what them all squared (no round edges).
I took the redwood pieces to the mitersaw and cut the 45s necessary to receive the front dovetail of the leg. I pretty much cut all the pieces that would fill the spaces around the legs. This is a dry fit of what it looks like dry fit.
At this point, I measured all my pieces carefully and cut duplicates for the other side. This ensured the legs would be square front to back. I tried to do a glue up of the above and it was a nightmare. No matter how many clamps, surfaces, hands that I used, I could not get it to work. I decided to use some oak pegs (3/8”). Since I was using them for the stretchers, I thought it might look kinda cool also. So I clamped some cauls and ensured it was flat (within reason) and drilled some long holes with an auger bit.
Then I glued it up, pounded some pegs, and clamped it. I was really surprised how well the pegs lined everything up. I might use this method in the future for more rustic projects.
Then I glued up the center section. Individually, the sections were less than 12” (6” for the sides and 11” for the middle), so they all fit through my desktop planer. I was able to get them all to same relative thickness. Then I glued them all up… all clamps and cauls on deck! This is before I took the No. 7 to it.
Next entry will have the end caps and finished top.