Last summer a friend of mine gave me a small red oak drop leaf table that he had stored in his shed. For him it was a “when I get around to it” project. Well, he never got around to it. When he gave it to me it was in pretty rough shape. The top was starting to separate due to the effects of the environment it was in. The table was partially disassembled so when I got it home I finished the process by removing all the hardware and parts that hold the top to the legs. The legs seemed to be in pretty good shape so all I’ll have to to them is sand off the existing finish and then apply the finish of my choice.
To correct the separation in the top I gently pulled on both side of the top which allowed the failing glue joint to come apart completely. Once separarted I ran each half through the table to clean up the joint that failed. After having re-glued the two halves I scraped off the glue and then rough sanded with 80 grit. I also sanded the leaves of the table with 80 grit.
The issue I’m facing right now is that the main table and both leaves need to be flattened. The following pictures will help explain.
The first picture shows the main portion of the table. As you can see there are sections that are not flat. The same goes for the leaves, which are shown in the other two pictures. Both of the table leaves are somewhat cupped. The same friend that gave me the table has a wide drum sander and I thought about running each section through until they were flat. The other idea was to plane them flat but I do not know which plane I should use or how to even use it if I had one. I have a Stanley block plane and a Miller Falls #8. I would actually like to learn how to use a plane in order to make something flat but like I said I wouldn’t know what kind of plane to use. Yet another idea is to use a card scraper, although I think this would be the most time consuming. In your opinion which of these methods. or any other methos for that matter, will yield the best results?
If you are taking the time to read this and you have faced a situation like this I would greatly appreciate your insight. Thank you for your time.
-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"