|Project by Peter_R||posted 05-03-2011 05:12 AM||3992 views||9 times favorited||10 comments|
This is my largest undertaking so far. The dining table is made from solid cherry. The legs are also solid cherry that arrived as rough turning stocks. I am an amateur woodworker so this is my first time using joiner, planer and my second time using a router. I’m happy to report that I still have 10 fingers.
I wanted a farm table with a little contemporary feel to it. For wood selection, it was basically a process of elimination; pine is too soft, red oak is the same as my floors, mahogany is only sold in 10 ft+ section (couldn’t fit in my SUV). So Cherry was eventually chosen.
The top pieces were glued together with #10 biscuits every 8 inches. The ends were trimmed off using a circular saw.
The edging is 4-inch cherry with biscuit joints all around including the miter joints. I could have routed the edges but decided not to (to stick with with farm table look).
The legs were planed down using a Dewalt 12” planer from 4 3/8-inch turning stocks (all 4 weight about 80 lbs!). A router with 45 deg. bit was used to make the tapered corner for the frame. My router bit was a little too small so I had to run it twice and hand finish the tapers. Hanger bolts are 5/16” (should have gone with 3/8” for a table this size but it feels solid with two 5/16” at each corner).
Frames are made from 4-inch cherry, connected together using Kreg screws (I thought about tenon joints..etc but didn’t want to get too fancy with my first table).
Stain is Minwax Gel stain (Mahogany). I’m sure some members here will ask why not leave it natural!? The reason is that when I compared the cherry natural stain test piece to our red oak floor (also natural), it looked exactly the same. So, without having the table camouflaged against the floor, had to go darker. I know that Cherry will get darker overtime but, it’ll probably take 100 years with CFL bulbs hanging over the table. I can’t wait that long.
Top coat is Minwax water base poly semi-gloss. Spray on in a can (forgive me).
Learnings from my first table project:
1. You never can have enough pipe clamps. Go with 3/4” not 1/2” and make sure you have at least 6.
2. When you join the table top, test fit all the pieces and start gluing from the middle (if you start from one end, the last piece may not be as straight).
3. Make sure you clamp the ends when you glue so that the ends are even.
4. As you glue and clamp the pieces, wipe down excess glue with damp cloth. It’s a lot easier than letting it dry and trying to get rid of it.
5. Cherry is difficult to stain. Even after applying pre-stain, there were plenty of blotchy areas. Gel stains are ok as long as you know how to apply them.