My friend suggested that we take a intermediate cabinet class at the local technical school. I had attended such a class many years ago, and even though we both have nice shops and have been woodworking for a long time, we signed up. The class workshop is almost brand new and full of state of the art machines including several saw stops, a 10 inch jointer, an unbelievable sliding table saw, and a 42 wide belt sander. The instructor is good and the students all seem great and all are at different experience levels. While most of this build is done by hand, the thought of flattening my table top by hand makes the wide belt sander look very attractive. So, I temporarily have stopped work on the stretcher and instead picked up some 8/4 oak for the top. The top calls for 3 planks that are approximately 13” wide and 77 inches long. My wood supplier had one 13” wide piece, but I had to glue up for the other two. I managed to get my truck stuck in the snow twice along with a few dents getting to my shop door. My wife pulled me out with our John Deere Gator and I loaded the planks into the gator and hauled them to the shop.
I prepared the stock in the usual way. First jointing the best face, then thickness planing, jointing the best edge square to the reference face, ripping to width, and then jointing the sawn edge. I left the boards long for now.
The planks are all down to 1 3/4” thickness and as you can see they are all very straight.
Here are the planks after preparation. The outer planks are each made up of two boards and I was able to get a very nice grain match.
The 13” wide center plank was too wide for my jointer, so it went straight to my 15” planer. It was very flat so it turned out fine. It was however very heavy and it was all I could do to joint the edges without wobbling.
I glued up in stages, doing each of the outside planks separately and as you can see I put lots of clamps to work. I would much rather overdo it than not get a good glue joint.
The second outside plank was glued up in the same way and both allowed to cure overnight.
Tonight, my wife helped and we glued the now three planks together which needed longer clamps and it will sit until tomorrow. Next week I will load it up and take to the night class for the widebelt sander.