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Looking for some advice joining two halves of a circular table

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Forum topic by Jesse posted 09-15-2015 07:40 PM 689 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jesse

3 posts in 444 days


09-15-2015 07:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: circular table coffee table help requested joining modern

Hey all! I’ve been a longtime lurker here, just taking a gander at all your fantastic woodworking projects. You all are a talented bunch!

I figured with a few projects coming up in the pipeline I need to get some advice from those who have gone before me. My wife and I are almost done with a bathroom renovation (down to studs and subfloor, and then I didn’t like how the subfloor looked so we ripped that out too!) and when that’s done the next project, after we finish setting up the shop downstairs, is going to be repurposing an old dining room table, sans legs, into a coffee table for the living room.

So the table that we have is circular and used to have a leaf (it was gone before we got the table). We took off the legs and are going to be removing the apron pieces from the bottom, which will leave us with a nice two-halves set of wood waiting to be joined together forever. Put together we’re looking at a 44” diameter.

So my question to my fellow lumber-minded individuals is – how would YOU join these together? Is it a matter of planing the joining edges and gluing? Should I construct something for underneath to keep things together? I just want to make sure that I’ve got a solid connection between the two. I’m open to any and all suggestions!

Thanks, looking forward to becoming a more regular participant in discussions here!

Jesse


10 replies so far

View Clarkie's profile

Clarkie

380 posts in 1301 days


#1 posted 09-15-2015 08:44 PM

Hey Jesse, welcome. How about just joining them with the biscuit system, always forms a very strong bond. But if they are not square at the middle edge, then of course run the edges through the jointer first. Have fun, make some dust.

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 682 days


#2 posted 09-15-2015 08:53 PM

It had a center leaf? Then it was an expanding table yeah, there should be something like a swing hinge and post to hold the 2 outer halves together, why not maintain the original and just create a new center leaf for the future option.

-- I meant to do that!

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4167 posts in 3202 days


#3 posted 09-16-2015 08:08 PM


Is it a matter of planing the joining edges and gluing?

Yes for the circular part o teh table – but I would add biscuits – - or dowels, not for strength but to keep things aligned over a 44 inch glueline.


Should I construct something for underneath to keep things together?

- Jesse

You shouldn’t need to lock it in place, but you will likely need some kind of apron that will help keep things flat.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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Jesse

3 posts in 444 days


#4 posted 09-16-2015 08:22 PM

Thanks for the great replies, all! Ok, so I have a biscuit joiner – that’s likely what I’ll do in terms of keeping things properly aligned.

The other question is one of clamping a circular construct. With these two pieces being basically a bisected circle, how do I provide nice and even clamping pressure on the seam in the middle? I have two pairs of bar clamps (4 total) that I could use that would fit this application but I’m not 100% sure on the specifics of how to get all the pressure pointing in the right direction, if that makes sense.

Sorry if this is a terribly rudimentary issue!

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2319 days


#5 posted 09-16-2015 08:30 PM

Get a strap clamp…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

805 posts in 2309 days


#6 posted 09-16-2015 08:32 PM

Jesse, biscuits are good, DO plan for some sort of apron below the table, at some point all coffee tables seem to get sat upon, you might be able to re-design the existing, post a pic & we can offer our $0.02

As for clamping your options are going to run fro $10 to +$150, and at times you will get what you pay for. You may never be in a position to need 3 50” parallel clamps so to buy just for this may be a bit of overkill, though I know there are folks who would buy ‘em, use ‘em and return ‘em, I think that 2 8’ 2×4’s 4 12” F clamps and a $10 pack of 4 ratchet straps would be all you’d need.
1) biscuit, glue, align, halves and get pressed together
2) use the 2×4’s cut in half and covered with packing tape where they contact the glue as cauls, ( 1 piece above 1 pc below and clamped together to keep circle from folding
3) apply ratchet clamps around circle to draw together

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 901 days


#7 posted 09-17-2015 06:03 AM

Here’s another clamping option: rather than band clamps, you can make some custom “clamping cauls” from plywood and use bar clamps:

View Jesse's profile

Jesse

3 posts in 444 days


#8 posted 09-17-2015 02:10 PM

Oh, fantastic advice everyone! I appreciate you all taking the time to respond.

Those plywood cauls look pretty sweet. I also like the idea that ChefHDAN provided as well. I’ll need to do a bit more research but you guys have definitely put me on the right track!

If I go the strap clamp route, by my calculations I’ll need a strap that’s at least 12’ long (assuming a radius of 22”, the circumference would be a bit over 11’ in total), and I found a couple that are 15’ long so I should be good there.

So, more to come. But at least I have a good way forward now! Thanks all.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

805 posts in 2309 days


#9 posted 09-17-2015 04:00 PM

Alright Jerry, I’ve got SU skill envy, are those F clamps from the model warehouse & they can be adjusted???

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 901 days


#10 posted 09-18-2015 04:29 AM

Sometimes I can’t help myself. I drew those clamps from scratch—-three components: the fixed end, the bar, and the sliding end. To adjust, I just move the sliding end.

SketchUp is awesome, isn’t it?

p.s. good advice on the cauls. Jesse, if you’re still listening—-even if you use something like the plywood cauls, you should use something like ChefDan suggested to keep the whole thing in one plane.

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