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Getting vanity and table tops flat using 2x6's or 4x4's

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Forum topic by AAANDRRREW posted 10-13-2017 12:41 PM 1298 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AAANDRRREW

210 posts in 951 days


10-13-2017 12:41 PM

Hi All,

I have two projects that my wife would like me to build for her – a black pipe frame vanity w/ a top made out of 2×6’s or 2×8’s (pic attached of what she would like) and a farmhouse type kitchen table made out of 4×4’s.

Both projects are pretty simple in nature, but as I think through them, I’m hung up on how to make the vanity and table top perfectly (or close) to flat and flush. I have a 12.5” planer, a 4” jointer and an electric hand planer. As I think through the vanity project, I’d get 3 2×6’s or 2×8’s and butt them up to each other and use a 2×4 or similar underneath to hold them together. But, I fear the boards will not be straight enough that they’ll butt up close enough. I thought about mocking them up on my assembly table and then running them through my planer one at a time on a sled to take down any high spots and make them all uniform, but I’m not sure this is the best approach either.

Would I be better suited to get some rough cut lumber and plane it down?


8 replies so far

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AAANDRRREW

210 posts in 951 days


#1 posted 10-13-2017 12:42 PM

and… I forgot the pic.

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EricTwice

223 posts in 311 days


#2 posted 10-13-2017 01:34 PM

Will post answer when I return from work. no time now

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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bbasiaga

977 posts in 1773 days


#3 posted 10-13-2017 02:26 PM

It sounds like you have all the tools you need. Flatten the 2x lumber on one face using a jointing sled on your planer. Then joint one edge square to that face on the jointer. Flatten the other face on the planer (no sled required). Rip the other edge straight on a table saw. If you dont have a table saw, stand it up on the jointed edge and run it through the planer.

They should all be straight enough to glue edge to edge at this point. One trick, glue Two boards together first, then wait for that to dry before gluing on the next board. This way if they are still warped a little on the joining edge the clamp can pull the joint together more easily than if you are trying to do all the boards together at once.

Also make sure you don’t glue the 2×4 cross wise underneath. You need to screw it on with slotted holes to allow the top to expand or else it will cause problems as the wood moves.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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AAANDRRREW

210 posts in 951 days


#4 posted 10-13-2017 02:31 PM

Would it be better to get rough cut lumber from a lumber mill versus just 2x’s from a big box store?

I remember when I got 2×10’s for my work bench. I had to utilize some large c-clamps to pull the boards down to screw them they were so crooked and twisted.

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bbasiaga

977 posts in 1773 days


#5 posted 10-13-2017 02:50 PM

It will be nicer lumber for sure. If you go the 2x route, you may want to sort through the pile and pick straight ones.

Rough lumber rom a lumber distributor is rarely straight and flat, but is dried much better than 2x lumber and therefore moves less while working and over time. But you can also get nicer woods like maple or cherry or walnut. It will also be considerably more expensve, so check the price.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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AAANDRRREW

210 posts in 951 days


#6 posted 10-13-2017 02:57 PM

OK. Well, my wife wants the rustic beat to crap look and pine, which is hard for me to recreate honestly. She’ll likely not be happy with the nice flat surface the planer will leave behind… But, don’t have much of a choice.

I laughed out loud when you said pick through the pile for straight ones. In my experience, they do not exist!

I usually go to menards, maybe thats my problem…I doubt though that Home depot or Lowes is that much better.

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theart

11 posts in 333 days


#7 posted 10-13-2017 07:31 PM



She ll likely not be happy with the nice flat surface the planer will leave behind…

If that’s the case, just joint the edges so you don’t have gaps. Then go over the top surface of the panel with a scrub plane. Since you’re using iron pipe for the frame, it doesn’t even matter if the panel is flat. You can adjust the lengths of the legs to compensate.

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bbasiaga

977 posts in 1773 days


#8 posted 10-14-2017 02:25 AM

Theart has it right then.

And there are straight boards at those places…you just have to be committed to look. Maybe ‘straight-ish’ is a better way to put it. Those with the least twist and bow will be easiest to work. I found enough to build a roubo style bench with them. I go to Home Depot, not any better than Menards.

Also, you can distress pine with a hammer. it dents real easy so you can get more ‘rustic’ if you desire. Stain also absorbs very unevenly so it can look a bit distressed in a way.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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