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Forum topic by Wodin posted 10-31-2013 04:00 PM 2398 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


10-31-2013 04:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question rustic

Fellow woodworkers,
I just happened to find this forum, so I registered hoping to ask for some friendly advice. I am a novice woodworker. To get a gauge of my skill level and experience, I’ve done a lot of carpentry work such as installing hardwood floors, finish trim, etc. As for woodworking, I’ve built seven of the end grain cutting boards shown on Marc Spagnuolo’s Wood Whisperer site. Yes, I did seven (they were groomsmen gifts for my wedding and I did them for parents too). As for tools, I currently have a Bosch roll away table saw with an upgraded blade, a DeWalt planer (DW734), a 10” sliding compound miter saw, a palm orbital sander, and the usual drills, circular saws, etc. Anyway, to continue, my next project I intend on working on is a dining table.

I am not good at just winging it yet. Like cooking, I need a recipe. I found a great set of plans on Ana White’s website, seen here. I plan on building that table as well as two benches to go along with it. I am also 6’5 so I’d like to perhaps raise it an inch, but I can probably manage that.

My question which I will put to you is this. It appears they used fir or pine for that table. I would like to use hardwood, perhaps white oak or another wood that is durable for a dining room table. I am open to suggestions. The uncertainty comes when I consider the difference in weight when using 6/4 thickness for the surface. I assume I could still use fir or pine for the supports. Would that work alright?

I have purchased hardwood online before, but is it possible to get those 4×4s easily? I assume these aren’t the 4×4s at home depot. Pardon my ignorance; this is something new to me. The purple heart and rock maple I used for the cutting boards I had to plane before cutting. Could I buy the supports, assuming the fir or pine will go well with a hardwood surface, at a local supplier as a 4×4 or would I need to get it as 12/4 or 16/4 hardwood?

Could I still use the same joining techniques with hardwood as the surface? Ideally I’d use mortise and tenon as much as possible, but it is beyond my skill level right now. I’ll drill the pocket holes and fasten it as prescribed in the plans.

Thank you for reading. I would really appreciate any insight. I promise to pay it forward when I am more skilled!
Wodin


34 replies so far

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2319 days


#1 posted 10-31-2013 08:55 PM

Your best bet would be to find a local sawmill or lumberyard and purchase the hardwoods rough dressed. You will save a lot of money on the lumber and get what you need in the way of the larger timbers.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

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

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#2 posted 10-31-2013 09:15 PM

I agree with Herb buy your wood from a local wood supplier or mill ,here’s a link for that.
http://www.woodfinder.com/search.php
If it were me I would use the same material for the base as the top. Using pocket holes can cause trouble particularly
when you use them to connect the top to the base ,it won’t allow for wood movement .In general I don’t think pocket screws are strong enough for bases either. In general they are unattractive. Keep in mind just because you have plans does not mean that the company or person that drew them up knows what their talking about. Even though you think mortise and tenon joinery are beyond your existing skills I would encourage you to try some,that’s how you learn and grow as a woodworker.
Here’s a good source for plans that usually has very accurate and easy plans free of charge

http://www.woodsmithshop.com/episodes/downloads/

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


#3 posted 10-31-2013 11:55 PM

Gentlemen,
Thank you so much for your replies! I will have a look at the resources you supplied and will report back.

View Oosik's profile

Oosik

126 posts in 1143 days


#4 posted 11-05-2013 03:57 PM

a1Jim, what’s the best way to attach tops to tables?

Lots of Ana Whites plans use pocket holes. I know you have to double check the measurements on a few of the plans on her site because they will claim to get more feet than a board is long.

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#5 posted 11-05-2013 04:05 PM

Wodin
You can use figure 8s or shop made buttons or top fasteners.

http://www.rockler.com/desk-top-fasteners

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2001036/10127/Table-Top-Fasteners.aspx

Here’s another post that has some good ideas including shop made buttons

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/14002

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


#6 posted 11-05-2013 04:46 PM

A1jim and others,
Thank you so much for your consideration. I will look into these and let you know how it works out! Thank you again!

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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


#7 posted 06-14-2014 04:30 PM

Fellow lumberjocks,
I’ve been at work (slowly) on this project, and am at a point where the frustration has exceeded the enjoyment. I was doing alright with the base, accepting with construction grade lumber I will have small gaps.

Now that I have moved onto the tabletop and benches, I want those to be tight and look good. Sadly, my goals for this don’t seem attainable with my basic skill and tools available.

http://imgur.com/a/s9YtK

There is a small album showing the progress I have made. The wood on top is 8/4 red oak. The five pieces in the middle of the tabletop look great and have excellent seams with the other pieces due to the fact that I bought a 72” Jorgensen clamp which held things in place while I secured the pocket holes.

The problem started as I planned to secure the two end pieces. I didn’t have the ability to feed the entire tabletop across my Bosch roll-away table saw, so I thought I could just sand it down. This was a HUGE mistake. I sanded both the end piece down and the ends of the five pieces in an attempt to make them like two puzzle pieces which fit together. After hours and hours of sanding on both sides, I just said it’s as good as it will get, glued it up, and secured the pocket screws in place. What was left was a table top with a substantial gap in it. I am out of oak as well.

I keep thinking, if only I could make some jig where I could even take my circular saw across the table top, I could ensure a nice flat piece I could secure the end onto. I could run the end piece across my table saw to reset the mistake I made with the sanding at the loss of 1/8”.

I saw Marc Spagnuolo’s guide on flattening a tabletop using a box and straight bit. I will purchase that bit for the purpose of doing that, but first, I need to get this end piece taken care of.

If any of you could offer some advice, I would gladly partake of it. On top of all of this, in a month I am moving my household to Puerto Rico. Once I can setup shop there, I will resume whatever I can’t get done before the movers arrive.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

15656 posts in 2466 days


#8 posted 06-14-2014 04:48 PM

Is the gap we see in the first pic the top or bottom of the table?

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


#9 posted 06-14-2014 05:02 PM

The gap you see is at the bottom as we look at it but will be the top of the table. It is sitting, unsecured, on it’s top.

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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


#10 posted 06-14-2014 06:43 PM

I think I fixed it.

Instead of needing a giant table saw, I just used some scraps as cawls. Using my strong clamps, I put them in place and used my circular saw to get a nice, clean cut across the piece after I removed all the screws. I also fed the end piece across the table saw, removing half a blade length just to clean it up.

I again used the cawls to position and clamp the pieces in position while re-screwing the pocket screws. I think it came out much better than the first go round.

What do you think?

http://imgur.com/a/JlFZu

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chrisstef

15656 posts in 2466 days


#11 posted 06-14-2014 06:48 PM

Nailed it! Perfect solution and well executed.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


#12 posted 06-14-2014 06:52 PM

Thanks Chris! I was really frustrated before. I know if I hadn’t fixed it, every time we would have eaten at the table all I would have focused on is the flaws!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#13 posted 06-14-2014 07:42 PM

Wodin
Your still way off base your end pieces on your top is a cross grain situation (GLUING CROSS GRAIN WOOD DOES NOT WORK )this is basic basic woodworking. your table top is going to come apart or crack or both due to wood movement.

http://www.americanfurnituredsgn.com/wood_movement.htm

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Wodin

15 posts in 1131 days


#14 posted 06-14-2014 08:04 PM

Jim,
I never claimed to be an expert. My “basic basic” skills will likely end up costing me all my time and effort when it splits. I am following a design I obtained from another website, so I assume they had accounted for that. If/when it all comes apart, I suppose my best course of action would be to go to Target and buy something made in china and ebay my tools, as I have given this an earnest effort without any real satisfaction gained.

There’s also no more glue in my table. I am using Kreg HD 2.5” screws for everything.

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#15 posted 06-14-2014 08:28 PM

I’m sorry for being so rude ,your right you are giving it your best effort and just like everyone who learns woodworking you have lessens to learn,just like I did and every other woodworker out there. I thought I had posted how Ana White knows very little if anything about joinery or wood movement,she just guesses how things go together to get the look she wants. I was wrong it was another post that was making the same mistake with more of Ana whites poor joinery I commented on. Please accept my apologizes for my bad behavior, and don’t give up on making your own furniture and projects.

This is the right way to do end boards on tables

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDvdfuzk6pU

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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