|Forum topic by InThatNumber||posted 03-10-2015 05:07 PM||696 views||0 times favorited||6 replies|
03-10-2015 05:07 PM
A while back I lost a bet with a friend of mine, and now I have to build her a new dining room table. The friend wants something very simple and rustic to go into her apartment in the French quarter (think exposed brick walls, gas lanterns, etc.) I’m thinking of a trestle design, both because it fits the style and is efficient for a table on the small side (72×36) because there are no legs around the edge to restrict seating positions.
Reclaimed lumber was the starting point, so I picked up a few pieces of old 3”+ thick barge wood off of CL. Two 10’ boards 14” wide and a few scraps that are around 4-5” wide and 40” long. The larger boards will become the top, the scraps will become the legs. The wood has mill marks that almost disappear when sanded but turn much darker than the surrounding wood when they get a little bit of oil, which creates a great look that I don’t want to lose.
Over the weekend I wrestled the larger boards over the table saw and jointer to start getting them ready to join into a 3’ x 6’ top. They’ll be arranged like this: – two 36” x 12” boards sandwiched between12” x 72” boards on the outside with rabbets and dados to give strength to the joint and exposed end grain.
Two of the boards are almost dead flat without being worked at all. The others are twisted – the longer board about 1/2” over 6 feet, the shorter one about 1/4” over 3’. Now, the top doesn’t need to be perfectly flat when all is said and done, but it should be level corner-to-corner and flatter than it is now.
The only method I can come up with is to flatten the bottom of the twisted boards using the router-sled method, i.e., flip the board so that the eventual-top is down, shim diagonal corners so that the board is stable, and router-plane off enough to get the eventual-bottom flat. If I do that, when I flip it back over I’ll have two high corners diagonally opposite one another – at least 1/4” higher than the center on the long board. My concern is that in taking those down I’ll wind up removing the mill marks from the whole board.
Is there another approach I’m not thinking of that will let me more-or-less flatten the boards without taking so much off the top? Perhaps some way to use the sled to just rout in flat spots on the bottom for the legs to attach to without planing down the whole thing, and somehow to get the board to sit more level in the process so that I don’t have to take so much from the top?
Also, given the issues I’m going to have flattening, do I need to rethink the dado-rabbet joint? Maybe dowels or something that doesn’t require perfect alignment across the entire 6’ span?
Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions!