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Kitchen Table

From a simple pile of boards, and a little stubbornness, would grow a pretty cool kitchen table. I'd survived without one for quite a few years. Finally one day, I just felt like making one. I'd seen tables made on TV a few times and it looked pretty simple so I gave it a try.
If I was going to custom make a table, I wanted it to be different than anything I'd ever seen. So rather than making it all out of one type of wood, I decided to mix Poplar <my favorite to work with> and red oak <nice contrast and adds a lot of strength>. Here you can see the initial glue up for the table legs.
This project "Required" me to go out and buy this porter cable biscuit joiner to put together the table top.
Here you can see where I have the top boards lined up. Not the chalk marked T on the boards. It is always best to mark your boards to make sure you put things together the right way. You can also see the edge is uneven, this will be trimmed to size later, they are off center to match the grains of wood to make the top look better.
While gluing the top, I piled bricks, left over from the fireplace build, and tool boxes to keep the wood flat while it tried. I used 5 biscuits per board and wood glue.
Once the glue dried, I had to sand and sand and sand to get the top smooth. I do not go in for that glassy smooth surface that makes wood look like plastic. I like to leave it a tiny bit rough for character. So I don;t have to sand as much as most woodworkers <grin>.
Here you see how I attached the top of the table to the frame using figure 8's. If you aren;t familiar with them, imagine two washers side by then welded together. Screw one end through the top of the table and screw the other end through the table top. Makes move a lot easier <grin> when you take the top off.
Here you can see the table legs made of poplar and red oak. I used red oak for the table skirts too. I did make one mistake, sort of, on the table base. When I joined the table legs to the skirts, I used my new biscuit joiner. This is not strong enough on its own so I had to add some angle brackets later. Had I used a mortise and tenon join, like most skilled furniture makers would have, I wouldn't need the brackets. But since it is under the table, I don't mind my way too much <grin>. But next time, I will do it right.
Here you can see where I added the end pieces to the table. They are red oak to match the "frame" of the table top. If you look closely, you'll see that not only do I have clamps pulling the red oak into the end grain of the table top, but also holding the red oak down ward. I also used bricks for the same purpose. The reason is simple, the end pieces are actually 3 separate pieces. As many know, wood tend to expand and contract with humidity. There are several ways of handling this, but I decided to use my own method <grin>.
This is a better view of how I used three pieces of oak on the end of the table. The breaks between the pieces is under the 2 clamps holding downwards. They are cut on an angle to better hide any gaps that appear when the wood expands. In the years since I built the table, I have noticed the expansion and contraction, but with the 45 degree method I used, I only notice it because I know to look for it. I will definitely use this method again.
Here is the final table. Sturdy, fits perfect in my dining room and is cooler than any other table I've seen <grin>. Red oak and poplar make a great combination.
A heads on look at the table.




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