June 28, 2010

Craftsman Style Coffee Table - Top Glue-up

This past weekend was the first camping trip of the summer so woodworking time was a bit limited last week. Despite the limited time I was able to make some good progress on the table top. Before I get into that I'd like to share a picture of Echo passed out after a long day of hiking and playing fetch in the lake.

Yes that is my dog passed out in a Lex's camping chair and yes he is way too big for it...but really where else is a dog supposed to sleep...the ground is cold and hard.

Back to the table...

I finally settled on the boards that would make up the top and started to machine them square and flat. Two of the boards bowed quite a bit after the initial planing so I set them up on sawhorses for a few days hoping they would straighten out as the moisture content equalized. It seems it was just related to the humidity because sure enough after a few days they flattened back out. Once all the boards were planed to the same thickness I followed the same steps and the shelf panel and glued them up. I considered gluing up sections of 2 or 3 boards at a time but since the shelf panel went so well I decided to take a shot and glue them all at once. This time I did use some scraps of wood covered in plastic wrap for cauls to help get all the boards aligned and in the same plane.

After letting the glue dry the top came out pretty nice. I then used a straight edge and my circular saw to cut the top down to 48" long and then ripped it to 24" wide on the table saw.

Once the top was cut down to size I sanded it down from 40 through 120 grit with the random orbit and then finished it off with a final hand sanding at 120 grit.

I then stained it like the rest of the project.

There is some color variation between a few boards but all in all I'm happy with it. The first coat of polyurethane should go on tonight and I'm hoping to have the project wrapped up this weekend.

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