Joining slabs for a dining table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 Old 01-28-2012, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 45
View rg05's Photo Album My Photos
Joining slabs for a dining table

I'm building a dining table out of 2 or 3 doug fir slabs that will probably be 2.5" inches thick and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to join them. I figured it'd be very hard to get a perfect edge because I'd imagine I wouldn't be able to use a smaller joiner. Also, clamping something that wide is also going to be an issue. Thanks a lot for any insight or advice!
rg05 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 01-28-2012, 09:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Lola Ranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Washington State
Posts: 1,389
View Lola Ranch's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by rg05 View Post
I'm building a dining table out of 2 or 3 doug fir slabs that will probably be 2.5" inches thick and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to join them. I figured it'd be very hard to get a perfect edge because I'd imagine I wouldn't be able to use a smaller joiner. Also, clamping something that wide is also going to be an issue. Thanks a lot for any insight or advice!
I've built two solid wood topped tables recently, one happens to be doug fir about 2.5" thick. I don't know what tools you have but it sounds like you have a small jointer. How about a planer?

My planer is only a 15", so when doing wider slabs I glue up sections up to 15" wide and run them through the planer before edge joining the sections for the final top. I try to get the final gluee up as accurate as possible and then just touch things up with hand planes and scrapers. The most important part of gluing up table tops of this type is the edge joining. The edges must be as straight as possible and the edge needs to be perfectly perpendicular to the face.

The fir table I built was from reclaimed glu lam beams. I re-sawed the sections which were already laminated into what looks like butcher block.

With fir, I would recommend using tight vertical grained planks, or you are likely to get a lot of twisting and splitting.

The other table is walnut.

Bret
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	PC300285.jpg
Views:	343
Size:	99.4 KB
ID:	36904  

Click image for larger version

Name:	PC110241.jpg
Views:	460
Size:	70.6 KB
ID:	36905  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1120297.jpg
Views:	594
Size:	99.8 KB
ID:	36906  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1190313.jpg
Views:	4240
Size:	85.4 KB
ID:	36907  

Lola Ranch is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 01-28-2012, 10:01 PM
Senior Member
 
3fingers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 417
View 3fingers's Photo Album My Photos
If u don't have a large jointer there are two ways to straighten the edges. Get double sided tape or screw a straight edge on the board an run it threw ur table saw or use a router
Then glue and clamp the boards
3fingers is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 01-28-2012, 11:23 PM
Senior Member
 
Lola Ranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Washington State
Posts: 1,389
View Lola Ranch's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3fingers View Post
If u don't have a large jointer there are two ways to straighten the edges. Get double sided tape or screw a straight edge on the board an run it threw ur table saw or use a router
Then glue and clamp the boards
More than two ways.....On the walnut table, I joined the two halves using a Stanley 6. I set them on a low bench on edge and clamped the halves to the bench so the edge was the right hight for hand planing. Palne a little, then check, repeat several times til it's right.

Bret
Lola Ranch is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 12:01 AM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Rumson New Jersey
Posts: 1,530
View MastersHand's Photo Album My Photos
What type of equipment do you have to work with. I'll tell you how I overcome with the equipment I have in my arsenal. One -Festtool I have two 10' rails for it they join with a mending plate. I put a straight edge strong back behind it clamped down to bench to ensure the rails can't bow in as you pass the Festtool along the cut.
Festtool is basically a modern version of a straight edge jig and a circular saw. With a Festtool rip blade you get an Amazing cut ready for glue up .
Two -Beam saw which is basically a Panel saw laying down like a table . It's capable of a 16' rip. just remember to change blade to rip blade and turn scoring blade off there's also a speed control to motor to set motor speed to get a great cut in hardwood. The board sits against a fence and hydraulic clamps hold it from moving. Then just flip put new perfectly straight side against fence set new dimension in computer and it cuts a perfectly straight cut parallel to other cut at set dimension. This cut is also gorgeous and ready for glue we primarily do all 2 1/4" teak tops this way.
Since your asking this I doubt you have this equipment but you can take idea and make it work with what you have custom made straight edge fences and circular saw with the right blade. The Festtool is pricy but Truly invaluable.
We use Tite-Bond 3 remember if you do teak to wipe glue edges first with Acetone. Good luck
MastersHand is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 45
View rg05's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks a lot for the advice.. I think the jointer is like a 6".

Masterhands - I don't have any of that stuff. If i took a skihl saw and clamped a straight edge on it, that wouldn't give me a clean edge would it? I also have a table saw.. It just seems like it would be pretty hard to get a good edge on something that big with a table saw or to run through the jointer. WOuld you use Tite Bond 3 on fir also?

Lola Ranch - My dad has some planes but I have never used them and would say I'm far from skilled.

3 Fingers - it seems like the router idea might work.. would that give a good enough edge to glue and make a perfect joint?

Thanks a lot to all of you for your input I really appreciate it
rg05 is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 01:53 AM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Rumson New Jersey
Posts: 1,530
View MastersHand's Photo Album My Photos
Yes Tite bond 3 take the straight edge idea with strong back behind it so it can't bow in. Use your joiner to make 3/4" straight edges and strong back and then use the router. What router do you have you need a pretty strong one 2 1/2 - 3 horsepower . Use straight edge to first give you a line. Take jigsaw and cut pretty close like 1/8" to your line then put straight edge on line and route it. Sometimes climb cutting ( going opposite of what direction you normally route) will give you a cleaner cut
MastersHand is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 45
View rg05's Photo Album My Photos
So I would use the strong back as a straight edge for the router? And use the jointer to make it a straight edge? Sorry, I dont quite understand or know what strong back is. It's a pretty good size router I dont know quite the size but it's a new porter cable thats on the bigger end of their line. THanks I really appreciate the advice
rg05 is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 02:39 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 19,507
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
like this


make or buy one of these:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-29-2012 at 02:51 AM.
woodnthings is online now  
post #10 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 45
View rg05's Photo Album My Photos
I get it now thanks a lot!
rg05 is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 05:55 AM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,062
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3fingers View Post
If u don't have a large jointer there are two ways to straighten the edges. Get double sided tape or screw a straight edge on the board an run it threw ur table saw or use a router
Then glue and clamp the boards
+1. IMO the easiest way would be to attach a straight edge to the stock to run that against the fence. The straight edge can be anything that's straight...even 1/4" plywood. You make one pass with the saw per edge.

Set up an infeed and outfeed support so you aren't carrying the weight of the lumber or trying to catch it on the way out. An infeed and outfeed support will let you concentrate on a nice clean pass. Use a good sharp ripping blade, like a 24T, but not finer than 32T. If you have an underpowered saw, go to a 20T. I wouldn't use a thin kerf blade.

If need be you can dress the edges for mating with a block sander (piece of wood and sandpaper).






.
cabinetman is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 11:11 AM
Senior Member
 
Lola Ranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Washington State
Posts: 1,389
View Lola Ranch's Photo Album My Photos
The hand plane is what I used after straightening the edges the best I could with the table saw.

Oh well, I'll just gather up my hand planes and move to a different thread

There was another thread asking about how many hand planes we each had. Everybody had lots of them but it seems that nobody wants to use them. I have nothing against power tools but there are times when a hand tool make sense.

Good luck, Bret
Lola Ranch is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 11:19 AM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Rumson New Jersey
Posts: 1,530
View MastersHand's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola Ranch
The hand plane is what I used after straightening the edges the best I could with the table saw.

Oh well, I'll just gather up my hand planes and move to a different thread

There was another thread asking about how many hand planes we each had. Everybody had lots of them but it seems that nobody wants to use them. I have nothing against power tools but there are times when a hand tool make sense.

Good luck, Bret
You're right but in this instance and the mechanic that is trying to overcome his dilemma would need a large jointer plane with a guide rail to keep edge square. Just trying to give best options for the equipment he may have and the skill level they are at.Hand Tools are a dying skill that really should be pushed on beginners to Master. Should be a requirement
MastersHand is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 12:09 PM
I run with chisels.
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: AZ
Posts: 913
View joesbucketorust's Photo Album My Photos
I won't argue jointer versus joiner plane - I use them both - but I just wanted to say and ask:
1. Lola Ranch - that is a very nice trestle table am i reading your post right - that is fir? Like in the same stuff they make the 2x12s at the Borg?
2. Everyone is talking about jointing the edges, haven't seen anything about biscuits, splines, or butterflies - are these considered superfluous in a table that thick, because it's got so much glue surface?
3. The OP mentioned clamping issues - pipe clamps may be the cheapest way to go if you've already got the clamps, just go buy some longer pipe.
4. Does anyone advocate the use of a slight concavity when jointing the edges for gluing - so that when clamping the boards the ends close up first, and then the middle, therefore (supposedly) preventing the ends from opening up down the road?

Insert witty signature line here.
joesbucketorust is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 12:28 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 19,507
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
2 and 4

2. Most here think biscuits are are unnecessary ...unless served with stew.
4. That is a practice used by some furniture builders, but the question is always "how much curvature and how do you get it perfect?" I've never a had a properly glued and prepped joint come apart because of a glue joint failure, more often it was a wood movement issue near the end, not the glue. But that's just my experience. bill

As far as a technique for joining slabs, if your circular saw will make a through cut in one pass, you can butt the boards together leaving just the slightest gap(s) Clamp them so they can't separate and using a straight edge guide run the saw in the gap for the full length. It will remove material from both edges and leave a constant parallel kerf...if everything goes right.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-29-2012 at 12:34 PM.
woodnthings is online now  
post #16 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 12:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Lola Ranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Washington State
Posts: 1,389
View Lola Ranch's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersHand View Post
You're right but in this instance and the mechanic that is trying to overcome his dilemma would need a large jointer plane with a guide rail to keep edge square. Just trying to give best options for the equipment he may have and the skill level they are at.Hand Tools are a dying skill that really should be pushed on beginners to Master. Should be a requirement
My skill level with hand planes is moderate at best. As I mentioned, after not achieving a perfect fit using the table saw as a jointer, I simply marked the high spots and worked at them with the hand planes until I was satisfied. It took several tries. I used an old Stanley 6 and a 4. I'd have run them across my longbed jointer but the two halves were too heavy and awkward for that.

Bret
Lola Ranch is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 01-29-2012, 12:59 PM
Senior Member
 
Lola Ranch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Washington State
Posts: 1,389
View Lola Ranch's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by joesbucketorust View Post
I won't argue jointer versus joiner plane - I use them both - but I just wanted to say and ask:
1. Lola Ranch - that is a very nice trestle table am i reading your post right - that is fir? Like in the same stuff they make the 2x12s at the Borg?
2. Everyone is talking about jointing the edges, haven't seen anything about biscuits, splines, or butterflies - are these considered superfluous in a table that thick, because it's got so much glue surface?
3. The OP mentioned clamping issues - pipe clamps may be the cheapest way to go if you've already got the clamps, just go buy some longer pipe.
4. Does anyone advocate the use of a slight concavity when jointing the edges for gluing - so that when clamping the boards the ends close up first, and then the middle, therefore (supposedly) preventing the ends from opening up down the road?
There are two tables, one is fir, the other is walnut. The fir table was put together in three sections that I was able to maneuver over the jointer. This was old growth reclaimed and re-sawn from old glue lam beams

A slight gap in the middle is preferable to one on each end. Dry fit it and see if you can easily clamp the gap out first. If you have multiple pieces in your glue up then I would recommend no gaps if possible. If every seam had a gap in the middle that could become a problem. Or not.

Bret
Lola Ranch is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Refinishing dining table efrisbee Wood Finishing 13 02-17-2012 03:24 PM
joining 12/4 red oak for a table top ESmithIII Joinery 36 02-11-2011 11:56 PM
dining table rinterrante General Woodworking Discussion 1 11-03-2010 12:21 PM
Dining Table rudy420 Wood Finishing 2 02-11-2009 08:58 AM
Requesting tips on joining boards for table top Terry McManus General Woodworking Discussion 38 04-28-2008 10:54 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome