Gaps on table top / timing of poly finish - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-24-2016, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question Gaps on table top / timing of poly finish

Hi all,

Aspiring woodworker here. I have read an unknown number of threads on these forums, everyone is full of experience and knowledge. Iíve run into a few questions on a kitchen table Iím building and would appreciate any advice. This is one of my first projects and definitely the biggest. The table is a farmhouse type table. The base has been built and finished. The top is where I have a few questions.

The top is made of white oak boards glued together with biscuits in between each. Unfortunately I did not have access to a jointer while prepping the boards, as evident within the pictures below. As a result, there are 2 small gaps within the top. Overall pretty small but would like to block any crumbs from getting in there!

1) What is the best way to fill these gaps? Iíve considered glue with sawdust or epoxy. However, I would prefer to finish with an oil-based poly which I believe rules out the epoxy? Any other techniques Iím missing? I would be okay with the final appearance of either.

2) The top will be stained and finished with poly. I will be unable to work on the top for the next 2 weeks but have time to sand and stain tomorrow. Is 2 weeks between staining and poly too long? If so, Iíll wait to stain until I have time to fully complete.

Happy to provide any additional information if needed. Thank you for any advice!

Full top:
Gaps on table top / timing of poly finish-20160924_104037.jpg

Gap 1:

Gaps on table top / timing of poly finish-20160924_104129.jpg Gaps on table top / timing of poly finish-20160924_104115.jpg Gaps on table top / timing of poly finish-20160924_104159.jpg

Gap 2:
Gaps on table top / timing of poly finish-20160924_104242.jpg

Last edited by Runnin Tony; 09-24-2016 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Title clarification
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-24-2016, 07:29 PM
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Err, no offence but the best way to fix those gaps is to rip the joints apart and start over. You don't need to have a jointer, there are plenty of ways to get a straight edge on a board. There are jigs you can use with a router, circular saw, tabke saw, bandsaw, thickness planer. I'd be surprised if someone hasn't found a way to mount a board with a toaster and the kitchen sink...

Seriously, it's worth the time to do right. I'm guessing I'm looking at about $50 or $60 worth of some really nice red oak, properly assembled you'll end up with a table that your great grandkids will still be using, but without properly assembled joints, well, the outlook is a bit grimmer

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-24-2016, 09:07 PM
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I had seen this thread but couldn't find a good way of saying its a do over. Well done Epic.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-24-2016, 11:20 PM
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If you own a circular saw, one method I've heard of (but never tried) to make the joints come together is to rip down the glue joint. Keep track of which boards go together. Then once you've made your rip cut the boards should fit back together a little more closely.

Or get a hand plane and do it that way. That's primarily what I do. It does take some time, but it can be done and it would be worth the time, for sure.

There's really no good way to fill such a large gap without it obviously looking like you filled a huge gap.

I have seen people use bow tie splines to stabilize gaps in live edge slabs, but I'm not sure if the style of your table will work with that solution.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-25-2016, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mat 60 View Post
I had seen this thread but couldn't find a good way of saying its a do over. Well done Epic.
It sounded a little brutal, but sometimes it has to be said. I know theres more than i few times i wish someone had remind me that its better to redo it right than it is to leave it improperly done
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-25-2016, 08:11 AM
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As Jeremy stated I would use the circular saw procedure if you do not have a table saw. The table saw would be best.

It will not take long to make this correction. Just be sure that you use a clean, sharp blade.

George
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-25-2016, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
It sounded a little brutal, but sometimes it has to be said. I know theres more than i few times i wish someone had remind me that its better to redo it right than it is to leave it improperly done
Appreciate the feedback. I was worried that was the path I needed to head down, unfortunately confirmed!

No table saw but I do have a circular saw with a fresh, sharp blade. I'll plan to rip them apart and reglue. Thanks for the push to do it right.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-25-2016, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnin Tony View Post
Appreciate the feedback. I was worried that was the path I needed to head down, unfortunately confirmed!

No table saw but I do have a circular saw with a fresh, sharp blade. I'll plan to rip them apart and reglue. Thanks for the push to do it right.
Again, I'm sorry if that sounded unduly rude or harsh, I was kinda worried that would offend you. Glad to hear that was the push you needed though, speaking from experience if you tried to fill the gaps you'd end up hating the table further down the line when you get a little more practice building things.

The circular saw will do a fine job getting a straight edge on the board. Look into DIY tracksaws, all you really need is a sheet of plywood or similar and you can built a guide for your circular saw that will give you a nice, straight edge, perfect for a glueup like this

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