Pine Table Top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Pine Table Top

I'm pretty new to wood working and I am working on a simple dining room table (and when I say simple, I mean REALLY simple). I decided to use pine 2x8s for the table top. I ripped the curved edges off using my table saw and all was well. Then, I joined the pieces together using my Kreg jig and glue. The Kreg actually worked the best it could considering the mild warps in the wood. But, it still left me with an uneven top where the joints are. I used my belt sander on a couple of the joints so far and made those joints level, but I'm afraid when it's all said and done that I'm going to end up with a ridiculous warped looking top. Is there anything different I should be doing? And I realize "everything" is probably an acceptable answer , but details please. Is this what I get with the quality of wood I am using? Should I scrap what I have and start over with better quality wood? And I'm not looking for perfection at this point, but I don't want the project to look like a complete dud either. Thanks
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 11:48 AM
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Table Top

Firstly, I don't know what tools you have other than a table saw.
To properly prepare lumber=joint one face on a jointer then one edge making it square to the flat face. The go to a thickness planer and with the board flat side down plane it until flat. Then to the table saw and with the jointed edge against the rip fence rip the untouched edge to square it all up. This will give you a board that is flat and square all around. The ends still have to be squared up amd this is best done with a chop saw.
Another method is to make a router sled to flatten the lumber. If you Google router sleds you will find how to make one.
The foregoing can also be done with hand planes but that is a learning curve and takes a lot calories to do.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 12:02 PM
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By warped do you mean the bottom corners are not flat or the surface of the top is wavy?

I ask this because you mentioned using a belt sander to even the boards at the joints. Sanding is traditionally done with the grain, however the opposite is the case when using a belt sander to level a panel.

A belt sander is a very aggressive beast and will tend to make waves if run with the grain, so it is used across the grain to get the surface level.
Once this is achieved then the top is sanded smooth with the grain either by hand or with a random orbit machine.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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I almost had to laugh when reading your reply because last night I was shredding two of the joints WITH the grain with my belt sander ...But, the boards are warped in the sense that the bottom corners aren't flat. I hesitate to say that any of the planks are perfect, some just worse than others. Which, I guess if I was able to belt sand the joints and get them level, I would be fine. But, I have pocket holes in the apron of the table and I was planning on screwing in the table top from the bottom using those pocket holes. I can belt sand the top to make it look even, but that won't change the fact that the boards are still warped. And with the entire table top having warped sections, I fear I'm going to put way too much pressure on the table top by pulling it down to the apron in the points where it's warped upward. I hope that makes sense.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 12:33 PM
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That is unfortunate that it is actually warped, guess it depends on the extent and how dry the material is whether it is worth salvaging.

Are you aware that the width of your top is going to expand and contract throughout the year, it must be fastened to the apron in such a manner to allow for this. There are several methods of doing this, figure 8's, wooden clips or enlarged holes.

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 12:49 PM
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If you can get straight cuts on the table saw, check the boards next to each other for a dry fit. They should be tight with no gap. I would not use pocket screws. You only need glue and clamps. To keep the boards flat to each other while clamped, use cauls across the boards. They are just anything with a straight edge, can be wood strips (like 2x4's on edge). They would have to be straight on the edge against the boards.

The cauls are clamped across the grain keeping the edges flat. At the same time, long clamps (like pipe or bar clamps as examples).

When it comes out of the clamps (several hours to overnight), you could belt sand the top cross grain, but, if you don't have a lot of experience with a hand held belt sander, you can destroy the top pretty darn quick. It's not only how fast it works, but proper use/balance is necessary to prevent divots created by the rollers (primarily the rear ones). If sanded cross grain, it would require extensive sanding with the grain to remove all the abrasive scratches.

I would use a hand plane (even a small block plane) will skim off the high areas. A ROS, or using a block sander by hand with the grain can level it.





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