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post #1 of 24 Old 12-20-2011, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Table Joinery

I'm a new member and thought I would give the forum a try...

I'm building a 6' round table of bubinga. The top is comprised of 8 pie segments, the grain from each segment pointing to the center. I've built each of the segments, glued them a segment at a time until I now have two half-circles (each comprised of 4 segments) that are ready to be joined.

Since my pie angles were not perfect, I've trimed the edge of the half-circles with a spiral trim bit against a aluminum straight edge in order to get a straighten it for glue-up. Unfortunately, I can't seem to make it straight enough! When I butt the two halves together, I've got a small gap (~1/32") at the outer edge. The wood will not bend without signficant pipe clamping pressure due to the changing directions of the grain. Even then, I can insert a piece of paper in the gap.

I've tried repeatedly, but risk further "blunting" the points of the pie segments.

Any suggestions? Biscuit joint with gap filling epoxy? Would that be viable?

Thanks,
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-20-2011, 08:57 PM
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I'm not really sure but if you have a jointer couldn't you flip the half up and run through jointer?To make for a tight seam.

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post #3 of 24 Old 12-20-2011, 09:26 PM
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Welcome!

Sounds like the straight edge, isn't.

Jointer would work, I'd tend to use a handplane and remove a little from the center until there was a good tight fit.

...GEAUX KNICKS...
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-20-2011, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brink
Welcome!

Sounds like the straight edge, isn't.

Jointer would work, I'd tend to use a handplane and remove a little from the center until there was a good tight fit.

...GEAUX KNICKS...
+1, do you have a hand plane fit for the job?

Do you have a jointer?

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post #5 of 24 Old 12-20-2011, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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I have a jointer, but the piece is so large and long, I just didn't believe I could get a good clean run. A hand plane would be a better option if I thought my hand plane skills were up to the challenge.

Is more clamping pressure and/or epoxy with biscuits a bad long-term option?
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-20-2011, 11:23 PM
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You said it a 6' round table. And it's to big to run threw jointer. Well if you have that 6' table in two halves wouldn't each half be 3'x6' that's not to big. I've jointed longer than that before. Maybe I missed something.

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post #7 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 01:52 AM
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If all you had was a router and a straight edge I would say place the two pieces like you were going to glue them up but leave a space of about 3/8" between the boards, then secure them so they can't move, and place a 1/2" straight bit in your router and position the straight edge to guide you in the middle of the two pieces, this should give you identical edges if you are able to take things slow and steady, just a crazy idea maybe but it sounds really good in my head
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 06:32 AM
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check your edges

using the "straight edge" hold it against the adjoining pieces one at a time to see it one of them is bowed or curved.
Rather than the router against a straight edge, here's my suggestion.
Butt the 2 pieces together and clamp securely, but not touching,leave a 1/16" gap.
Set up your straight edge guide so your hand held circular saw will split the difference down the gap creating a wider, but equal kerf on both halves. You may want to put the good side down and tape the gape to prevent tearout. You should use the best dang blade you have in the saw. Practice on some veneer plywood to get it right and you can't wiggle the saw from against the guide.
If that sounds too "scary" then I would agree with the suggestion to hand plane, check, hand plane, check... etc. mostly from the center until the ends touch. A tiny gap in the center will be closed up by clamping pressure....much easier at the center than anywhere else, since it's round.....Follow? bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-21-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 07:24 AM
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Over clamping can produce a stressed joint, and will likely fail. Setting up both halves and running a router bit through one time to create a like edge on both halves can work. Problem there is you don't want to take off more than you need, and keeping the halves from moving isn't that easy. The trick is not to use a method that can screw it up fast.

IMO, a circular saw presents the same problems as routing, but leaves a rougher edge. If you don't have a hand plane, or you aren't proficient with them, I would just hand joint with a block and sandpaper (80x-100x). It's not as aggressive as a handplane, and will take longer, but it will provide a good fit if the mating edges are continually checked.








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post #10 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 07:45 AM
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I like the running a router down the middle. However, I would use a "jig" instead of a straight edge. I just would not trust my skills to keep that router on the straight edge the whole time.

All you need is two pieces of wood secured together, parallel, the exact distance of the diameter of your router base.

George
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
I like the running a router down the middle. However, I would use a "jig" instead of a straight edge. I just would not trust my skills to keep that router on the straight edge the whole time.

All you need is two pieces of wood secured together, parallel, the exact distance of the diameter of your router base.

George
A problem with that is the base can't be restricted, and the orientation of the base would have to be the same throughout the entire pass, and, if it's a round base, it may not be exactly round. The setup would have to exceed 6', and require a non-stop movement of the router.

When I do router passes like that I use one edge of a straightedge, as any differentials in the pass would transfer to both pieces. I do router passes like that quite a bit for seaming mica laminates.








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post #12 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 09:12 AM
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"When I do router passes like that I use one edge of a straightedge, as any differentials in the pass would transfer to both pieces."

AhSo. That had not occurred to me. That would simplify the problem.

Are not most(all?) bases round? That is what I am used to with Craftsman routers.

The main problem I see with any procedure is that the reach in the middle is going to be long and it will be hard to control any tool.

George
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post

The main problem I see with any procedure is that the reach in the middle is going to be long and it will be hard to control any tool.

George
That's why I didn't recommend it. I've had to do stuff like that, and been forced to climb on top to get to the whole pass smoothly. With this, you would be reaching over 3' (for the middle), and having to walk around a semi-circle. Could make a new dance out of it.








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post #14 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Wow... For a first time forum member, I'm overwhelmed by all the responses in <24 hrs. Thanks.

Here's my thoughts:

(1) Option 1: router down the middle of both table halves simultaeiously. Since the wood is bubbinga and given the grain direction, which points to the center, I get tear-out unless I do a climb cut. Cutting both haves at once would create tear-out.

(2) Option 2: same as #1, but with a circular saw. No tear-out, but nervous that I could screw it up.

(3) Hand Plane: I like this option the best, I'm just not sure of my skills removing 1/32".

Going with option 3: what plane would you recommend? Would a scraper be better for me? (I have a Stanley #41)

How do I keep the edge square?
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ourwhitehouse View Post

The top is comprised of 8 pie segments, the grain from each segment pointing to the center. I've built each of the segments, glued them a segment at a time until I now have two half-circles (each comprised of 4 segments) that are ready to be joined.
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but the description above for a table top means you will have to place the piece in a VERY STABLE humidity environment, otherwise natural expansion/contraction across the grain will induce tremendous stresses and the top won't remain nice for long.

About the edge jointing, try and figure out why you are losing accuracy and address the problem. Either your router is not running on a flat surface, or the straight edge is moving. If you correct this, a very small cut will get you there.
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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My plan on mitigating expansion stress from humidity changes was to seal the entire piece (top, bottom, sides) with a non-water permeable clear coat (pre-cat lacquer or conversion varnish).

Shouldn't that work?
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post #17 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 03:15 PM
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My plan on mitigating expansion stress from humidity changes was to seal the entire piece (top, bottom, sides) with a non-water permeable clear coat (pre-cat lacquer or conversion varnish).

Shouldn't that work?
If the wood is going to move, the finish will slow it down, but not prevent it. You could get lucky though, and not have the problem.








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post #18 of 24 Old 12-21-2011, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ourwhitehouse View Post
My plan on mitigating expansion stress from humidity changes was to seal the entire piece (top, bottom, sides) with a non-water permeable clear coat (pre-cat lacquer or conversion varnish).

Shouldn't that work?
Will be interesting to see how it goes. Keep us posted.

I just finished a breadboard end top and sprayed the first coat tonight. Finished it Sunday and the BB was finished flush with the table. Monday, the BB was 1/16" longer on each side, giving the top contraction of 1/8". Last night it was flush again. Tonight while spraying it was 1/16" shorter on each side. So from Sunday to Wednesday the top was breathing in and out a total of 1/4" movement. This is seasoned Maple, I purchased in 2006.

Last edited by WillemJM; 12-21-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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post #19 of 24 Old 01-16-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Bubinga Table - Status

Finally got the two halves of the table to join. I finally found a straight edge that was straight! Iused biscuits in all of the joints and also glued the top to a 3/4" birch ply substrate. Looks great. Hope it stays that way... Ont to finishing.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-16-2012, 10:20 PM
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That's pretty! Nice job. Be sure to update us with finished pictures too!

~tom. ...GEAUX TIGERS!... ...GEAUX SAINTS!......
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