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I am new here, actually pretty new to woodworking as well but I recently picked up a small slab of walnut and sanded and finished it then bolted it to a metal base I welded and now Im wanting to do a bit bigger project. I have grown up in the construction business and am very comfortable with hand tools but have never tackled something like this before. I purchased two matching slabs a few days ago and am planning to make a small kitchen table. I plan to use the concave sides as the outer edges and cut the convex sides straight to join together. I also plan to keep the live edge. Originally I was planning to use a 2inch square piece of steel tubing to run down the middle of the two slabs that was visible (slab, steel tube, slab) but Im thinking that it will be difficult to make sure the slabs and the steel are level with each other. So now I am thinking about joining the two slabs directly together. Is this something that a novice could handle? From what I have been reading you just get two perfectly straight and square edges and then glue and clamp. Is it really that easy (not that I think it will be easy by any means). To me it seem that getting the edges prepped will be the hardest part.

So I guess my actual questions are
Is joining two slabs something that I could manage?

is it just the glue that holds the edges together (or do I need biscuit joint)?

If it is just the glue that holds it together do I need any structural support on the under side of the slab?

Thanks for all the help and I look forward to getting started on this project.

Photocodo
 

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If they are joined on the face and the edge is jointed and square to the face glue and clamps are all that is needed. You might want to add cauls perpendicular to the joint along the length to clamp the faces coplanar but you can get a good glue up without them. Your finger can feel where they are not level as you start clamping and a scrap block of wood and hammer usually will do the trick.
 

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So I went and picked up the wood this afternoon and when I got them home I ripped them on the long side and cut the ends square. I will have to get them run through a planner because they are twisted enough that I dont think I can get it out, plus with my experience I think it will be worth the money. They are not as wide as I originally thought in my head so here is my plan. They have some pieces of maple at the shop that are about 16inches wide and 3in thick so I will pick one of those up for the middle piece. My great grandfather dropped a cherry on his property and made cabinets out of it about 50yrs ago and there is a bunch of 1inch thick scraps left over so I want to put the cherry between each piece of maple.
One of the pieces of maple has two checks, one on either end which I plan to stitch up or maybe do butterflies, but they are much bigger on the underside. Does anyone have any recommendations for how to fix or fill the big checks? It will be on the bottom so Im not worried about looks.
Looking forward to getting the pieces straightened out and start working on them. If anyone has any concerns about how I am doing things please tell me because I really dont know much about this process.

Thanks
Photocodo
 

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Making progress.

I would not try and fill the cracks. They are likely to continue a little.

I would just use the bowties/butterfly's to keep the wood together.

Worked well for George Nakashima, and his stuff is still going and the studio making more like it.

FYI the bowties only go between 1/3 - 1/2 the depth of the board.
 

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I was also digging through my grandfathers garage cause he said he thought his dad had an old hand plane. Here is a picture of what I found. Its all Stanley.
Three that say No. 607 (Im calling them the big boys for now)
two smaller sizes (not positive which sizes)
a draw knife
something that looks like a sextant (but it says stanley so Im sure its for wood)

If anyone has any idea about how to restore these or what to do with them I would appreciate it.

Photocodo
 

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where's my table saw?
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here's another method


You could also use a router with a 1/4" bit.
 

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Photo...

I tried to send you a message about the planes but your setting do not allow messages.
The planes are probably worth fixing, restoring. Each one would take 2-4 hours plus 1-2 hours for each blade.
What state are you in, I am in Ontario, Canada but go to part of USA from time to time. You could restore them or sell them privately or on Ebay. They sell there daily Stanley no. 7 sell from 50-150$ or more depending on the model and condition. There are articles in FWW and I'm sure You Tube has articles on blade sharpening.
Good luck.
If you got more curved board, try putting the concave sides together to make an oval table. Oval ables are most functional. If you were an accomplished metal worker, you could make an eclipse of metal for the center of the able between the "slabs".
Good luck with the table
 

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So I got my slabs back yesterday from getting planed and joined and I think they are going to look really nice when finished. I ripped two 1 inch wide strips of cherry to go between the maple slabs as accents and to add a few more inches of width. When I lay them up next to each other I have found that there are a few spots that have a gap about the width of a credit card. Will this gap be too much to glue? I can pull the gap closed just by squeezing the two sides so it doesnt seem too bad to me. I know idealy, I want the slabs to be perfectly matched along the glue edges but since Ive never glued something this size before so I dont know if that gap is appropriate or if I should try to get it out. I will include a picture of the pieces layed up together, I appologize for the quality as it was taken with my cell phone. Thanks for any advice and I look forward to getting more progress done with the table

Cody

P.S. the gaps you see in the picture are much larger than the gaps when the slabs are pushed together. Like I said earlier, the gap is about the size of a credit card thickness.

 

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where's my table saw?
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which is the curved piece?

If the slabs edges are straight, then I would suspect the strips are curved. That will happen because they are narrow in width, and it won't matter in the big picture as they will be "straightened" by the slabs when clamped up.
If the slabs edges are not straight that should be addressed by jointing or hand planing, or a board straightening jig on the table saw. Then the gaps will close when clamped up.
 

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Yeah you should be fine. I noticed saw marks on the accent pieces so you must have them turned opposite of your slabs correct? It would be better to join the cherry pieces edge to edge with the slabs but I assume the cherry is not as thick as the slabs forcing you to turn them. You should be fine at glue up it probably wouldn't hurt to run the cherry pieces through a jointer or hand plane. Make sure you have plenty of clamps and scrap wood blocks around as you do not have square lines to clamp to so you will need to improvise when clamping. Hope this helps

Ryan
 

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I was also digging through my grandfathers garage cause he said he thought his dad had an old hand plane. Here is a picture of what I found. Its all Stanley.
Three that say No. 607 (Im calling them the big boys for now)
two smaller sizes (not positive which sizes)
a draw knife
something that looks like a sextant (but it says stanley so Im sure its for wood)

If anyone has any idea about how to restore these or what to do with them I would appreciate it.

Photocodo
If you want to start learning about Stanley hand planes, this is a good place to begin.
http://www.supertool.com/StanleyBG/stan0a.html

The 607 is a Stanley Bedrock plane. Stanley's improvement on the frog from the Bailey design. A Bailey No. 7 equivalent.

The one you call a sextant appears to be the fixed jaw from a Stanely No. 45 combination plane. Not much use by itself, it is missing the fixed jaw, fence, and rods.

Many references on the internet about plane restoration, also on the site in other forums. These are my recent threads.


A Sargent 408 (equivalent to Stanley No. 3) and a Stanley No. 5.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f11/latest-rust-bucket-planes-46494/

Stanley No. 4 and an Ohio Tool equivalent of a No. 4.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f11/plane-restore-round-3-a-47883/

Stanley No. 5 and Stanley No. 7.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f11/plane-restore-round-4-a-48338/
 

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Photocodo it's looking good. I agree with the others that you should try to joint all edges to get rid of gaps as much as possible. The 607's are Bedrock planes as Dave said. They are pretty sought after and are very good quality. Suggest you restore the one in best condition and sell the others to invest in whatever your shop needs.
 

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So I have an update that I am not too happy about. I had an emergency trip that was not planned and was gone for a little over two weeks. When I got back and got working on the table again I realized that the pieces were starting to twist and one has a slight bow in it. I think its because of the season change and getting warmer and the slabs were in the garage the entire time. So now when I put the edges together it looks like its going to be a really big job to do a good glue job and to get the top flat again. There is a local guy who told me he can glue them and run them through his planer for me and I am considering taking him up on it (Im not sure yet how much he is going to charge). My fear is that even if I do get them glued up, it wont be a good job and then I will have to take the top down by hand. I don't have the hand tools to really do that or a planer that I can run the whole table top through. I was really hoping to do most of the work myself but I am thinking that its not going to be a good idea to keep moving forward on my own. I am also worried that Im going to mess up the wood that I already have and not be able to use it for the table. So Im thinking that I cut my losses, let this guy do the glue-up and run it through his big planer and then I can put the finish on it and finish the legs. Does this sound like a good idea or should I keep going on my own. Im just worried that Im going to ruin some nice wood and I would rather suck up my pride and have a nice table than throw away all that wood/time/money. Thanks for the help

Cody
 

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I also finished the stitches (I guess thats what you call them) on the two checks on either side of one pieces. This is another reason I want to finish the table well is because I have put too much time into these inserts to just throw it out. three on one side and seven on the other
 

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You are better off finding out about the wood movement now, rather than later. It may be possible to correct the issues at this stage, but if the table were completed, you would have few options.

You need to get the glue edges to be straight and fit together with no gaps. If they are not straight and the person forces the boards together with clamps for gluing, the joints will have a lot of stress and could fail in the future.

A planer will get the glue-up to have top and bottom faces parallel, but it may not fix the twist, unless the person make a sled to shim the top for planing. Best to ask the person for details on what they would do to attempt to true up the table top after gluing.

FYI the "stitches" are normally called Dutchmen or Bowties, the later due to the commonly used shape.
 

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Did you say the boards have been in the garage? The wood should be in the house or somewhere at the same humidity as where they will stay.

They have to equilibrated fore several months, especially ar they are from a small curved log so they have a lot of potential stresses and tensions in them and will have mor when they do dry(equilibrated).
Don't be in a rush to do the final jointing.
Also the "stitches" are usually dovetailed or "Bowie" shaped. The mechanical restraint of the wedge is what resists the opening of the cracks. The glue on end grain does not have much holding strength. Lets hope the wood has dried enough that the stresses are minimal?
I hope you got a plane working.
 
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