Dining Table Build – Routing for Days

We have come to the most time consuming part of the dining table build. Routing. In order to create the mortise and tenon joints I outlined last week to deal with seasonal wood movement, I had to route every board used in the table top. I decided to start with making the tenons. This meant routing 19 boards on both sides, and in order to create a ½” tenon in the middle of the 1 ½” board, I had to route ½” from each side. If you’re following along and doing the math with me, that means routing away ½” of wood from 76 different sides. 

To further complicate matters, each tenon had to be 2 ½” long, which meant taking 4 different passes with a ¾” wide router. Long story short, this meant an absurd amount of routing was required to create all of the tenons. Full disclosure, I kind of forced all of this extra work upon myself.

While each board needed at least a “haunch” or “shoulder” that was ½” wide and ½” long, not all of them needed the full 2 ½” tenon. The problem really was my lack of confidence and experience in this method, so I decided to give myself options by creating a tenon on each board. Then, after assembly of the table top, I could cut back the tenons that were not required into shoulders. 

The best way for me to complete all of this routing was to set up a guide that allowed for straight passes with the router time and time again. Below is what I decided to go with.

I had to sharpen my router bit around 4 or 5 times to get through all of this routing.

The white guide gave me a solid block to set the router against as I made my passes side to side along the board. In the back you can see the spacer boards that I would set against the white guide after each pass to work my way further back along the board. This allowed me to get a 2 ½” tenon. And lastly the block on the right gave me a flat surface to span the router across as I worked my way away from the white guide. It was a relatively simple setup that allowed me to make quick work of 2 boards at a time. Although, even with this setup it took me a couple of weeks to complete all 19 boards for the table top.

Goals Update

Almost two months ago, I posted an update regarding my weight loss and workshop goals that I set last fall. The weight loss goal in particular had gone poorly, so I’m adding more frequent updates to try and stay accountable to my goals. 

Weight Loss – Another pound lost, down to 170! Ten more pounds until my goal weight, but it is nice to see steady, sustainable progress.

Workshop – Wow the end of May got here fast. I’ve made really good progress on this goal. One beam is completely installed and another is ¾ of the way done. It’s coming along nicely and I’ll continue to make solid progress, although I don’t think I’ll be done by the end of May as I wanted. Some other projects came up, mainly helping my friend install new floors, but I’ll keep working and have these faux beams done in no time. Of course, after they are installed I still have to sand and stain them, but that’s a minor detail. I’ve never let details stand in my way before, why start now?

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