Dining Table Build – Tabletop Glue Up

In this week’s iteration of the dining table build, the tabletop glue up! Last week was all about routing each of the 19 individual boards to have tenons on each of their ends. In an effort that was probably the most time consuming part of the entire dining table build, I had to route 76 different sides of the boards. A repetitive task that I was happy to be done with and on to the next thing.

In order to turn 19 individual 2×5” boards into a 95” long table, I needed to glue and then screw them together with pocket hole joints. To begin, I once again got into an assembly line groove and drilled 5 pocket holes into one side of each individual board.

I varied the pocket hole locations across boards so that the joints would be offset in final assembly.

After drilling the pocket holes I took some time to lay out all of the boards. This helped me spread out some of the variations in color and knot patterns. Once I was happy with the results I marked each board with a number so that I could assemble them into the correct order.

Laying out the boards ahead of time helped me to spread some of the redder boards throughout the table.

All that was left was to glue each edge and assemble them together using the pocket holes. I used a flat surface, my workbench, to assemble the boards one at a time. The glue is extremely strong, and the pocket hole screws help hold everything together tightly while the glue sets.

The offset in the pocket hole joints is evident here. My trusty scrap piece of wood helped me to apply even pressure across the joint while assembling to get an even tabletop.

Any minor imperfections in the top, misalignments or uneven parts of the wood, will be taken care of in the final sanding of the table top. I ended up making the table top in two different sections, each about 4’ long. One reason for this is that my workbench is only 4’ long, so that’s the longest I could assemble on a clean, flat surface. The other, more important, reason is that I knew I would need to drive this table up to my friend’s house in my Honda CRV. So by building the table top in two parts, and then only using pocket hole screws to attach them together temporarily, no glue, I would be able to disassemble it for shipment up to my friend’s house. 

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