Dining Table Build – Final Assembly

It is final assembly time for the dining table! After many weeks of ripping, routing, glueing, and leg assembly, the table was ready for a drive up to Fort Collins, CO for final assembly on location. Unfortunately, I had a continuous brain fart for about two hours and did not take any photos of the table packed in the CR-V for the drive. Let’s just say that it was majestic and impressive that the entire table fit in there. The back window was open for the entire ride and it was fantastic. Live reenactment After getting to Fort Collins the final assembly process was pretty straightforward. The first step was to reassemble the table top into one piece, since I had to take it apart for “shipment”. I then attached the base to the table top using the figure 8 fasteners I discussed last week. After getting the table top…

Continue Reading

Dining Table Build – Table Base

We are chugging along in the dining table build. Last week covered building the table legs, and this week will cover building the rest of the table base and attaching the table top to the base.  The base itself was fairly quick and easy to build. Using 2”x6” boards for the outside runners, and 2”x4” boards for the perpendicular supports, I built a rectangular frame for the table top. Simple design from SketchUp I used pocket hole screws to both build the frame and attach it to the table legs. I only glued the inner perpendicular supports to the table legs. I do not have any experience with building something like this, but I left the outside supports unglued to allow them to expand and contract across their width. Since the piece is only 5½” wide, the wood movement should be small enough to not cause any issues within the…

Continue Reading

Dining Table Build – Table Legs

I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about the table top of the dining table build. How I made the mortise and tenons, glued together the table top, created the breadboards, and drilled the holes for the breadboard pins. It’s probably a good time to start talking about the legs that make that table top stand.  The design of the table calls for two slightly beefier legs to support everything. In order to get the beefier leg size, I used 4”x4” lumber that was ripped down to 3”x3” to get rid of the rounded lumber edges. After ripping the pieces and then cutting them to size, it was time to attach them together. The simplest way to do this was to use pocket hole joints on the inner three cross pieces to attach them to the outer posts.  I'm pretty much a pro at photoshop. The red arrows show…

Continue Reading

Dining Table Build – Breadboards

Today I am finally continuing the series on the dining table that I built for my friends. Previously I have gone through ripping common lumber for the table, adjusting the design to account for seasonal wood movement, routing the tenons, and glueing the table top together. This week I’ll walk through the steps I took to route the mortises in the breadboards.  Breadboards are the long boards attached to the sides of the table top to hide the joints of each panel. Sometimes called a rail, these have to allow for seasonal wood movement. For my table, I decided to create mortise and tenon joints that allow the table top to expand and contract within the breadboards. Below is a great picture of the mortise and tenon joints that go into a breadboard or rail. Source: https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/breadboard-ends Specific to my design, there are nine mortise and tenon connections within each breadboard.…

Continue Reading

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 2x5” 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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Dining Table Build – Seasonal Wood Movement

When planning out this new dining room table build, I really had no idea what I was doing. That’s probably an understatement. Luckily, about a week after finalizing the design, I went skiing with a friend of mine who is a great woodworker. Also, remember friends? Those people you got to see outside of your house back in the day? Good times. This friend, Brooks, really changed the route of the design and probably saved the table from a cracked and warped short-lived life. While on a chairlift and over lunch, Brooks explained to me the key to woodworking, which is wood movement. I had done zero planning for wood movement, meaning that as the wood expanded and contracted with temperature and humidity changes, it would probably crack and fail. But during that conversation we figured out a path forward to account for wood movement in my design. Yet another…

Continue Reading

Dining Table Build – Let Her Rip!

Last week, I laid out the design of a dining room table that I built for a couple of friends who just bought a home out here in Colorado. This week I’ll start walking through each of the steps I went through to build the table. Now, this table design is very large, about 4’ x 8’. A quick google search for tables that size shows that many, if not most, cost over $1000. Pretty significant. Because this is my first time building anything significant, and because they’re my good friends, they’ll be getting the table for the cost of the supplies. Even with that keeping costs down, this much wood can get expensive, so I decided to build the table out of douglas-fir lumber. While douglas-fir lumber is fairly cheap and readily available at your big box home improvement store, it does present a couple issues. Number one is…

Continue Reading

Dining Table Build – The Design

A few months ago, my friend asked me to help him build a dining room table for the new house that he and his wife bought in Colorado. I’m not going to lie, it was both terrifying and exciting. Terrifying, because I had never built anything that required close to the amount of skill required for a flat, square dining table. Exciting, because it was a chance to dive headfirst into something I believed I would really enjoy. Obviously, the first step was to design the table to fit their needs.  They love to spend time with family and wanted a table for everyone to gather around. In this case, everyone is 8-12 people, so we decided on a very large table. Approximately 4’ x 8’. After determining the size, we needed a design. They sent me a few examples for sale that they liked, and then I sketched out…

Continue Reading

Bathroom Upgrades – Part 1

It is currently about 20°F here in Denver with snow in the forecast several days this week. Obviously, we’ve all been inside much more than normal lately with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but this weather means no garden or workshop time today. With that being the case, I decided it’s appropriate to discuss a recent indoor project that Allyson and I completed. Our house was built in the 1950s. Because of the age of our house, it did not include a bathroom vent fan when we moved in. Typically, older homes weren’t sealed very well (we can attest to that), which meant that moisture inside the home dried out without many mold issues. Modern homes are sealed much better, which dramatically improves their insulation, but can cause problems with moisture inside the house. That is why almost all homes built in the last 20 years include bathroom vent fans that…

Continue Reading
×