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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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