Gluing up the Top

 

Pretty simple really.  Except for the sheer size of the thing.  My shop floor is the only space I have large and flat enough to glue a 41″ x 98″ table-top.  My workbench is almost 9′ long, but it is “only” 36 inches wide, which includes the tool-tray on the back.  The tool tray isn’t exactly flat with the main work surface.  So, I don’t include it as part of the “flat surface” needed for glue-ups.

As noted previously, I glued up subsections of the entire top 3 boards to a section, each making up 1/4 of the entire top.  So, I ran these super-planks through the planer to get the top and bottoms smooth and uniform thickness.  Final thickness is 1 7/16″.  Once the final cleanup from the glue-up is done and the whole thing is finish sanded it should be a hair over 1 3/8″ when complete. Of course, all this planing created another two shop-vac loads of shavings.

The final width is a little shy of planned: it turned out at 41″ instead of the 42″  intended.  There we some issues with the lumber warping slightly after being resawn, that required more jointing than typical.  Hopefully, Mom won’t mind (notice is too much to hope for! :-).  However, after the sub-panels spent the winter and spring in the shop, no further movement was observed.  All edges fit snug without any need for additional jointing.  That bodes well for the long term stability and strength of the top.

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Since, I glued and planed the top in subsections there are only three minor glue-lines that need to be cleaned up and sanded.  Much less tedious than the usual approach of gluing all boards at once with this many skinny boards.  All sub panels remained straight, true, and flat over winter while resting in the shop.  That’s a pretty big temperature and humidity swing.  All those rift-sawn boards probably contribute to that stability (even when unfinished).

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Next up? The skirt.

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