(Part thirteen of a continuing series)
The table is done.
Wrapping up the last day or so of this build, I got the breadboards done and installed, the finish on the table top, and the top attached to the base. I did all of this on Monday and Tuesday, putting in a marathon effort on Monday with no food or drink. Not very wise, but sometimes you find a will.
I trimmed up both edges of the table top and did some minor sanding. The breadboards came from two separate boards owing to remaining materials for the benches. I cut them at the miter saw and got my Domino out to cut the mortises on the table top. I plunged all six mortises and then noticed what appeared to be a huge mistake – all the mortises were way too low, toward the bottom. With people leaning on the breadboard ends, this could never even remotely work. Seizing on an idea, I reset the fence on the Domino and made additional mortises just above the ones I had just done. What was a mistake turned into a design feature – double mortises. In doing this, I would also be able to eliminate the support blocks I was thinking I would need. A bit of good fortune finally smiled upon one of my projects. I used actual-width mortises on the middle two, and extended-width on the outside six, just like in TWW’s video.
I moved on to the other side, and unfortunately that good fortune was taken away as I forgot to set the width back and made all the mortises extended on one row. At this point I was committed to the build at hand, so I corrected my mistake on the bottom row – the two upper middle mortises would just have to be what they were. Satisfied with the dry fit on both ends (and after running them through the jointer for a fitment fix) I glued the middle two tenons on both rows on both ends on both sides, and the rest of the tenons to only the table. The breadboards went on and affixed with clamps.
Soon after, I used dowels to secure the outside two tenons on each end. I used cherry, thinking that I didn’t have enough walnut (I did). I drilled eight holes through the two rows of tenons and inserted the dowels, locking the top part with glue. It went reasonably well, although I did have a blowout with one of them on the outer side. Cooler head prevailed and I used a bit of glue and a clamp and I couldn’t even tell that it happened – that’s a damn good repair if I can’t tell. I flush sawed the dowels and everything got sanded up to 220, I put a roundover on the sharp edges and the corners got knocked down with a rasp. Two coats of teak oil were applied to both sides
It came time to attach the two major pieces, so I brought out a spare mattress and laid it on the ground to help protect the top, which was put upside-down on the mattress and the base over it. After careful measuring, the base was centered and ready to be attached. I used the Domino previously to cut mortises to use with cedar attachment blocks. I made the blocks, predrilled holes and it all went together, leaving room for movement. I will say that if these fail (and I expect they shall), I will go back and widen the holes and use beefier blocks – something that I thought of afterwards. Not a huge deal at all, won’t effect the table in any way. I can easily have these ready to go once I have a handle on just what the scrap situation is after the benches are done.
Speaking of the benches, I was really hoping to be started on those by now. It is Thursday before Labor Day, and was hoping to have at least one close to ready for this weekend. There is still time, and the remainder is fairly easy, but it still takes energy and a lot of sweat.