I follow Marc Spagnuolo’s website, The Wood Whisperer fairly regularly. One of his more intriguing (and accessible, for me) projects was his rustic outdoor table he built out of cedar. I really liked the project, however my outdoor space is lacking, so it was merely a interesting project for awhile. My friend, however, was interested in making a large gathering table. I suggested he watch Marc’s videos and he liked the design. We initially wanted to go with a ten foot length, but I eventually decided I couldn’t make a quality product at that length with my tools and my space.
So for this project, I am going with the general length of the original project. Instead of a six foot overall length, I am shooting for near seven. If you aren’t familiar with the project, it’s a laminated top (wider, not thicker) with breadboard ends to keep everything nice and straight on a fairly basic base with some decorative elements. His is all put together with glue and Dominos, and I am aiming for the same. I don’t have the bigger Domino machine that he has, but I’m hoping I can still get the job done. Since he wanted a bigger table, I will be making multiple if at all possible. At least two.
I haven’t quite yet decided if I’ll start with the table itself or the benches. Since I have neither the glue or the outdoor Dominos yet, I don’t know if it’s a pressing issue. The more I can do in the mornings though, is better. I will be working on a new cut list this afternoon to maximize wood savings. I’m hoping eight foot lengths will be enough to work with the surface and perhaps some legs for the benches. Eight foot is about my limit for fitting in a car without having to rent a trailer, an added expense.
Thinking about it, I may do the benches first as a trial application. Not a lot of wood needed to begin, and easy to adjust for any problems that may arise. Will be a good test bed for the stain application as well. The two benches might look nice in a yard as well, and if the table doesn’t work out it isn’t too big of a deal.
Off to Sketchup to account for the difference in material, though. While Marc used 8/4 cedar for his project, that is virtually unattainable here in that thickness. For cost and practicality purposes, we are going with SYP – dimensional lumber. Picking straight, clear boards will be an issue, but hopefully one that can be worked with. I did it for my workbench, I hope I can do it here.
Next up – the modified plans and cut list.
(This is a preview of the Gathering Table series)