Today I’m going to be finishing up the kitchen table build from last week.

 

 

I found a really cool lumber yard somewhat near my house call West Gate Hardwoods. I was able to pick up some nice red oak for the table top.

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I laid the boards down and rough cut them using my cordless circular saw.

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If you put a couple pieces of scrap wood underneath, you won’t cut into the board below.

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The table top would only use these 5 pieces. The rest of the wood is for upcoming projects.

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Using my tiny little jointer, I flattened one side of each piece.

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At the table saw, I put each newly flattened edge against the fence and ripped them to make two perfectly parallel sides.

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These boards had already been skip planed at the lumberyard, and were already pretty flat. I ran them through my planer to finish the job.

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I laid the boards down in the orientation that I wanted the finished top to lie, and then marked where the biscuits would go.

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Using my biscuit jointer, I plunged into each spot there was a line. This doesn’t add strength to the joint, but really helps to line everything up during the glue-up.

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I grabbed 8 of my long clamps and prepped everything before pulling out the glue. I had each board numbered so I wouldn’t mix them up.

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I put down a generous amount of glue and then spread it across the entire surface with a piece of scrap wood.

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I plopped in the biscuits and laid the boards flat onto the clamps.

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I slowly tightened up each clamp until there was squeeze-out in all 4 joints. Then I grabbed the other 4 clamps and did the same thing from the top.

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I also attached a clamp at each joint to try and keep them all flat.

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My father-in-law helped me remove the clamps. The glue-up was a success.

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The top needed to be cut into a 48-inch circle and I would use a router to get the job done.

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To make a quick circle jig, I cut a piece of scrap ¼-inch plywood into a 3.5-inch strip.

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I removed the stock router plate and marked the screw holes onto my board. I drilled and counter-sunk so the screw heads wouldn’t interfere with operation. I also marked out the center hole and cut it out using a forstner bit on the drill press.

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I attached the jig and swapped the existing bit for a straight bit.

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I carefully marked out measurements for different circle dimensions.

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Using a tape measure I marked out the center of the top.

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I tacked in a nail at the 24-inch radius mark to the center of the board and started cutting.

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After double checking that I hadn’t made a huge mistake, I continued cutting.

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I circled the board a bunch of times, slightly lowering the bit with every pass. It’s important to keep a constant speed and downward pressure on the router to make consistent cuts.

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Once I had cut down this far I used my jig saw to rough cut the rest of the way through. I made sure to stay away from the crisp inside edge.

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We flipped the board over and, using a flush trim bit, I cleaned the remainder of the edge. The bottom bearing rides along the smooth, cut edge and matches it to the rough one. Again, keeping a constant speed and pressure makes for a smooth cut.

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Since I don’t own a 50-inch drum sander, it was time to bust out the belt sander for several hours of sanding. I sanded both the top and bottom, as well as the edge.

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Once the top was rough sanded down to 80 grit, I used the router again, this time with a ¼ inch round over bit. I tested the bit on a piece of scrap wood before bringing it to the top. I slowly moved around the top flipped it to get the other side.

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This was the beginning of my first big mistake. I used a white, non-stainable epoxy to fill some knots and cracks. I wouldn’t know it at the time, but it would come back to haunt me later.

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I cleaned up all the epoxy and then sanded down to 220 grit with the random orbit sander.

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We decided to use a dark walnut stain that I applied with a rag. It went on easily, but you can already see my blatant mistake. Not knowing any better, I tried to add extra stain to try and make it soak in. Nope, that doesn’t work.

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I re-sanded the entire surface and used some stainable wood filler in its place.

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I was finally able to get a great looking stain across the entire top.

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I applied an even coat of spar urethane with a brush across the entire surface. Once everything was covered, I went back and made smooth, even strokes going with the grain.

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This was the bottom and it looked awesome.

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Major problem number two occurred while finishing the show face of the top.

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For some reason, when I applied the spar urethane to the top, it bubbled up really bad as it dried. When I tried to sand it smooth with 400 grit paper after it had dried, it just kept making a cloudy, white coating.

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I ended up having to sand down the entire finish and stain and starting over from scratch, again! After re-staining, I used a couple cans of spray polyurethane and, in the end, the table actually turned out great.

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My Project Tools

CIRCULAR SAW

JOINTER

TABLE SAW

PLANER

BISCUIT JOINTER

ROUTER

JIG SAW

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