Working on a Big Ash table (w/pics)


Hello everyone,
This week I started on making a new kitchen table for myself. I have a three week pause as I wait for glass for doors for the folks kitchen and I *really* hate my current kitchen table. This is the first real woodworking I have done for myself in *years*.
I am planning on a very simple table. About 40"x70". I say about, becuase I don't know what size the top will really be until it is done. I bought a huge truckload of 2" thick ash at auction a while ago and I thought that would be the perfect material. The top stands now at just under 1.75" thick. I also have the leg blanks done, they are 4"x4" for now.
Once I trim the table top ends I plan on adding bread board ends. The legs will be tapered on their two inside faces. There will be a simple skirt with an inset drawer on one of the long sides. I was showing Katarina a number of pictures of tables on Google Images and from what I could glean, she should like this.
I brought the ash into the basement through a window over a year ago where it has sat stacked and stickers (it was KD). The only problem is the snow now in the backyard and that these 12' boards will not make it around the corners and up the stairs, DOH! Out with the cordless jig saw and I cut several of them in half for the table top.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/roughcuttingash.jpg
Here they are ready to be milled up in the shop.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/readytomilltopash.jpg
I did the usual dimensioning and glued up three blanks under 14" that would fit through my planer. I gotta love my planer, 14" of ash, 1/8" depth of cut and not a wimper.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/planing14inch.jpg
There was a little tear out due to grain reversal, so I sanded the three table top sub panels.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/sandingashpanels.jpg
Thank god my jointer weighs 800 LBS, edge jointing these big blanks was pretty easy.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/edgejointingash.jpg
I don't go to this effort very often in a glue up, but in this case I did. Drum sanders tend to make you lazy, they can easily surface wide glueups that were not pefect. The glue up is almost 40" wide, so it had to be right as it wasn't going through my 25" drum sander. I made clamping cauls that were crowned 1/8" in the middle. The bottom ones I just covered in packing tape and for the top ones I made cut outs for the glue line. To make the clamping cauls, I started by surfacing all four sides of the 2x4's. With the jointer set at 1/16" depth of cut, I ran the board 1/4 of its length into the cutterhead and lifted the caul. I turned the caul around and "leaning" on it so the the far side was up in the air, did another pass on the jointer. The jointer did not start cutting until mid way down the aul and I ended up with the ~1/8" crown I wanted. I put glue on the three boards and set them on the lower cauls 1/8" apart. I used F clamps to squeeze the cauls and keep the three big boards in line. I then used K body clamps to "pull" the three large blanks together.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/clampedashincauls.jpg
Thirty minutes in clamps and I started to clean up any squeeze out.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/cleaningashsqueezeout.jpg
Here is how the blank sits right now.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/theashslab.jpg
I am very pleased with the result, there is only the slightest of ridges between the three sub panels. A very light sanding with a random orbital sander will easily clean that up .
I hope to get bread board ends on the top this week so I can see what final size table top I have ended up with. Based on that I will start on the skirt and drawer.
I also managed to glue up the legs blanks. I started with four boards of 8/4x8"x32".
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/blankashlegs.jpg
I glued them up for 4x4 blanks.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/readytogluelegs.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/ashlegsglued.jpg
I don't know how much I will take them down, I will see how they look under the top once it is done and go from there.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/legsmilledsquare.jpg
Only one last little detail to figure out, how can I mount an end vise and bore bench dog holes in it and pass it off as, "oh yah, the plans called for it...."
Thanks for looking,
David.
Every neighbourhood has one, in mine, I'm him.
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Thanks for sharing. Ted
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Looking good David.
SteveP.

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Hey David -
Nice to put a face to the guy I've been buying bits from :)
Very nice work - envy the space you have. Just out of curiosity - will the completed table be able to make the journey to it's home or will you have to finish assembly in place?
Vic
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