Veneer Sandwiches

MDF Thre< layers of MDF and two layer & of ter eer are all coated in glue and set into the vacuum bag at the same time. Glued up slightly oversized, the entire center panel of the tabletop is later trimmed to size on the tabiesaw.

SHORT ENDS FIRST. Fitted with a spime and biscuits, the short ends of the table are clamped to the top. With the end boards glued into oiace. a spline is cut slightly short of the top's length.

TIGHT SPLINES ARE EXPOSED. Small lengths of spline are tapped into place to ensure that the conspicuous table ends M llgi - y ■

Working Heavy Stock

When working with heavy timbers and on such a grand scale, it's imperative that the stock be stabilized and milled to exact size.

Biscuits add strength and ensure that wood movement occurs on the underside of the top.

Cherry veneer over an MDF core make up the tabietop.

6-in. lag screws attach the tabietop to (he leg.

Spline. l/> In' by 1 in., runs the length of the tabietop.

Screws tie case to the tabietop.

Short section of spline is used on the exposed end.

Frame-and-panei -doors, panel inset

Plywood back.1 a m. thick, is nailed into Vi-in.-deep rabbet at the back of the case.

Drawers slide on wood---


Orawer face, glued and screwed to drawer

16 boards. 4 in wide, make up the finger jointed case.

Runner keeps drawer in line.

Bottom runner aligns drawer.

Cross member.

Dowels attach legs to cross member.

Finger-jointed carcase

Finger-jointed carcase

I added two biscuits to each finger dowels or splines could have been used instead . which solved the problem of insufficient bonding surface but created another dilemma that 1 will address later.

An Unconventional Tabletop

The tabletop's 2-in.-thick center was made by laminating three pieces of medium-density liberboard MDF —two pieces ■i in. thick and one piece in. thick—then skinning both sides with -m.-thick chern veneer. I glued up the veneer in two pieces so that it appears to be two 5-in.-wide boards. The veneer was cut about m in. oversized on the tabic saw ,md then seamed. Making the substrate, cauls and veneer the same approximate size allowed for easy alignment and control of the pieces as they went into the vacuum bag. It was also quicker and less obnoxious to trim the

-in. oversized panels on a tablesaw than it would .haw been to trim glut squeeze out and oversized ' neer with a router iiid trimmer bit.

Placing the vacuum bag on an absolutely flat surface and laminating multiple lavcrs of the substrate material produced a flat panel with no warp, cup or twist- After several hours in the vacuum bag. the veneered panel iv . I d onh a quick cleanup before it was cut to size. Trying to get clean edges of MDF on a jointer is fruitless, and it dulls knives instantlv. Si I measured out from the centerline seam of the top veneers to establish parallel lines, then i ul d i sii ughiedge to the uiu \p<■■■ I bottom surface. I ripped the panel several times on the tablesaw until I was sure the edges were straight, square and parallel, but j left them about X in. oversized for now.

I used the tablesaw to crosscut the panel to length, again taking several test passes to check the quahtv of cut. It the veneer was going to chip, it would be at the end of a crosscut. I ripped the panel to it* final width last, which ensured crisp corners. When ripping, raising rht bl ide higher than normal produces a cleaner top ;ut ind

Robert Mclaughlin

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