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making the top

With the base complete, it's time to start building the top, I glued up the top from narrow maple stock to give it a butcher-block look that fits in with just about any kitchen decor. It's a little more work than some of the alternatives, but this arrangement means die top will be more stable. It will stay flatter and not expand and contract as much widi seasonal changes.

CUTTING THE STRIPS. I started by jointing and planing a few pieces of maple stock. I took extra care to make sure everything was perfectly flat and parallel during this step, because the planed surfaces will actually end up being die glue joints after I've ripped the boards into narrower strips. (The box below explains how to prepare and lay out the strips for a flat top).

Next, set up your table saw with a good rip blade and double-check the fence to make sure it's parallel to the blade. Then you can rip the maple into strips, For the best glue joints, 1 like to carefully joint each strip. Then you can move on to arranging them for glue-up.

Rout Vs" round-over on ends of table tap

LAYING OUT THE TOP. It's a good idea to inspect each piece for straight-ness. When you cut long, narrow pieces you can get some bowing. So now is the time to determine which strips are bowed and in which direction so you can take that into account during assembly. The box below explains how to do diis to get good results.

GLUING IT UP. Now, you can glue up the top. I first glued the strips into smaller sections (about 8"

Z-fastener

wide) so I could run them through a planer. Take a look at the box on the next page for details on making a flat and smooth tabletop.

FINAL DETAILS. Now, you can trim the top to size and rout the roun-dover on the corners and top edge. Then sand everything smooth.

After painting the base and applying a finish to the top, you can attach the top with Z-fasteners, as shown in die drawing above. Then you can turn to making the stools.

Shop Tips; Cutting and Assembling the Top

Ripping the Stock. Check to make sure your fence is parallel to the blade to avoid saw marks and burning. Then rip the strips and flip them on their side. This edge grain will become the top of the table. A quick pencil mark to identify them will save time later.

Straightest boards on outside

Straightest boards on outside

Lay out pieces so bows oppose one another

Ripping the Stock. Check to make sure your fence is parallel to the blade to avoid saw marks and burning. Then rip the strips and flip them on their side. This edge grain will become the top of the table. A quick pencil mark to identify them will save time later.

Lay Out the Pieces. To compensate for bowing; lay out the strips as shown above. This way, you'll get a better glue bond and you won't have to worry about cracks appearing in the future.

How-To:

Flatten The ) Tabletop

Flattening a glued-up tabletop begins during the assembly stage. Clamping up the individual strips on a perfectly flat surface and tapping them in place with a mallet is probably the best way to get them all in line. You can also use cauls running perpend icular to the strips to keep them from shifting under clamping pressure

FLAT AND TRUE. When the glue dries, it's tempting to try and flatten the panel by running it through a planer. A planer will produce a flat surface, but if the opposite side is uneven, the surfaces won't be parallel. You'll get an uneven panel I that won't sit flat on the base, The solution is to flatten one side first. I CLEANUP. If you've done every thing you can to keep tilings flat during the glueup, it's not hard to knock down the remaining ridges. You'll want to begin by removing the glue squeeze-out. An old chisel works great for this.

CHECK FOR FLATNESS. 1 start by using a straightedge to check the surface and make a series of pencil marks on the high spots. Then you can turn to the belt sander and a 60-grit belt (see box at right). It makes short work of the ridges. The goal during this phase is to remove only the high spots. So angle the sander or you can even sand across the grain. Stop frequently and recheck the surface with a straightedge. When all the high spots are t smoothed out, you can switch to a 120-grit belt and sand with the grain, moving from side to side unti I you have a nice, flat surface. PLANING SMOOTH. Then you can run m die panels through, the planer, taking light cuts. Stay a little shy of the final thickness — you'll sand the top to final thickness after you glue up the panels. Give the top a final sanding for a smooth finish.

NOTE: Flatten table top in sections that are easy to work and will still fit in planer

Use straightedge to check for high spots

Identify the High Spots, Use a straightedge to find the high spots. Then mark the high areas you'll need to work on using a coarse belt on your sander. As you sand, you'll continue to check for high spots until the surface looks flat.

Flatness

Both sides of the up panel need to be flat or the tabletop will not rest firmly on the base.

NOTE: Flatten table top in sections that are easy to work and will still fit in planer

Use straightedge to check for high spots

Smaller sections are glued

Final Glue-Up and Sanding. After you glue the smaller tabletop sections together, use your straightedge once again to check for high spots and ridges. If necessary, use a fine grit on your belt sander to level the joints. Finish sanding with a random orbital sander.

Sanding. Continue sanding and checking for high spots. When the surface is smooth, you can move on to the planer.

Plane. Next; run the panels through your thickness planer. Make light passes on both sides to keep the faces parallel.

Sanding. Continue sanding and checking for high spots. When the surface is smooth, you can move on to the planer.

Plane. Next; run the panels through your thickness planer. Make light passes on both sides to keep the faces parallel.

Final Glue-Up and Sanding. After you glue the smaller tabletop sections together, use your straightedge once again to check for high spots and ridges. If necessary, use a fine grit on your belt sander to level the joints. Finish sanding with a random orbital sander.

Smaller sections are glued

A light pass with a belt sander makes a smooth surface

®

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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