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▲ Glue up the end. The author brings the assembly into square by adjusting the pipe clamp at an angle to the rail.

► Assemble the base. Once the joints are clamped, Klausz checks for square by comparing diagonal measurements.

on the insides of the aprons for the wooden buttons that secure the top. (See Fig. 1.) A plunge router equipped with an edge guide and a '/#-in.-dia. straight bit makes a quick and accurate job of routing these slots.

Finish up the base by smoothing all the show surfaces. I use a hand plane and 220-grit sandpaper to smooth and clean up the outsides of the aprons and the inside faccs of the legs. Ill finish smoothing the outside of the legs after assembly.

Gluing Up the Base

For a table this large, it makes sense to tackle the glue-up in two stages. First, I assemble each end assembly, which consists of two legs and an end apron.

Spread an even, thin coat of glue on all the tenon checks and on the walls of the mortises. Use a pipe clamp to draw the joints closed, then check the assembly for square. (See top left photo.)

Allow both end assemblies to dry, then assemble the entire base by adding the side aprons. Again, check the legs for square to the aprons, and also check that the apron frame is square by measuring the diagonals. (See top right photo.)

Finish and Attach the Top

Before attaching the top to the base, I like to finish the entire table. This way, 1 can work with smaller subassemblies during the finishing proccss.

You need a durable finish for a kitchen table, one that can withstand heat, alcohol, and the many spills it must endure. My finish is four coats of catalyzed varnish, which I spray on and then rub out with paste wax for a satin, silky feci. You can get the same protection with less trouble by brushing on several coats of urethane, sanding with 220-grit paper between coats. Apply the same number of coats on both sides of the top to prevent it from cupping or distorting.

Once the finish work is complete, lay the top upside down on the bench and position the base over it. Use a tape measure to ensure that the top overhangs the base evenly on all sides. Mark the top at the corners of each leg, and mark the center of the end aprons where they contact the underside of the top.

Next, remove the base and sand or scrape the top where you marked for the end aprons. Spread a 4-in.-long line of glue along the scrapcd area, and reposition the base onto the top, then clamp the aprons to the top. To strengthen the apron-to-top joints, spread some glue on two small blocks and rub them against the end aprons and against the top. (See bottom right photo.) The blocks and the 4-in.-long glue lines keep the center of the top securely fastened to the base.

To secure the outer edges of the top and allow the top to expand and contract due to wood movement, install the 14 wooden buttons into their rcspcctivc slots

A Attach the top. Glue and clamp 4 in. of the end apron, and rub a glued block next to the joint. Wooden buttons hold the top's perimeter without restricting wood movement.

in the aprons. Make sure to leave an '/fc-in. gap between the shoulders of the buttons and the long aprons so the top can shrink across its width if it needs to. A

FRANK KLAUSZ is a master cabinetmaker and a contributing editor to AW.

FRANK KLAUSZ is a master cabinetmaker and a contributing editor to AW.

cam clamp

Adjust clamp and bolt position depending on thickness of work-piece and length of desired tenon.

backup board Screw in place; replace when board becomes excessively kerfed.

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