I decided that a portion of it belonged on the top of a hall table. This is what I came up with.
The main top is 3/4" Ash boards stained and finished on the tops, with tongue and groove joinery trimmed with pine edging.
The sub frame is Pine with box joints.
The legs are poplar staircase spindles from a home store (yeah, so what, I cheated). I used half lap joinery to attach these to the sub frame with glue.
I am entering this into the Epilog contest. I would absolutely love to have that Laser cutter. I would use it in all kinds of ways around my shop. The question is, "What wouldnt I try to make with it!" I could use this in a multitude of different ways! So please take the time to throw me a vote!
Step 1: Gather your materials.
The only thing I had to buy were the staircase spindles. You can get the "out-door" deck spindles. They are a bit beefier, but at the same time they are a bit rough around the edges. I opted for the more expensive in-door spindles.
The main tool used here is the table saw with an assortment of jigs.
cross-cut sled, box joint jig and dado blade as well as a crosscut blade for a smoother finish cut.
Sand-paper, sander, stain and a finish. I used a polycrylic clear-coat over-top of walnut stain.
Step 2: Make the upper frame
There are quite a few Instructables on this type of jig. I made mine a few years ago from plans out of a wood-smith magazine.
I think I have seen an instructable on the one I have. There are much simpler designs out there, take a look.
Once you have the upper frame rails cut, It's time to cut the fingers for the box joint. If you need instruction on this, then you need to first make the jig. After you make the jig, you will understand how these jigs work and how to set one up, so I'm going to skip past the set-up procedure. I will say though, I had to re-try about 6 times before getting it to my standards.
After you cut the fingers, dry fit the frame to see how it goes together... If all went well, you should have nice clean joints with no gaps. The frame should be snug enough to hold itself together without any glue. too tight is bad and could split the frame, too loose and you will have gaps. you should have all the kinks worked out with test pieces before you put the actual frame rails on the saw.
After you have a good clean joint that dry fits nicely you can glue it and set it aside. This can be tricky. A couple bar clamps, a mallet and an extra set of hands will be needed. You need to work fast. This also depends on the type of glue you use. I use a yellow glue with a 10 minute set time (I think the bottle lies about this (it seems to set very fast)).
Keep in mind that the longer the glue sits without being joined with another board, it is also swelling the wood fibers, thus making the joint even tighter when you put it together after applying glue. A white glue may give you a longer set time, but it also contains water and water is what causes the swelling. So get it glued up fast and set it aside.
Step 3: Cut the legs
Now you need to cut away the spindle on 2 sides to form a Lap joint. again, a stop block really helps with this.
set the stop block for the first cut, then making several consecutive cuts remove the material. This needs to be cleaned up with a chisel and sanded flat. These faces will be glued to the upper table frame.
Step 4: Attach the legs to the upper table frame
This chamfer will allow any glue squeez-out to go into this little chanel and provide a better bond. It also helps to do this if you have some dried glue squeez-out on the inside of the box joint. Glue, and clamps. That is all....
Step 5: Sand and stain and sand some more
Once you have sanded it to 220 grit, blow off the dust and using mineral spirits wipe down the areas where you glued. This will show you instantly where the glue drips and spots are (The stain wont suck in, and you will simply see ugly spots)... make sure you get rid of them before you stain.
I was debating on 4 different colors to choose. I tried Walnut first and didn't go any further. I liked the color on both types of wood (poplar legs, and pine frame).
I don't understand why people fuss about putting stain on. Its simple. Use an old cotton T-shirt rag never apply a stain with a brush on in-door stuff. Wipe it on and wipe off the excess. if it looks blotchy, keep wiping..... Trying to "match" a previous stain is very tough...
After I stained it, I sealed it with a home made sealer mix of tung oil, mineral spirits and a type of hardwood floor sanding sealer. It dries really quick and gives a good solid base for the clear top coat. I applied the sealer twice and sanded after the second coat with 320 grit. Be careful, you do not want to sand thru the stain.
You can use a scuff pad instead of sand paper. This seems to work well. be especially careful on the legs.
After you get this completed it is time to frame the table top boards. (I should have done this during step 1)
Step 6: Build the top
I framed this with 1-1/2" strips of select pine and used the box joints to continue the theme.
Measure the slats you are using and figure out those dimensions. I have 8 slats roughly 5"wide and 18" long. I assembled them on the plywood base and oriented the grain patterns and tightened all the joints and measured the length of the table. I got 40- 1/2".
I am using box joints with 3/4" material, so add an additional 1-1/2" to the finished dimensions Length and width and cut your top frame rails to finished dimension. Don't forget to make sure you have some scrap to calibrate the jig.
Set-up the box joint jig again and calibrate it as you did before.
Cut the fingers for the table top frame.
Dry fit the frame to ensure it has good joints. then place the plywood inside. I had to trim mine to get it nice and snug inside the frame.
I glued the frame together and to the plywood at the same time. I used wafer joint to help align the plywood during glue up. Clamp it all up and let it sit for at least 2 hours.
Step 7: Sand and stain the top edging
Then seal let dry X's 2...
Then top-coat (polycrylic spray)...
Step 8: Finish it.
I centered the top on the leg frame equal distance on all sides.
Using those measurements you can locate the frame and drill pilot holes and then screw it down.
After the top frame is attached to the leg frame I sprayed a final coat of polycrylic.
Next try to drop in each floor slat. One-by-one cut it to fit. I fit mine to easily drop in and the tongue should slide right into the groove without binding on the rails.
I needed to stain the edges of the floor slats, but that was easy enough..
Once the finish is dry and the top slats dropped in it is finished.
Thanks for looking