Introduction: POWER-Carved Table (Full Written Build + Video)

Full video build is below and can be found with the rest of my projects on my Youtube Channel followed by detailed instructions below.

Make sure you check out the video build above!

The full detailed instructions for this project, including design, cuts, and full assembly can be found on my blog, The Cutting Bored, or you can thumb through the steps below.

What an insane project. I really never know what I'm getting into with some of these ridiculous builds until I'm deep into it and realized how ambitious of a project it truly was. I drew inspiration for this piece from a master craftsmen named Caleb Woodard, who creates stunning pieces that have amazing shape and contour of all types and sizes.

However, he only showcases his work - nothing about his process, so I designed this entire project from scratch, including the methodology of the build, and it was an awesome overall experience for me as someone still experimenting with each project I take on.

MATERIALS

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        FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT:

          Step 1: Vote for Me If You Think My Project Is Worthy of the Current Woodworking Contest!

          Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy my project below!

          Step 2: Determine Your Table Size

          My first step was to measure out the size of my space and determine a Length x Width x Height for my project. After that, I could determine what I wanted my rough shape to look like, and from that, I could determine the amount of material to purchase.

          Step 3: Design, Gather Materials, and Cut!

          My methodology for this was as such:

          1. Determine Length x Width x Height of table
          2. Divide the depth (width) of my table into "slices" of a certain width (I chose 3") so that I could have five slices at 3" wide to make the final width of 15" for my table
          3. Determine what I want the outside shapes to look like (roughly)
          4. Determine the shape of the inner three slices so that I could transition from one outside shape to another - this was a lot of trial and error until I got to a shape I was happy with
          5. Create a side profile of your shape to make sure the transition is adequate
          6. Knowing now the five layer/slices I'd want to build, determine the number of laminated pieces I'd need for each slice shape, and then transition those numbers to an overall lumber order
          • The first photo shows my five slices.
          • The second photo shows those slices color coded based on the length of each piece (example: red = 5 inches)
          • The third photo is all of my pieces mapped out on dimensional lumber. I determined I'd need to order 8 x 10' x 4/4 stock wood cut at 3" wide each. Thus, each slat would be 10' long, roughly 1" thick, and 3" wide.
          • The final photo shows all of my cuts

          Step 4: Glue Up Round 1!

          Next, I could begin laminating my individual slices. I took this slow and consistently referenced my design plans (print them out for reference). Since I chose not to use finish nails to hold my pieces in place as I did not want to hit anything when I was eventually carving this piece down, I took the clamping very slowly, just slowly tightening each section so that nothing slipped and it all stayed flat. Doing this on top of a flat piece of plywood was very helpful and avoided any big mess in my driveway.

          A tip I picked up from Lumberjocks for spreading glue is to use an old credit card - works quickly and very efficiently for getting a thin, solid layer of glue. I let each glue up cure for 12 hours each.

          Step 5: Prep for Stack Lamination

          I repeated the glue up process for each of my five layers. This will take some time, so prep accordingly, as you want to give each section proper time to cure.

          Even though I was careful to keep things flat, the pieces still needed flattening on each end before laminating. I used my stationing belt sander for this - and it was very quick and efficient. You can see the difference in the first and third photo. They were all prepped for final lamination now.

          Step 6: Glue Up Round 2 (through 5) - Stack-Laminate!

          This was a four step process to glue up. No finish nails to hold this in place, so with each layer I stacked, I took it slow, spread the glue evenly, and clamped up incrementally to avoid slipping. The photos show the progression of each layer, resulting in the final raw shape in the last photo. Not bad right?

          Step 7: Glue Up Round 6 - Table Top

          I also laminated my table top at this point (my 5 x 23" pieces) - very simple and straight forward - just make sure to use clamps on the top and bottom to avoid any "bowing" and spread the glue evenly. After 10 minutes, you can go back and wipe away excess squeeze out. Let it dry for 12 hours before doing any work on it. I wasn't sure what my final length would be for the top, so I aimed high knowing I could cut away whatever I needed.

          You'll come to find that I did not end up using this in my final build, but if you want a wooden table top, I'll keep the steps in the write up!

          Step 8: It's Shaping Time!

          Time to carve! ArborTech sent me their Turboplane Blade for free to use in this project. It comes with everything you need to attach it to your 4" or 4.5" angle grinder.

          Step 9: Carving (Lots of It!)

          This thing is POWERFUL. I love it and was so excited to use it to shape my final table. The photos show a sequence of photos of me carving up my piece.

          Step 10: Clean Up and Finishing

          For a while I struggled with flattening and smoothing out the rough shape of this thing after using my angle grinder and the TURBO Plane.

          I tried every method in the book to sand this down, starting with belt sanding (80 grit), orbital sanding (60 grit) for curves, more fine shaping with the Turboplane, use of a small dremel sander, and then hand sanding with 60, 120, 220, 320,and 400 grit papers.

          However, no matter what I did - I just couldn't get this thing to flatten out - it was smooth, but it was wavy and frankly, looked like crap. If you reference the second photo where I am orbital sanding, you can see the grooves I am referring to - those just couldn't be flattened with my current methods. At this point, I was very close to giving up (or settle for lame), but chose instead to go through a bunch of channels to figure out how to flatten wood carvings, etc..

          I discovered Flap Discs (40 grit to be specific). This was a game changer. I removed the blade guard on my angle grinder and went to town on my project. Within an hour or two of consistent sanding - being careful not to push too hard but hard enough where needed or staying in one spot too long to avoid burning, this thing suddenly smoothed out like crazy. Wood shaping at its finest!

          Step 11: Table Top Finishing

          I flattened/sanded down the surface on my stationary sander, which got rid of nearly all of the glue.

          I then cut to my final length using my circular saw (I also cleaned up the edge straight on my stationary sander as I didn't have a straight edge to follow).

          I then used a 1/2" round over bit with my plunge router on the under side of the table to give it a sleeker profile (my first time ever using a router - they're wonderful).

          Lastly, I went up through the grits from 120 to 320 to smooth down the top in prep for my oil finish.

          Step 12: Oil!

          To finish things off, I wiped on a single coat of Natural Danish Oil using a microfiber rag to both the top of the table and the table itself.

          I love this stuff - makes the grain pop beautifully and allows you to feel the wood once it cures. I recommend it for any project where you just want to make it pop! Of course, feel free to use any finish you want!

          Step 13: Final Photos!

          Above are photos of the final project. Simply amazing to me!

          I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every other week. If you want a step by step walk through of my entire process, please check out my detailed written article at The Cutting Bored.

          Cheers!

          Zach
          thecuttingbored.com

          Step 14: Final Thoughts and Tool List (Again)

          Few final tips for any reads based on my experience.

          • The TurboPlane works well to carve lots of material away as well as do fine planing - after I carved everything down I went back and did light passes to further shape and contour the project to cut down on sanding
          • A flap disc is a must to take down the carving grooves - you will not be able to flatten out the curves to make it smooth flowing otherwise (as far as I can tell)
          • An orbital sander works best to begin giving you the rounded smooth shape you want, followed by hand sanding with a sanding sponge.
          • The TurboPlane makes a MESS! So be prepared for shavings to be everywhere and you to be covered in sawdust.
          • Buy a face protector and gloves for this, and wear a long sleeve shirt when carving/sanding - you'll need to be shielded properly from all the material flying everywhere
          • Do not make your blank shape too small - if you do, you'll really struggle to get your angle grinder into the tight gaps and thus potentially ruin your project before it even has a chance

          TOOLS

            FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT

            Comments

            author
            DjNiX9011. made it!(author)2017-04-27

            ..WOW

            Stunning work!

            Flippin' AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-27

            thanks!!!

            author
            tjdux made it!(author)2017-04-17

            Thats a great looking table.

            I was looking at that arbortech plane. It looks like a great product but do yoi think a guy could probably get by a little slower with 24 grit flapper disks?

            I would love to buy the arbortech plane but it's over my budget for a carving tool that i wouldn't use often. Now that you are introduced to flapper disks im sure you noticed they can really cut out a suprising amount of material especially the rougher grits.

            Thanks

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-17

            Thank you!

            Tough to say honestly. I was pleasantly surprised with how much material the 40 grit could remove but I did find that if I forced it too much then I would get burn marks which has the potential to send you into an endless spiral of shaping then shaping to remove those marks!

            I was definitely fortunate in working out a deal to receive the product and agree that I don't have much use for it. That being said, now that I have it, there are about 10 other projects I want to take on over the next few years! But you are right, I just wouldn't have been able to pull the trigger price-wise otherwise.

            So in short - yes I think flap discs rule, and 24 grit might really do the trick for carving, but I'd watch out for burn marks and be weary of making anything too small as you'll struggle to get into tight corners. Cheers!

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-17

            Sorry - also meant to say - I think that is the benefit of the TURBOplane - lots of material removal and no burn marks (like literally zero in my entire carve session). Really hoping I can negotiate a miniature version deal with them as well as it will really add variety on a small scale to my arsenal.

            author
            cepterbi made it!(author)2017-04-17

            Thanks for sharing. I'm impressed. It looks awesome. When i have loads of spare time i definitely gonna do a similar build. Again: AWESOME!!!!

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-17

            Thank you! Yea this was a multi-weekend project for all of the carving and finishing, with me working in the mornings before work each day to do the laminations, etc. Thanks for checking it out and the praise!

            author
            Yonatan24 made it!(author)2017-04-16

            WOW, and yes, glass would definitely look better!

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-17

            Definitely going glass! Thanks for checking out the project!

            author
            deptfordfixes made it!(author)2017-04-16

            Amazing build mate

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-16

            Thanks!

            author
            loskop100. made it!(author)2017-04-16

            Great job, particularly the planning and well set out. Just a tip, if you keep a salt shaker handy putting a little salt on when you do your glue up the pieces are a lot less likely to move around on you when you apply your clamps.

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-16

            Thanks! I put so much time into planning that. Next one will definitely be faster but I wanted to make sure I did it correct the first time given the investment in wood! Never heard of the salt trick before - definitely will experiment with that next time. cheers!

            author
            KryptoTSD made it!(author)2017-04-16

            I'm a woodcarver... Gonna try that one!!!

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-16

            good luck! was a ton of work for sure but a really rewarding project as someone who is still very green to woodworking. Cheers

            author
            random_builder made it!(author)2017-04-13

            Great looking piece of art you made there! How is it a table? Do you put a board on top of it?

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-13

            Thanks! Yea if you check out the vid or reference the step where I make the top, my original thought was to use a wooden top as that was the inspiration I drew from. As the project progressed I slowly realized glass or acrylic was a much better idea to help show off the entire shape of the base. Cheers!

            author
            random_builder made it!(author)2017-04-15

            Nice! I wondered, cause I figured you would picture it with the top on.

            author
            rainingfiction made it!(author)2017-04-14

            Crazy table!

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-14

            definitely!

            author
            DIY+Hacks+and+How+Tos made it!(author)2017-04-14

            Both my kids and my cat would love to have a table like this.

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-14

            Haha willing to sell it to you for the sake of the cat...but gotta admit that it will cost ya a pretty penny! Cheers

            author
            mrsmerwin made it!(author)2017-04-13

            wow--this is an incredible sculpture. I know you call it a table but it really is art. Congratulations. Looks great. Your documentation is easy to follow. I voted--hope you win.

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-13

            Wow thank you so much! I felt it was the perfect mix of furniture and art!

            I'm glad it was clear - always trying to refine my process as I'm both still a developing DIY'er and filmmaker/blogger. Thank you for the vote! Cheers to you!

            author
            mrsmerwin made it!(author)2017-04-13

            If this is what you produce as a beginner, I look forward to seeing what you will become in the future. I am going to have to follow you so I make sure to see your next project.

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-13

            haha thanks - I don't want to promise this level, art, and sculpture every time but I'll do my best :-)

            author
            mrsmerwin made it!(author)2017-04-14

            When I first read the title and saw that this was a table, I assumed that the top would be glass or some other transparent material. I would not want to hide the beautiful work with a wooden board on top.

            author
            shahryar.adil.3 made it!(author)2017-04-13

            Simply brilliant! Hope you win !!!

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-13

            Thank you! So kind of you to say. Someone introduced me to this website on Tuesday and figured I'd take my shot at submitting my most recent work. Cheers!

            author
            Jedi_zombie85 made it!(author)2017-04-13

            This is great, Nice work

            author
            TheCuttingBored made it!(author)2017-04-13

            Thanks man!

            About This Instructable

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            Bio: I'm a DIYer and creator likes to build, capture, and share my creations. Thanks for watching! Zach aka The Cutting Bored
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