Are you tired of going to local furniture store and not finding a real massif wood furniture.
Today, we do every fast and we often buy at this accelerated pace too. Problem with this is the overall quality of furniture. Although very attractive, today's furniture are not build to last for decades and and they don't have any history, your history.
This walnut dinning table projects is a beginner's project and necessitate only a limited types of tools. Joinery is very simple to accomplish (pocket screw).
The dimension of the table is 45" x 45" x1.5" tabletop with 3 3/4" legs.
Step 1: Tabletop
Walnut is a beautiful wood specie. The natural dark brown (heart of the tree) and the coffee colored sap wood can make beautiful mix.
Now when you work with walnut, it is a question of personal taste. Some like sap wood other don't.
For this project, I cut mostly heartwood for the tabletop and mix sapwood and heartwood for the legs.
There are 3 steps to laminate the tabletop.
1. Use joiner and planer for boards 3" to 5" large boards. Thickness should be 1/16 more than the final thickness. In this case it would be 1" 5/16. Laminate with pipe clamp. Aim for 12" to 13" board (maximum with of you planer). Don't forget to Inverse the wood rings for maximum stability.
After 1 hour, take off clamp,scrape excess glue and plane to final thickness 1 1/4".
Repeat for a total of 4 boards of 12" .
2. Take 2x12" board and laminate to 24 ".
Repeat for a total of 2 board of 24"
Wait 1 hour for glue to dry.
3. Take the 2x24" boards and laminate to 48".
Note: the reason a suggest to laminate board in 3 step is for maximum straitness.
Step 2: Legs
Here is a technique I use when I know I'm going to run out of wood for my project.
For this I use another wood specie(maple that was hanging around my shop in this case) or the scrap wood of the same specie for the center of the leg (not visible) and I glue it to walnut on the extremity (visible).
For the leg, I laminate 3x 1.5" thick x4" wide board. Make sure to use enough clamps for not gap between boards.
Wait 1 hour.
Take off glue with scraper. Use jointer on two side and measure squareness.
Then use planer for final dimension.
Cut with stop guide for final length. You can use commercial or DIY stop guide to make sure your 4 legs are the same length.
Step 3: Assembling the Table
Pocket screw assembling.
This joinery is very simple and very strong.
You need 4 x 3"x3/4"x35 1/2" boards for the skirt.
Drill pocket screws with guide on side of the legs and on the side of the tabletop ( every 4" to 5").
A this stage, it is easier to work with you table upside down.
Use bandsaw to cut 1" deep x 2 1/2 long inner cut for leg reinforcement.
Place legs and shirt on tabletop. Use 1" strips as guide to place the leg on the table. This method is "dummy proof" and you'll make sure you leg are centered.
Clamp skirt and leg and start screwing. I realize then maybe I exaggerated on the amount of screws. Hey what the heck,it going to be super strong.
For the leg reinforcement, I use 5/16 double sided screw that you can at you local hardware store.
Step 4: Routing, Sandin and Finishing
At this stage, flip the table. Wow this table is heavy.
I use 1/8 round over bit with a laminate trimmer for routing tabletop, skirt and legs.
Mark every parts before dissembling the table.
Sand with 100, 120, 150,180, 220 and finally 320 for tabletop, legs and skirt. Your tabletop will be smooth as silk.
I'll be using Homestead hemp oil for my table. This oil as the particularity of being solvent free and water resistant ( a must for dinning table).
3 coats and allow 2 hours between coats.
Homestead company specializes in milk paint for antique look furniture. I used them in many of my woodworking project. http://www.homesteadhouse.ca/
Option: A very interesting option, if you like milk paint or if you want to save money, is to replace walnut with pine for legs and skirt and use homestead milk paint.
Enjoy you new life long walnut table.