Table for Dad





Introduction: Table for Dad

Step 1: Materials

this project used a 1/4 sheet (610mm x 1220mm) 21mm thk birch ply, a piece of walnut (~50x50x1000) and four 40cm long hairpin legs (not shown in photo) which I got from here:

Step 2: Cutting Ply

First step was to cut the ply into strips a hair wider than the 50mm walnut.

couldn't resist stacking them up to see how it might look when the top was laminated.

Step 3: Orientate Ply Strips, Choose Face Pieces

With all the strips stacked side by side, I flipped them over to get the best cut edges all facing one way. The ply was really nice but there were a few holes in the veneers so I turned the voids to what would eventually be the bottom.

The way the table's made there'll be two exposed faces on either side of the table. I picked out the two best faces and made sure i knew which ones they were and which way they needed to face during glue-up.

Step 4: Glue-up

I laid out some cling film, got my sash clamps all ready, set to the right width and got a few scraps of chipboard to prevent the clamps marking the ply.

Laid out the ply strips, making sure to find and orientate the face pieces picked out earlier properly.

Spread out the glue making sure to get all the way to the edges and ends of the strips.

Step 5: Clamping

After a bit of a stressful glue up - took a while to spread it all out, the strips were all set into the clamps, lined up evenly and the clamps tightened.

All the excess squeeze out was wiped off both faces and it was left for a day or so to dry.

Step 6: Trimming to Size

The ends were cut square on my table saw using a crosscut sled.

I really liked the stacked look to the freshly cut ends.

Offering up the walnut to check thickness showed that the fit was pretty good and could be sanded flush later.

Step 7: Walnut Dado

The table top uses a breadboard type construction so the walnut needed a dado cut in the edge to accept a yet to be cut tenon from the ply part.

I opted to cut a 20mm deep, 30mm wide dado in my 50x50 walnut leaving 10mm at the top and the bottom of the walnut.

I'm in the UK where dado stacks are almost non existent so i used a 5mm grooving blade with a flat top grind (very important to get a flat cut face in the dado!).

I think we don't get dado stacks because of rules relating to the time a saw has to stop after being switched off and the risk of a heavy dado and it's spinning inertia unscrewing the arbor when the saw brake engages. makes sense, might be total rubbish though!

Step 8: Ply Tenon

Time to cut the ply tenon leaving a 20mm long, 30mm wide tenon to go into the walnut - again cut using my FTG grooving blade.

On the first few passes I was getting terrible problems with tear out of the last veneer even with masking tape to support the fibres so I marked out the cuts and scored them with a scalpel to cut the fibres - worked a treat.

Step 9: The Inevitable Cock Up!

On one end I somehow ended up cutting the tenon too long, no drama though, just offered up the walnut, worked out how much it was too long by and set the fence to remove the extra. Saved!

Step 10: Trim the Walnut

When the dados and tenons were done I fitted it all together and trimmed the walnut to 1 or 2mm longer than needed with the extra to be taken down with the sander.

Step 11: Yay, It All Fits

Phew, milestone reached, it fits.

Step 12: Edge Chamfer

using my table saw i put a 45 degree chamfer on the four bottom edges roughly half the height of the table top.

Step 13: Finishing

Sanded through the grits with my random orbit sander upto 220 and then applied 4 or 5 coats of polyurethane finish, sanding with 400 grit in between coats.

Step 14: Added the Legs and It's Done

All done.

Thanks for reading.



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    Nice Ible..but I gotta ask...did your table just grow some legs? ?

    1 reply

    At the beginning of the ible, it was mentioned that they were obtained at Amazon. So if by grow, you mean screwed into the table; then yes, yes it did. Lol


    Nice looking design. If one doesn't have access to dado blades, of course you can also use a router.

    1 reply

    might be less hassle, setting the blade depth and the fence position on the table saw was a bit of a faff.

    That would actually explain a few things with my own dadoes... Thanks, great info, now off to Amazon to find a new blade..

    1 reply

    search for "grooving blade" I had much more success with this than searching for "Flat top grind"

    Love it! Both the table and the very well written Instructable. One question, though. You say "very important to get a flat cut face in the dado". Naturally, but wouldn't you get that with any blade in the tablesaw?

    1 reply

    with a lots of conventional table saw blade each alternate tooth has a sloped top profile with one tooth sloping left and the next sloping right. using this type of blade leaves a very small ridge of wood in the middle of the kerf.


    forgot to photo the legs, part (too excited to see it finished I think)! They're just steel hairpin legs from Amazon, screwed to the underside. There's a link to the Amazon page up near the top.