Step 6: Finishin'

Put scraps and shims in any cracks that refuse to close, add generous amounts of glue, and let dry.  Flush out more minor imperfections with a mixture of sawdust and glue.  

Sand the hell out of the "U" with 60 grit, then 80 or 100, then 120 grit sandpaper and a belt sander.  Use the belt sander and aggressive grits to flush the pieces to one another, then higher grits and an orbital sander to get it smooth.  The shelf pieces have been so far left out so the bottom of the "U" can be sanded.  Wear appropriate dust and noise protection when sanding.

Sand the shelf pieces and slide them through.  Run a drill bit through the holes to get everything to line up, if need be.  Add threaded rods and tighten up the shelf joint.

Pilot-drill and counterbore with 1/2" holes in a zig-zag pattern on the six mitered cover pieces.  Glue and screw into place to cover the exposed ends of the threaded rods.  Fill the holes with little dowel plugs, leaving them proud of the finish surface so they can be sanded flush.

Sand again.  And again.  And a lot more.  Wipe with a damp cloth and hand-run with your favored finish.  I went with several coats of a basic semi-gloss polyurethane; this sort of table would respond great to some tung oil, mineral oil, or other penetrating sealer.  Put a couple extra coats on top and on the feet, sanding with 120 grit sandpaper in between coats.  Wax if desired.

Is that a southern pecan beer on the table? Right on!
Ok......Where,or better yet.....HOW..... can I drill a hole using an inch and five eighths spade bit in a peice of wood that only measures one and one quarter inch....(which is equal to, one and two eighths)...... by one and one half inch.... (Which is equal to, one and four eighths)?
use common sence! really??
Seeing this table inspired me to try it myself. I now have a beautiful coffee table for my apartment! The table saw I used was pretty old and it took quite a bit of ripping to get all the pieces down to the same width. Flipping them between cuts was essential. Once you start piecing the table together, you realize just how important it is to have all your material the same width. Even with a few small gaps between a few of the pieces, staining the table made these imperfections disappear. In fact, I shouldn't even call them imperfections as I feel they add character. Thanks again for the creativity and detail in your instructable!
Should say 1 1/4, not 1 1/14?
I loved your design. Had to try making one myself :) Though with a small twist :)<br>
After looking at your projects I have to say that you have quite a head for design. That one thing can't be taught, you have to have it in you to start with. But, and don't take this this the wrong way, you need to slow down and pay attention to the details, such as joint fit and finish and grain matching. This will turn you projects from neat looking ideas into breath-taking finished projects.<br>When built and finished carefully with hardwood; this one project could net you 3 to 4 hundred dollars. Not bad for an afternoon's work. You have a nice shop or at least access to a nice shop and I'd really encourage you to continue to elevate your skills to a level that your designs deserve. <br>Keep on keeping on.
oops. should be just 5/8&quot; spade bit -- an eighth bigger than the threaded rod, to allow for wiggle room to align pieces and holes.
Nicely done. I love the dovetail joints.<br><br>One the third pic, the left 'leg' looks vertical, rather than slanted. Just an optical illusion?
just an optical illusion . . .
In step &quot;4Drillin'&quot;,you said to ,.....&quot;Mark all your pieces and drill a hole with a 1-5/8&quot; spade bit.&quot;......am I to understand that each piece gets a 1-5/8&quot; diameter hole to accomdate a piece of threaded rod thats only going to be 1/2&quot; in diameter ?
yup . . . you need some wiggle room because everything may not align perfectly.
Hey...... Thanks for the speedy reply wholman !
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Love this table! I am trying to convince someone around here to teach me how to do it out of leftover boards from our hardwood floors. They are 3/4 &quot; by about 3&quot; wide at varying lengths. I know it sounds lame but the wood is really pretty and very dense. Sanding would be errrr....well. It is Tietje Rosewood.
Hardwood floors have tongues and grooves in them. You'd have to run them through a table saw to remove both the tongue and the groove. If they're unfinished, you could easily laminate different lengths together to create a longer table but if they're pre-finished, you might run into some difficulty gluing them. Good luck!
Thank you. <br>They are tongue and groove and unfinished as well. It makes for a gorgeous floor but a mess of a residue even years after all the sanding has long been completed. I still find sawdust on screens I forgot to wipe down after all was said and done. I will, indeed, need luck.
Those are actually really handy for making frames for cabinet fronts- think the &quot;box&quot; that frames the front panels. You wouldn't want to laminate them such that the 3/4&quot; edge it towards the viewer- it would hide a lot of that pretty, expensive grain. I personally would take advantage of the tounges and grooves already in the boards (if they have them) and use them to make a table top. Build it on top on a 1/4&quot; sheet of good plywood, and cut small strips as edge trim to hide the plywood. If they are unfinised (as in, not varnished or stained), I would then use a darker stain and a shellac to make a table that complements the floor. If you are sanding something as large as these tables, you really need either a belt sander or a random orbit sander. If you don't have bar clamps or that many screws, you could glue and stack the strips vertically, top with a straight 2x2 or 2x4, and add weights to press the boards together. You would want atleast 50 lbs per linear foot of wood strips, and not add more than 12&quot; thick of strips at a time.
Thank you! <br> <br> I think the grain would be beautiful as furniture as well, just need more help with details and tips like yours are what make me love this site nearly as much as I love dreaming about having all the time and energy to try every project on here. It's like a giant think tank for the handy and geeky all rolled into one. And I mean that in the best way, as I take quite a large amount of pride in the geekiness of my nature. <br> <br>
Love it ! Can't wait to get started on mine ! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and vision !
i really like this and may well try to use scrap lumber to make one. it will probably have more &quot;character,&quot; but that's ok. <br>only one question: how is the torsional rigidity of the table? (not saying it's not good, i'm genuinely curious) obviously the lower shelf pieces help a lot with that.
great instructable, but dont fancy the technique.
This is very, very nice, completely beautiful!<br>
1-1/14&quot; strips? Don't you mean 1-1/4&quot;?
That's a pretty friggin' BOSS project! I might have to gimme a shot at that one!
Very nice. I don't like the looks of the plugs however. You can get a plug cutter and make your own plugs from the yellow pine. Wouldn't be so noticeable. Smaller version could be a bed tray for rearing, writing or eating.<br>Good job.
I'm just guessing here but I bet the plugs were purposefully made from contrasting wood. Looks fine to me but as you said, they could be made from the same type of wood if you want them to blend.
good work!
Nice table saw!
As usual, a very nice design!
I like it, very nice!
Sweet table and great technique.

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Bio: Furniture hacker. Author of Guerilla Furniture Design, out now. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @objectguerilla.
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