I had some birch planks that I wanted to make something fun with. The sides weren't straight and my idea was to make them match each other to make it look more natural. So, with some help from my friend Mick I got started.
Step 1: Measuring and Sawing
After I had planed the planks at a friends place I transported them to my house. It took a while to decide in what order we should put the planks. After we decided we put them on top of each other and draw a rough line and sawed them. It's not so important to saw exact at this stage, the result will show after sanding the sawed pieces.
Step 2: Sanding to Match the Pieces
When all pieces are cut, it's the sanding that will give the result that you want. If it's done properly, you will get a nice close fit.
Step 3: Sand the Surface
Sanding, sanding and more sanding will make the tables surface nice and smooth. I also sanded the edges of the planks to round them off, rather than using a router to get a nicer "hand made" result.
When this was done, we connected the planks from underneath with screws, it took some measuring to get the distances right.
Step 4: Seal and Varnish
There were some dents and rough areas on the planks that I filled with wood filler and sanded.
Then I varnished it with three coats. When you varnish, put one coat on, let it dry and sand it. After two to three layers you will get a nice smooth surface.