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
Thanks for reading.