This was a lot of fun! I experimented a bit with some new finishing techniques, and I'm very happy with the results. But I'm also a little bummed that I didn't get a better picture of the finished project, I'm not much of a photographer, but the lighting made it impossible for me to get a good shot, so you'll have to browse through or watch the video to see the finish. I also encourage you to watch my super amazing mind blowing masterpiece of a 6 minute build video!
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Step 1: Constructing the Components
Most of the frame is made from 2"x3" steel tubing. I usually purchase this in 20' lengths as I get a bit of a price break. If you do some research there is probably a steel yard near by.
Step 2: Cutting the Frame
Here I'm using a cold saw to cut the frame pieces to size. These things are awesome, but ridiculously loud--seriously, loudest tool in my shop
Tools pictured: Dewalt DW862 Cold Saw
Step 3: Here's a Picture of the Frame Components Laid Out
Here are the components for the frame cut to size. Standard bar height is 40-42", this will stand 41" tall.
Step 4: Assemble the Top
The next step was to prepare the two pieces of 4/4 alder for glue up. The total width is going to be 14".
Step 5: Planing the Glue Joint
The first step was to plane the glue joint perfectly square.
Tools pictured: Stanly #7 Jointer plane
Step 6: Create a Spline Joint
I used a spline joint to join the two pieces. I've always been fond of this method, it's a bit more work, and a lot old fashioned, but it ensures a very strong and very straight glue-up. And there is something incredibly satisfying about using a plow plane.
Tools pictured: Veritas Plow Plane
Step 7: The Glue Up
The glue up. This is pretty self explanatory, and I couldn't be happier with the spline joint, it also dramatically reduces the amount of time spend flattening the top as the seam is very flush. I usually use Titebond II, and although I'm not usually a harbor freight advocate, their bar clamps are awesome for the money.
Titebond II glue
Harbor freight bar clamps
Step 8: Flatten the Top
Next it was time to flatten the top. I guess it makes me sort of rebel, not only that I own a #6 plane, but more so the fact that it is hands down my favorite bench plane. Most people hate them for some reason. I find that when set up with the slightest blade radius it is the perfect plane for flattening panels.
Stanley #6 bench plane - (do a bit of research and check ebay, you can usually get these fairly cheap since nobody else likes them)
Step 9: Cut the Top to Length
Using a home-made saw guide to cut the top to length.
Tools pictured: Dewalt 20V Circular saw
Step 10: Fill the Knots and Voids
Step 11: Drilling the Aprons
With the top dimensioned, the next step was to drill holes through the mounting aprons to secure the top.
Porter Cable Drill press
Cutting/drilling fluid - I make this myself using about a ~15:1 ratio of mineral spirits and cutting oil
Step 12: Attaching the Apron
I threaded in some brass inserts to accept the bolts,(can be seen in the video) This is how the top will be secured to the frame.
Note: the holes are about 3/16" larger than the botls to allow for seasonal wood movement which will minimize the chance of the top splitting or cracking.
Step 13: Assembling the Frame
Next step was to assemble the frame. I used a MIG welder to weld the frame.
Tools used: Lincoln Electric 140C Mig welder
Step 14: Welding the Cross Brace
After the main frame was welded up, I welded in the cross brace. The cross brace was made of 1"x2" tubing.
Step 15: Flame On!
This was definitely the most fun part, I used a tar/weed burner torch to burn the alder. This gigantic torch makes it a lot easier(and faster) to get a uniform burn on the wood.
Tools pictured: Generic propane torch/weed burner
Step 16: Boiled Linseed Oil
After torching and lightly sanding the top, I applied a mixture of Boiled linseed oil and Mineral Spirits. You can see how much this makes the figuring of the wood jump out. I use a ratio of 2:1 Boiled linseed oil to Mineral Spirits.
Step 17: Finishing
So picture is me spraying the topcoat. I used General Finishes High Performance Top Coat.
Product: General Finishes HP Top Coat
Step 18: Glamor Shot of the Finished Top
The top all finished. It was a pretty involved process, but I am very happy with the finish. There were a few steps I did not include in the pictures, including a walnut stain, the black edge fade, and a shellac seal coat.
Boiled Linseed Oil
Step 19: Blackening the Frame
On to the frame, I'm using Black Magic, by Sculpt Nouveau to blacken the metal. This is some nasty nasty stuff, but it works well.
"Black Magic" by Sculpt Nouveau
Step 20: Sealing the Patina With Lacquer
Now I'm sealing the blackened patina with 3 coats of Lacquer. I just use generic brushing lacquer, it sprays fine, but It's probably illegal to do so.
Brushing lacquer - You can get this at any big box store
Again, I'm a little bummed out that the lighting was poor when I delivered the table, so I couldn't really get any good shots of the finish, but the client and myself were happy with the finished product!
I hope you enjoyed the video and instructable. If you'd like to support me you can do so by subscribing to my youtube channel or clicking on any of the product links!
I'd love to hear from you, thanks again!