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Advice on building a coffee table? Answered

I am in the process of building a coffee table out of Tassie oak wood and I am wondering if I will need to put the table top through a thicknesser after I biscuit  join the top together. The only problem the max width the thicknesser can handle is 600mm wide and I want to make the top wider but then I won't be able to put it through the thicknesser so can I just sand the top to make it nice and even since it is hardwood or thickenesser it in two sections . Open for suggestions thanks for your help.



4 years ago

If you want to do it correctly you true the wood dimensionally with a thickness planer prior to joining. Measure carefully, taking into consideration the amount of material you must remove to eliminate the cupping. Both sides should be planed until they are both flat. Plane all the boards to the same thickness.

Using a joiner or hand plane, square up the edges with the flats. Once that is done you can then join the boards together. You can make the width any dimension you want.

Smooth the top for finishing with a random orbit sander and finish up with a hand block sander, sanding only with the wood grain.

planed lumber.png

+1 to all that. I'd add, that if you have a good size smoothing plane, and you modify the blade so it VERY slightly radiused across the width, you can flatten a very large area pretty quickly - probably quicker than a sander.


4 years ago

Thicknesser = plainer I am guessing.

If you do the joints very carefully, make sure they line up and if your boards are all the same thickness you should be able to get close enough that you won't need to plain it. Sanding with a belt sander will level out and match the joints. However if you sand to much in one spot you will end up with waves so go light on the sander.

Another reason to use a plainer is if the boards are cuped or if when you join them you dont get them flat and the joint is cupped. To avoid this clamp both sides to a flat surface like a table or if you are using pipe clamps clamp the pipe to the board so its flat agains the pipe.

If you are carefull you should be able to pull it off.

Thicknesser is a device for thicknessing a board, once you have shot one side plane and true.

For many many years carpenters and cabinet makers used hand tools, planes, glass paper and the like to smooth their creations, Takes a little longer but the end result is just as good.

If you like thickness your planks before you glue them together.

4 feet wide is a bit much but Ok.

Use a floor sander for sanding hard wood floors they will do any size.