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Pedestal Dining Table in Cherry

Listing #3283   Listed on: 04/30/2011

Company Name: Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

Contact Name:   Russell Hudson

Click to View Member Profile Member Photo Member Contact Info Shop Gallery Project Gallery Categories
On 3/19, I had posed a question on the 'professional furniture making' forum about edge joining planks to make a 'dining table top'. There were 32 responses about the the best way to arrange the boards so that the top remained flat over time. A lot of contradiction-al views about the best way and why. I learned a lot in-spite of all the conflicting approaches.
One of the moderators at WW asked that I rewrite the thread for a project gallery post. I won't reiterate the table top discussion here. I just wanted to describe the over-all construction of this small table we were asked to fabricate for a client.
We were to build a 42" round, pedestal, dining table in cherry. Cost was an issue so we bought the column and legs and only had to make the table's top, construct the parts and finish it. No skirt. Just a single center 'stretcher', sitting underneath at 90 degrees to the table top's planks.
We purchased 6/4 cherry rough, jointed and planed the planks to 5/4, dead straight and square. Aligned the boards to achieve a 42' round without any sapwood.
We used double stacked biscuits every 10 inches or so, glued all edges completely, pipe clamped and (with a wet rag) removed all the glue that had seeped from all the seams.

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best alignment of the boards

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When dry, we made a ''''compass'''' to delineate the circle (a stick with a nail at one end and a pencil at the other). We used a jigsaw to cut out a rough circle, 1/4'' outside the pencil line

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We then made a circle-cutting jig (much like the ''''compass''''). This makes plunge-cutting a concise circle fairly easy. I did a number of passes, each 1/4" deeper than the last, until all the way through. The speed at which I moved the router was important as too fast would give me tear out and too slow would leave the edge with burn marks. I cleaned the bit often and used a silicon based spray called ''DriCote'' to minimize burn.

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To attach the table top to the pedestal and keep the top flat during it''s inevitable movement (expansion and contraction), we made a ''stretcher'' (if anyone has a better term for this, I''d love to hear it) with elongated holes. Here you see the illustration I did for the ''furniture making thread'' and the actual stretcher we built. Although I believed I had a good way to do it, I figured I might as well take advantage of the combined knowledge of all these woodworkers on ''site''.

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We were pleased with the way it turned out and, perhaps more importantly, so was the client. Here''s a shot w/o the top.

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final assembly

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Russell Hudson /

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: Jamie Marr     [05/01/2011]
Nice work!

Posted By: brandon collins     [05/03/2011]
Nice work Russell.

The pedestal top plate/stretcher was the right choice. I use this method all the time. The elongated holes CMT actually make a router cutter for this. If you are making these regular it is quicker. Also, for routing the top, if it's rough cut using a bandsaw jig or jigsaw you can instead use the compass router jig and make your own clean up cut. With the router use an up/down shear cut straight cutter as this eliminates any tearout you normally get with straight fluted bits.
How did you fix the feet to the pedestal?

Posted By: Russell Huds     [05/03/2011]
I guess you're referring to a spiral, up-cutting bit like CNCs use. Right? Good idea. Thx.
There are bolts running from the leg's tops to the inside of the column(hollow), Brandon.

Posted By: Larry     [05/07/2011]
I think he is talking about a compression spiral Like used on CNC, pulls up from the bottom & down from the top. No chips either side. Nice bits $40 to $60.

Posted By: Russell Hudson     [05/07/2011]
I get it now. Two blades, each on an angle to cut towards the center to minimize tear out. Great idea when you think of it.
I always learn something when I hang out with 'this crowd'. Thx,

Posted By: Bob Schilke     [05/10/2011]
Nice work Russel! DriCote is good stuff. The up/down router bit is a good one. Amana has them in solid carbide. . Worth the bucks. I've had 2 for about 6 years now, one is 4" x 1/2", cost $125.00 really good for wrong way grain. The other is 3" x 1/2", no bearing, it was $60.00 Also worth it. Very nice table. Have you tried spline joining with the same material as your workpiece? I make the splines with the grain in the same direction as the pieces I'm joining. Don't know if it's right or wrong. Just know that it works for me. Though I haven't joined material quite as wide as the table you created. Kudos Russel.

Posted By: Russell Hudson     [05/10/2011]
Dricote is NOT silicone based (my mistake) and if I was to use a spline joint (been quite a few years since I have) I'd probably use 1/4" ply. Using any solid stock with the grain running in the same direction defeats the purpose. How could it be any stronger than simply edge joining the boards. If I'm wrong here, I'd love to hear about it (and why of course)

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