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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dining Table

For part of the renovation of my new house I built a dining table. This was my first solo attempt at large furniture. It turned out okay, but there are significant errors in the implementation.

Some things I did right
  • I screwed the top planks to a sheet of plywood for stability and ease of construction.
  • I made it a little bit bigger than average dining tables, which are often too small to serve a lot of people a lot of food comfortably.
  • I made the whole thing about an inch taller than the standard table height, 31-to-32 inches, because that standard was set when Americans were a smaller people.

  • I did a good job of sinking the screws in the table deck, and filling in the holes with wood putty.

Some things I could have done better
  • I applied the polyeurathane too thick.
  • I attached the legs after applying polyeurathane, meaning the screws holding on the legs penetrate the coating.
  • I wish I had found a polyeurathane which was more perfectly clear; the one I chose ended up with a mellow yellow tone.
The thickly applied polyeurathane was a serious mistake which caused many problems
  • Most seriously, it never perfectly dried. If you leave something heavy on it for a while, it will leave an indent in the tabletop which fades and disappears over the course of minutes or hours.
  • In some places where the polyeurathane collected on the edges, bubbles or a layer of air caused permanent malformation. I scraped, sanded, and re-layered those parts.
The overall design is simple but attractive. The half-dozen planks forming the deck are screwed to a piece of plywood. Beneath the plywood is a bifurcated rectangular box made of two-by-fours. By bifurcated, I mean the outer rectangle is bisected side-to-side with a cross-beam. Corners are screwed and glued. The deck is screwed all along the bifurcated rectangle. Finally, pre-made table legs are screwed into the inside corners of the rectangle. Don't forget the felt pads under the legs!

1 comment:

  1. Nice job, nonetheless. You are becoming quite the handyman|carpenter|home engineer with all your projects.

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