A Square Deal (9)

Post 9 in a series describing the design and build of a coffee table, end table and maybe more, all in solid bubinga.

Feeling confident that the table top slab would remain reasonably docile, I decided it was time to trim the slab to length and rough cut the tenon ends.

I referenced the layout off of the stress relief grooves on the underside of the table. Here are some of the layout tools I, ah, brought to the table:

Once I had determined the end cut lines, and triple-checked everything, I set up a long ruler against a machined straightedge to act as a circular saw guide:

The off cut is a fairly unique sorta piece really, but it went into the firewood pile all the same:


Ends trimmed to length, I then set up a second straightedge underneath, and use a double square to bring both straightedges into alignment with one another:

A closer look:

Once the straightedges were set up accurately, I used them to guide the knife lines defining the ends for the table top surface. These lines define the abutments for the breadboard ends to be fitted later on:


Both sides then complete through this stage:

With a cleanly cut edge to reference against, I brought my groover into play to hog out most of the waste for the breadboard end tenons:


Both ends done on both faces:

A closer look – some anchor seal was applied to the end grain for the time being:

I still have to do some final trimming of the abutments, but I’ll let the table sit for a few days more yet and see how any possible changes in board stresses as a result of the material removal might resolve.  I expect that the material removed will further weaken the ability of the board to mechanically cup across its width.

A commenter in an earlier post asked for a picture of the top with some alcohol on it to show the figure a bit better, so here goes:

It’ll be dang pretty with some oil on it later.

Thanks for stopping by the Carpentry way. On to post 10.

8 Replies to “A Square Deal (9)”

  1. I wonder if the alcohol could cause your panel to warp. I know it works well to dry wet surfaces, since it mixes readily with water and evaporates so fast. It seems like it might cause your panel to temporarily lose some moisture on the side it was spread upon. I'd guess any such effect would only last until the board re-equilibrates, so this is really just a hypothetical quandry.

    I bet you could whip up an awesome end-grain cutting board from that cut-off.

    I've been really enjoying your blog posts lately Chris. Thanks!

  2. Lars,

    at current temperatures, the alcohol evaporates so fast that the biggest challenge I face is snapping the picture soon enough. A few more seconds and the alcohol is gone. I was only able to obtain the above picture with my wife snapping the shot.

    Denatured alcohol will raise the wood grain a little bit, and it's possible that it could draw a little residual moisture from the wood, but for the effect to really be significant I would think you would need to dunk the wood in the alcohol for a while.

    I think teak is a good choice for end grain cutting boards, so long as you choose the right adhesive.

    Glad you are enjoying the read!

  3. You will disappointed with the Bubinga firewood, no heat value. I believe I am missing something tool-wise. I have not read your entire blog, do you not have or use a table saw much. Just I am a bit surprised by your fondness for the hand held circular saw…………….Jack

  4. Jack,

    thanks for the comment and question. I do not have a table saw. Nothing against them, and I plan to get one, but I have chosen to buy other machines first. There are other ones available in the building which I occasionally borrow a bit of time on. I'm planning to get a short stroke sliding saw – probably next year.


  5. Hi Chris,
    Looking good. I've built several traditional trestle tables with breadboard ends so this looks familiar. Except I didn't have a super cool groover, so I made do with a router and the tops were maple glueups rather than a single slab…
    I'm curious about the anchor seal, is the goal to prevent checking by slowing down the moisture transfer at the edge?
    Harlan Barnhart

  6. Hi Harlan,

    good to hear from you.

    Yes, the purpose of the anchor seal is to slow down moisture transfer on the end grain of the board, to dampen movement and reduce any tendency to check.


  7. You may enjoy a vintage Martin T17, they are rare however. You are a fussy guy Chris. How can you accept the nomenclature currently attached to European type table saw with moveable table sections. They do not slide, they roll by way of some type of roller assembly. Martin uses the grooved ball bearing assembly traveling in hardened V-ways, Altendorf uses round rails and matching rollers. I think this naming might be because Altendorf created the market when he built his own saw, it had alternate tables sliding over a sub assembly, much like sleds you see people make for table saws.
    This url shows the saw 1/4 down the page

    Jack being fussy

  8. Jack,

    thanks for the reply. I'm familiar with the T-17, and there have been a few on the market over the past 6 months.

    The 1906 Altendorf picture you linked was cool – definitely clipped and saved for reference. thanks!

    The 1980's Altendorf sliders I have seen and used had phenolic guide ways and they certainly did not impress. I know Altendorf is the originator of the sliding saw and they are a family-run business, but I have to give thee nod to the Martin product personally. I really like Martin's parallelogram crosscut table, so I'm looking for a 6' slider with that crosscut table. I think it would be ideal for the work I do.


Anything to add?

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: