Table top report

I glued up most of the table top. I say “most” because it’s going to have crosswise boards at the ends and I haven’t started those at all. The six boards that make up the top, except for the ends, are all assembled.

First step was cutting slits with the biscuit joiner. Since the boards are five quarters of an inch thick, I cut pairs of slits directly in line with each other, 1/4 inch from each face of the board. Or, rather, 1/4 inch down from the top and 7/8 down from the top, because the main point of the biscuit joiner is always to measure from the same side of the joint, in case the boards you’re joining aren’t precisely the same thickness (and of course if you measure carefully enough, they never are). There were two slits in each of nine places along the length of five joints, and each joint has two sides, so that’s 180 slits. No wonder it took a while to do.

I glued two boards together (with 18 biscuits in the joint), let them dry, and glued up another two. That was all for Saturday evening. Sunday I added a third to one of those pieces, put glue on the edge of the other piece and the one that was supposed to match it — oh no! That was the other side of the single board. I couldn’t let the glue dry there (and be lumpy and get in the way of the remaining biscuits and joint, so I put the whole table top together at that point rather than having two pieces with three boards each and one more joint to glue. Here’s the whole shebang clamped together on top of the workbench. Those are big pipe clamps that used to be my father’s, weighing over five pounds each, holding it all together (and believe me, you need strong clamps to get a joint with 18 biscuits to close up tight).

Note my empty bottle of biscuits. There are exactly three left. The container was supposed to have 100 when I got it. I used several, probably eight, in putting the table legs together, and ninety in the table top.

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