Memorial Day Weekend – Monday

I finished putting together the table top. Up to today it was made of six (I think it’s six) boards put together side-to-side. Besides those, I wanted a narrow piece running crosswise at each end. Probably you’ve seen cutting boards or bread boards made that way. That extra structure helps hold all the pieces together, keeps it flat, and mostly covers up the end grain of the boards. It gives the whole thing a much more finished look. Anyway, I wanted to do that.

First, I cut across the ends of the joined boards with a hand-held circular saw. The boards were lined up reasonably well but the edge wasn’t perfectly straight. Sawing after they were joined gave a much better straight edge to join the end piece to. Next, I used the router to cut tongues at the ends of the table top. I ripped a 5/4 board in half (not with my bare hands like someone ripping a telephone book in half, but with a table saw. Ripping, in woodworking, is cutting a board lengthwise, along the grain, as opposed to crosscutting, cutting transversely to the grain. If you’re doing a lot of it, you use different saw blades for the different operations. Then there’s resawing, cutting a board lengthwise, keeping the same width, but making it half as thick; but that’s done much less frequently.) Those halves became the end pieces, after I routed grooves in them to fit the tongues at the ends of the joined boards, and crosscut the end pieces to the precise length to fit the table top.

Of course the pieces didn’t fit at first. Remember, the table top isn’t flat, but the pieces for the ends are pretty much straight. I was able to bend the table top just a little, but I still had to make the tongues on it a little thinner, on the top surface where the table top bowed up and the bottom surface where it bowed down, to get it to fit in the groove. I have a little tiny plane that’s suitable for the purpose; the blade goes all the way to the edge rather than coming out a slit that’s a fraction of an inch narrower than the base of the plane. After making lots more shavings, I got the pieces all to fit and glued it up.
It still needs some planing to get the surfaces all to match (because I didn’t plane all the cup out of the joined boards the day before. But I’ll leave that be, and plane, scrape, and sand down the end pieces until they’re down to the level of the rest of the table top) and then needs edges and corners rounded.

The former owners of the house came over to take some baby trees from the garden. We got more information from them about the garden, drainage of the lot, and driving directions to Lewiston.

We walked down past the beach, talked to some people who were hanging out there, and walked on to the end of the road. There were some small birds up in the trees there — a good look at a Blackburnian warbler! We stopped at the cabin of the people who had been on the beach and relaxed on their deck for a while. Being on the beach and on their deck really felt like summer vacation.

The people on the beach warned us that traffic would be terrible on Memorial Day if we left before about six. All too soon it was time to admit that the weekend was over. By the time we got everything cleaned up and were ready to close the house it was a little past seven.  We zoomed back to Newton, happy to drive at normal highway speeds without any boats on top of the car, and got in close to 10.

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