Maple Trestle Table, Session 27 – Flattening the Top and Completing the Edge

On the morning of Sunday, April 15th, Morton and I exchanged ideas about trestle tables, spurred on by a recent sketch of a table on which he was working.  That got me yearning to build a trestle table.

I documented my progress live on Twitter which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Here is a list of the previous Sessions:

Session 1 – Flat Boards are Boring;
Session 2 – Playing with Slabs;
Session 3 – From Two Slabs to One Table Top;
Session 4 – Clamping Odd Shapes and Sketching on Wood;
Session 5 – Routing Pockets for Battens;
Session 6 – Making Battens and Installing Countertop Connectors;
Session 7 – Installing Battens and Flattening the Underside;
Session 8 – Make Your Tools Work for You and Flattening the Top;
Session 9 – Mortises the Slow Way (or Why I’m Buying a Domino XL);
Session 10 – Curvy Legs are Always Good;
Session 11 – Straight Lines on Wonky Surfaces;
Session 12 – Fitting the Mother of all Mortise & Tenon Joints;
Session 13 – Making Things Better, Worse, then Better;
Session 14 – Battens and Complicated Tenons, Again;
Session 15 – The Trestle Comes Together Session;
Session 16 – Angled Mortises and Tenons;
Session 17 – Two Feet for Two Legs;
Session 18 – Attachment Strips and Power Carving;
Session 19 – Refining the Sculpted Base;
Session 20 – A Little Sanding, then Lots More Sanding;
Session 21 – Preparing for a Big Glue-Up;
Session 22 – Fitting and Joining the Table Top;
Session 23 – The Bottom of the Top;
Session 24 – Profiling the Table’s Edge;
Session 25 – Completing the Bottom Edge; and
Session 26 – Installing the Base.

(If you are not familiar with the format used on Twitter, every update, or “tweet” below starts with a username, being the author of that tweet.  Sometimes, you see two or more usernames in a tweet.  The second (and third, etc) usernames are preceded by a @ symbol and are people to whom the author is talking.  The other symbol you see is #, which serves as a category.  I try to remember to categorize all my tweets pertaining to this project under #flairww.)

FlairWoodworks Welcome to the much-anticipated Session 27 of the Maple Trestle Table build! #flairww-1:13 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve flipped the table top over and I now need to level the joints and reflatten the top. #flairww -1:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks woohoo! I’ll be back in the shop following along soon! -1:16 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks According to my longest straight edge, the top is fairly flat but I want it flatter. #flairww -1:20 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Since I’ve been planing by hand for most of the week (seems that way at least) I’m going to start with this. #flairww -1:23 PM Jun 16th, 2012

 luggermatt @FlairWoodworks That Makita planer is a fab bit of kit! I have a very old English electric handplaner. She’s a beast, but fantastic too! 1:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Break out the blue chalk! #flairww -1:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks oh snap! trestle table build back in progress!!  -1:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks The dreaded blue chalk hey? Have fun ;-) #flairww -1:32 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After half a dozen passes…#flairww -1:37 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This side is almost done. I’m going to move the table over to work on the other side. #flairww-1:47 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks umm…where’s the flair?! ;o) -1:52 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Haven’t you heard that checkers are in style?  #flairww RT @Tumblewood: @FlairWoodworks umm…where’s the flair?! ;o) -1:52 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my power planer to get close to flat. I’ll finish with hand planes. #flairww -2:11 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So who’s out there following along today? #flairww -2:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks progress is progress #flairww -2:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks now the real work begins…. #flairww -2:16 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks I’ll be in and out… Nice to see the table so close to done. #flairww -2:17 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I ground a light camber on the blade of my #6 hand plane. #flairww -2:18 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks why so? #flairww -2:19 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks “…close to flat…” Do you know it *is* close because winding sticks show it to be so? The short sole of it makes me wonder how flat it is. But no experience here with power planers. Great to hog wood, though. #flairww -2:20 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DozersWorkshop It will allow me to take a deeper cut to be more aggressive because the corners won’t engage. #flairww -2:20 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard I checked with a 6-foot straight edge and winding sticks. The sole of the planer helps, but does not guarantee flatness. #flairww -2:21 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks Correct! Only winding sticks will reveal it. So you *did* check progress as you went… #flairww -2:22 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard I would not produce a good result if I just went end to end with the power planer mindlessly. Because of the relatively short sole, I needed to focus on highs. #flairww -2:22 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks After grinding the blade, I spend a few minutes on my 600x diamond stone, then my strop charged with honing compound. Ready to go! #flairww -2:24 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks @woodbard I think I saw your stick in a few photos… Winding stick that is…  -2:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks Therein lies the secret to use of that nice power planer, Chris. Well done! Wanted to make sure others just starting would also get it. The secret: Always use winding sticks on large surfaces, to get a surface flat. #flairww -2:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard In other words, no tool will work on its own – it requires a knowledgeable and skilled operator for the best results. #flairww -2:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard Does that sound accurate and fair? #flairww -2:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Moi! RT @FlairWoodworks So who’s out there following along today? #flairww -2:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks You bet! A well thought out process, and also knowing how to tackle it, Chris. You, sir, are accurate and fair :) #flairww -2:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Looks more just on the outer edges, right? RT @FlairWoodworks I ground a light camber on the blade of my #6 hand plane. #flairww -2:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks And knowledgeable and skilled operator. I was digging a bit deeper, for others who might not read it all, Chris. #flairww -2:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The edge of the knives of my power planer leave tracks. I could camber the blades to avoid this but I prefer having plane tracks because they show exactly where the planer starts and stops cutting. #flairww -2:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood When I ground the blade free-hand, I aimed for a gradual curve over the entire edge of the blade. #flairww -2:32 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Must just be the photo. #flairww -2:32 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m planing across the grain to remove the power planer tracks. #flairww -2:35 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I love the sound of a sharp plane blade running across the grain. #flairww -2:37 PM Jun 16th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks Agreed! RT @flairwoodworks: I love the sound of a sharp plane blade running across the grain. #flairww -2:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks So much for a break from hand planing… #flairww-2:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

@SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks Frankly, all hand planing sounds make me happy. -2:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Want a turn? #flairww RT @SMeekWoodworks: @flairwoodworks Frankly, all hand planing sounds make me happy.-2:42 PM Jun 16th, 2012

SMeekWoodworks @flairwoodworks Sure, bring it on over. :) -2:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks For that, I have no answer. #flairww RT @SMeekWoodworks: @flairwoodworks Sure, bring it on over. :) -2:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I’m working on a task that doesn’t require a lot of mental focus, my mind tends to wander. #flairww -2:48 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s these times that I get some of my best ideas. #flairww -2:49 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks What would a table look like if the opposite ends were nowhere near being parallel? I’m thinking twists. #flairww -2:52 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m reminded of this piece – Why Knot – by Kino Guérin. #flairww -2:53 PM Jun 16th, 2012

 Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Reminds me of the piece we played with in bending class.  #flairww -2:57 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood Very impressive! Put a seat across the peak closest and you have a chair! #flairww -2:59 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks I can’t wait to finish this outfeed table. Time to start playing with form! #flairww -3:00 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This section is flat but not yet smooth. #flairww -3:08 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks @woodbard I guess I’m out ;^} RT @FlairWoodworks @woodbard In other words, no tool will work on its own – it required a knowledgeable and skilled operator for the best results. #flairww -3:09 PM Jun 16th, 2012

woodbard @FlairWoodworks I must leave. Have a great weekend, Chris. Glad to “watch” it happen. #flairww -3:11 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood Off to Lowes for a couple items. Go have lunch, Chris. I don’t want to miss anything. #flairww -3:17 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This end is almost flat. #flairww -3:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @woodbard Thanks for hanging out and contributing, Al! #flairww -3:26 PM Jun 16th, 2012

@ToddInMontana @FlairWoodworks This is quite possibly the most perfect joint -3:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks, Todd! #flairww RT @ToddInMontana:@FlairWoodworks This is quite possibly the most perfect joint -3:27 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @ToddInMontana I’m both relieved and exuberant that it turned out so well. #flairww -3:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

@ToddInMontana @FlairWoodworks Man you do nice work! -3:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thank you, Todd. Your work is impressive as well. #flairww RT @ToddInMontana: @FlairWoodworks Man you do nice work! -3:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Someday, I’d like to analyze what makes my work nice. #flairww RT @ToddInMontana: @FlairWoodworks Man you do nice work! -3:29 PM Jun 16th, 2012

ToddInMontana I learned not to over-think it, just let it flow when it feels good & it all works out -3:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s a good start! #flairww RT @ToddInMontana: I learned not to over-think it, just let it flow when it feels good & it all works out -3:31 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Does this texture enhance the surface or detract from it? #flairww -3:34 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve switched to a plane with a finer setting to begin smoothing the surface. I’m still traversing the grain. #flairww -3:37 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks detract I think. But I’m a decorator at heart so a smooth finish is in my blood  -3:39 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks Nice work  -3:40 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon Textures can add visual depth and tactile interest. In some cases, I really enjoy textures but not in others. #flairww -3:42 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon Any ideas how you would finish this table? Don’t hold back on me! Here’s another picture. #flairww -3:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks detract. What’s your take? -3:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks very much agree. Not till I saw the wider picture. In my line of work that texture costs me -3:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke Crap. I went back to the table to look at the texture in person but I’d already planed it away… where’s that pic… #flairww -3:45 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m with you. #flairww RT @DyamiPlotke:@FlairWoodworks detract. What’s your take? -3:47 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks what a cracka!!! Shellac? a dark wax? satin lacquer? Danish oil? Nothing too crazy. What you thinking? RT FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon Any ideas how you would finish this table? Don’t hold back on me! Here’s another picture. #flairww -3:51 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @JosephandSon I’m really not sure what I’d like to use. I want more protection than wax and I’m not going to paint the whole table. #flairww -3:53 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks matt oil varnish? -4:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks That’s a possibility. #flairww RT @JosephandSon: @FlairWoodworks matt oil varnish? -4:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just this side remains to be smoothed. #flairww -4:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used my power planer to flatten the top length-wise. I’m using my #6 plane to flatten it the other way. #flairww -4:06 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Ugh. My arms are getting tired. #flairww -4:09 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Even without sweeping them into a pile, the shavings on the floor are up to my ankles in some areas. #flairww -4:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The tote handle and knob on my Stanley #6 bench plane are the most comfortable of all my planes. #flairww -4:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

JosephandSon @FlairWoodworks spray it -4:19 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m almost done planing this last section. I could sure use a break so I’m off for lunch. #flairww -4:25 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks I think it takes away from the subtle curve the grain is headed in. But to get down that far you’d be removing tons o’ wood -5:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Progress on the table resumes now. I’ve got a little more hand planing to go. #flairww -5:36 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks There’s a fair amount to remove here but I’m using my finely-set plane to avoid tearout around the knot. #flairww -5:42 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Just this one patch of tearout remains to be planed. #flairww -5:56 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Planing is quicker than sanding and it is harder to dish the surface. #flairww -5:57 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks And that’s a wrap! Hand planes are back on the rack. #flairww -6:08 PM Jun 16th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks are those magnets and cork on your plane rack? That’ll let you get a nice steeply angled rack. Gonna steal that good idea! -6:10 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn Yes, they’re 3/4″ rare-earth magnets in cups. Just don’t bump them because you can knock them off the rack. #flairww -6:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @MansFineFurn That’s why I have a cabinet below it. #flairww -6:12 PM Jun 16th, 2012

MansFineFurn @FlairWoodworks yeah there’s a cabinet below mine too, and a lip. The magnet will just be insurance. -6:14 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to put a small roundover around the top edge of the table. #flairww -6:18 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I don’t think that this 3/8″-radius bit is big enough, but I’ll try it anyways. If it’s too small, I can always enlarge it. #flairww -6:18 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This roundover profile actually looks pretty good. It needs refinement but it’s a good start. #flairww -6:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks A roundover makes the edge more durable, safer (not sharp) and is aesthetically pleasing. #flairww -6:38 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I need to blend the two curves and eliminate the flat spot in the middle. #flairww -6:41 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ll need to find a way to make these two chip-outs disappear. #flairww -6:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The chip-outs were from hand planing, not from the router. The grain is surprisingly nasty in that one area. #flairww -6:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve finished sanding the profile with 80-grit. I’ll sand the top surface next. #flairww -7:19 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks it begs to be felt up -7:28 Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks nice I would call it an “anvil round over” it definitely looks like the front end of a large anvil -7:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Has anyone tried to nap while sanding? I have. I think I succeeded. (I’ve sanded 3/4 of the top with 80-grit.) #flairww -7:49 PM Jun 16th, 2012

tsangell @FlairWoodworks Dude, scrape that mug. I hate sanding. -7:58 PM June 16th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks what did you sand it with? Hand or machine? -8:02 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @tsangell When working with curves, I find sanding the easiest way to get all the surfaces uniform. #flairww -8:10 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @DyamiPlotke I used my Mirka random orbit sander with a 3/8″ interface pad. #flairww -8:10 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I turned off the overhead lights in favour of a raking light to highlight surface defects. #flairww -8:13 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Unless that’s a halogen, it’ll keep the shop cooler, too! #flairww -8:15 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @Tumblewood They’re all fluorescent lights – both this one and the ones in the ceiling, so likely no difference. #flairww-8:15 PM Jun 16th, 2012

roncbailey @FlairWoodworks just catching up on your progress. Looks great! Ready to see it all put together! #flairww -8:21 PM Jun 16th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks Wattage adds up to heat, whether it’s fluorescent, incandescent or other. -8:24 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Final inspection before switching grits! #flairww -8:28 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks you look like 1 of those guys on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier -8:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks by the way that’s an awesome pic!  -8:30 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m doing a light hand-sanding on the edge with 80-grit before progressing to 120-grit. #flairww -8:33 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @roncbailey Only now did I realize how close I am to finishing the build! Wow! #flairww -8:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks! #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks by the way that’s an awesome pic! -8:43 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Switching to 120-grit! #flairww -8:45 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The rest of the work should go pretty quickly. The first sanding stage takes the most time. #flairww -8:46 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve sanded the top with 120-grit. Now I’m sanding the edge. #flairww -8:59 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Next up: 180-grit! #flairww -9:13 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Done sanding the top! #flairww -9:38 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks What do I do now? #flairww -9:44 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Time to clean up all the shavings I made today. #flairww -9:47 PM Jun 16th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Apparently I did some planing today. #flairww -10:03 PM Jun 16th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @MansFineFurn @flairwoodworks maybe just use two magnets… -6:29 AM Jun 17th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks do you still have the chips? #flairww -6:33 AM Jun 17th, 2012

DozersWorkshop @FlairWoodworks ready for takeoff, captain? ;-) #flairww -6:43 AM Jun 17th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks looks great. -7:34 AM Jun 17th, 2012

Tumblewood @FlairWoodworks That is just a beautiful piece. I can’t wait to see it all put together with a finish on it! #flairww -8:27 AM Jun 17th, 2012

I’ve put 27 days of work into this table so far and it’s hard to believe that I’m almost done.  But there is still more work to do!

Click here to leave a comment.

4 thoughts on “Maple Trestle Table, Session 27 – Flattening the Top and Completing the Edge

  1. Well, Chris
    you must be excited to be nearly finished. All that handplaning must be keeping you in shape! Haha…keep up the great work

      • Hi Mike,

        Hand planing is great exercise for sure.

        I was able to remove all but a trace of the chip out when sanding the profile. Then I filled it with epoxy in today’s session which is ongoing.

        Chris

        • Ahhh… I was wondering if you needed/ would use epoxy… Nasty stuff that works great…can’t wait to see the results and the next post(s)
          mike

I would be delighted if you left a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s