The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Jacob's Table

My son Jacob, asked me to build him a table for his Germantown Hills house.  He gave me the critical dimensions.......

He has an error on the width, showing both 18 and 22 inches, the correct dimension is 18 inches. I converted this to Google Sketchup........

Material Selection

We chose red oak for this project. I bought random width 3/4" thick red oak boards from Menards in Washington, Illinois, and bought one board for the legs...

Making the Legs

I ripped the legs to 1.75 inches wide on the table saw from the board shown above. The table saw leaves burn marks, so I saw the legs slightly wide so I can plane them down to 1.5". The planer removes the saw burn marks.

It is critical the legs are the same length or the table will wobble. I set up a temporary stop fixture on the radial arm saw to make them all equal.


I set up the mortise attachment on the drill press with a 1/4" square chisel set. I make the tenon's 3/4" long, so the mortise depth is about 1 inch to give some clearance.



 Making Tenons Using Table Saw Jig


I use the regular narrow-kerf blade versus installing the dado blade set.  You have to make several cuts because the blade is narrow.....but you avoid the set-up and removal time of the dado set.

The long front stile barely cleared the ceiling in my shop, but I was able to tenon these long pieces!

End Frames Dry-Assembled


Whole Table Dry-Assembled Except Top and Shelf


 Stain Selection

I applied the two stain choices onto the same Menard's random width red oak board that I built this project from:


My son and his wife chose the redder cherry stain color for this table.

Making the Table Shelf

 I used the Kreg pocket screw method to make the lower shelf from several boards:

I sawed the shelf to final width on the table saw. You need to use the roller stand to support this size of heavy piece when it comes off the table saw!

Since this shelf is less than 12 inches wide, I was able to run it through my 12" wide planer. The Kreg screws are deep enough the planer blades won't hit them.


 The shelf width is narrow enough that I can still use my radial arm saw. I first sawed the shelf to final length (don't forget to include the 1/2" tenon length on both ends!).

Then I used the radial arm saw to make the tenons.  I used a piece of scrap wood planed to the same thickness to set up the radial arm saw depth to give the right thickness of tenon. I used trial and error cuts to do this on the scrap piece.


 I used a small hand saw to cut off the ends of the tenon so it fits into the receiving horizontal stile.  I cut them off about a 1/4" narrowed than needed, to allow the shelf to move in the groove due to temperature and humidity changes over time.

Making the Table Top

 I decided not to use the Kreg pocket screws on the top, because I had trouble with the boards slipping when I made the shelf.  I simply glued up the boards.


I was able to saw the table top to final width on the table saw, using the roller support to hold this heavy piece when it came off the table saw.

It was too wide to saw the ends on the radial arm saw.  I used the circular saw, running against a temporary guide to saw the ends of the top:

This method worked very well.  The other option is to use the router against a guide piece, but it takes at least 3 passes on the router on each end.

I used a block plane to plane any areas that did not join perfectly, before I belt sanded the top:


And here is the top completed, except edge rounding and final sanding, setting on the table:


Routing an Edge on the Top

My son requested I round-over the top edge, versus a 90 degree joint. I selected a 1/4" round-over router bit.



I had to sand off some router burn marks on the cross-grain ends, which is typical when route the cross-grain of hard oak.

Applying the Cherry Stain

Because the table top is relatively large, I applied the stain with a brush, then wiped it with a red shop towel.





Behlen's Grain Filler

 I mixed up the can first, since it settles in a day. Then I applied with my fingers. Next is scraping off the excess with the plastic scraper from behlens........


I was throwing away the material I scraped off, but I decided to try re-using it. I put it back into the can, and if needed added some more solvent and re-mixed it.

After scraping away the excess, I wiped it cross-grain using burlap from McMaster-carr.  After drying for a day, I re-stained the table top......


Special Router Bit for Beading the 4 legs

My son requested that I dress up the 4 square legs with some beading. I had to buy a special router bit to do this.....


I actually bought this router bit from MLCS, not Rockler. It is #5530..........

Staining the Other Table Pieces

I did not use Behlen's grain filler on the 4 legs or the horizontal stiles.


Final Assembly


I assembled the two ends first.......



Then I assembled the 2 long rails to the ends........



I used the black plastic square to hold the legs vertical until I got the 2 long stiles attached to them.

Fortunately, I had (3) 1/2" pipe couplings.  I hooked two pipe clamps together so they would be long enough to clamp up this table.


Rockler Steel Table Clamps

I used these in the table sawn slots to hold the top to the stiles. It allows the table top to move with temperature and humidity changes.....




Lower Shelf Support Piece

The last step was to place the table onto the floor, on a rug as to not scratch the top.....and screw down the support piece on the bottom shelf.  Without the support piece, you could push down hard on the lower shelf and deflect it. The additional support makes it much more rigid.  I used the Kreg bit to drill the holes on the drill press, then used Kreg screws......


Finished Table



Concluding Thoughts


On future projects, don't forget to either cut 45 degree chamfers on the ends of the tenons, or shorten some of they don't interfere with each other in the leg.

This table turned out very nice......and it will be living in Germantown Hills, ILL., at my Son's house.  I loaded it up on my pick-up truck and took it to him......







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