Time to glue all those timbers together into a slab to make the table top. Think “very large edge glued bread board” and you’re on the right track. Most excitingly this part of the project involves the purchase of a new tool; specifically a dowelling jig.
Firstly all the timbers have been sorted so that adjacent boards have a roughly matching thickness, with the thinner ones at the outside edges. They’ve also all been trimmed to about the same length – approximately 1350mm. The length has been chosen to complement a White Cedar board that will later be used as the bottom shelf for the table, which is itself 1100mm in length.
Each board is secured to the next with four dowel joints, plus PVA glued all along the edges. Sash clamps are courtesy of The Convener, who has an impressive selection to choose from in his awesome and impressive slabbed timber workshed (including some pipe clamps that are 5 metres long!).
Each newly glued board is left clamped for about 45 minutes before the clamps are released and the next added on. All the boards have been predrilled ready for the dowels so that the clamps are not left off to long during this process. By the end of the day all seven boards have been glued and clamped tightly, and the slab then tucked away to cure for a few days.
The boards aren’t all even, but that’s OK as the next step involves a load more planing and shaping.