This last week I finally started on the next major project; a (much requested) new dinning table. We are currently using the small square table that came with our old condo. It is a 28×28 table done in the Chinese style (I assume it was built in Hong Kong along with the other pieces in the same wood type) and while I am a big fan of this style of furniture, a frame and panel table top really does not make sense for a dinning table, especially with small kids. Not to mention the fact that it is really too small for 4 people to eat a meal at.
The plan is to build a version of Chris Schwarz’s American Trestle Table with a slightly wider top (one of his comments in a blog post mentioned that 36 inches would not be a problem with the design). So after setting up some saw horses and planks in the dinning room to confirm that the dimensions work it was time to pick wood for the top.
After digging through my pile of rough Douglas Fir I decided that there are enough clear boards to make the top though a few will need some long rips to remove edge knots or sap wood. I am not sure how well an inch thick Douglas Fir top will hold up but I can always replace it with a hardwood top at a later date (after the kids are older). I rough cut the selected boards down to 80 inches long , making sure to cut a couple of inches off of the end before measuring. While 80 inches is the target length of the table there will be bread board ends that will add some length.
Over the weekend I used a combination of by #6 (which has a cambered blade) and my #7 to flatten the surface enough to get an idea of the grain pattern and direction. It looks like one more board (three total) will need to be ripped down to remove a split and one has a knot I missed in the initial inspection that does not appear to be a problem on one side. Later this week (or more likely next weekend) I will set up my mini band saw and rip them down.
Milling: the act of taking a pile of lumber and turning it into a slightly smaller pile of lumber.