This customer contacted me to build her a large dining table out of oak. At first she thought she needed one that was 96 inches (8 feet) long. She already had the armchairs she wanted to use so to make sure that was the correct length we lined the (4) chairs up side by side and measured their combined overall length. It came to 90 inches. So we decided to go with a 9 foot table (108 inches) which would give people more room. Thank goodness we did this!
Next we selected the rough oak boards for the table top and the panel legs. On a table this large it is important to select boards that are flat as possible (not bowed or twisted). The final thickness was to be 1.75 inches thick. So we started with rough boards 2 inches thick. We laid out the boards and oriented them so the different grains were complimentary. We milled them and glued them up ending with a tabletop 108" x 40" x 1.75".
The table top is massive and very heavy at over 150 lbs. Takes four people to carry it around. Yikes!
Step 1 Successful!!!
Steps 2-3 are critical. The glue up has to end up with a very large rectangle that is flat as possible. This is done by using domino inserts where the edges will be glued together. The edges must be dead straight and square. Any mistakes in this step and you're in a heap 'o' trouble. How do you make sure the table stays flat as time goes on? We'll cover that in a later step. More to come.
Panel legs are 32" wide, 28" tall, 3" thick. These legs are also massive each leg weighing in at 60lbs. Center support is 3"x3". Steel plates are for stability. Legs and plates are inset into the bottom of the tabletop and are removable for transport. This configuration will keep the tabletop flat and level.
Here is the final step with the completed table in the customer's house. The finish is General Finishes milk paint water-based stain (2 parts seagull gray/ 1 part perfect gray/ 4 parts water). The topcoat is several coats of General Finishes High Performance water based flat urethane. Took four of us to carry the tabletop into the house. Then we attached the legs and support brace, turned it over and voila. All in all turned out pretty good.