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  #11  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

Wasn't that table (or at least that cloth) for sale at one time? I thought I forwarded pics of that table to a buddy to see if he was interested... he was a Marine too...



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  #12  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

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Originally Posted by Wedge Rock View Post
Wasn't that table (or at least that cloth) for sale at one time? I thought I forwarded pics of that table to a buddy to see if he was interested... he was a Marine too...
I got the table on craigslist a couple of years ago, and yes I had the custom cloth up for sale several months ago. It's been recently sold.
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2012, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

When you guys install the decorative nails, do you use one of those specialty deco nail hammers with the nylon tip, or just a small regular hammer?
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

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When you guys install the decorative nails, do you use one of those specialty deco nail hammers with the nylon tip, or just a small regular hammer?
I use a nylon tipped hammer to install the nails, but I also pre-drill a starter hole to ensure they go in straight, so I only need a little bit of pressure to get them in. If you use a regular hammer, I'd wrap the head in duct tape or something so it doesn't mark the nail head.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

Love the little builds tips, Irish. You gonna do a step-by-step for the salvage and rebuild?



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Old 02-23-2012, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

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Love the little builds tips, Irish. You gonna do a step-by-step for the salvage and rebuild?
I hadn't planned on it, but I can. I guess most of the old step-by-step builds are at the old place, so it'd be nice to get a new one started up here. I'll snap some shots along the way. I just got an order for a 9' dealer table though, so this project is going to be on hold for a few weeks.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

Most of us know *how* to build a table... I still enjoy seeing pics of an excellent execution of the project.



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Old 03-09-2012, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

I took a couple of days off this week and the weather cooperated very nicely to do some work outside. I'm also working on a 9 foot dealer table, but I'm waiting on some supplies so I was able to squeeze in some work on this table.

Since I'll be re-using the exposed base sheet that's attached to the pedestals and at least one of the rail pieces to construct the raised rail on the new table, the overall dimensions of the new table will be the same as what I've got now. I popped the rail off to get some good measurements for the new rail/racetrack components - the table is exactly 44"Wx95"L. Here's the existing rail:



I cut apart the old rail to check on the assembly and see what I could use - the base component of the existing rail (what's facing out in the picture above) is 5" wide and 7/8" thick MDF. The new rail will be 6" wide, so while I'll need a new top rail piece, I can recycle this MDF piece as the riser component of the new table. So, I'll need to cut out 2 new sheets of ply - one for the rail top piece, and one for the new racetrack/rail lip.

Got the new sheets, all set up and ready to go (there's another shot of the MDF piece that will get recycled into the rail riser):



First I have to trim down the sheet lengthwise from 48" to 44" to match the existing width. I have a nice straight edge clamp that I use to get a good straight cut. Even with the straight edge though, it's a good idea to mark out your cut line with pencil so you know you're on track and the guide hasn't slipped:



I typically work by myself, so I've got a lot of little tricks to help out for cases like this where a second set of hands would be nice. About halfway through the cut, I clamp the start of the cut to the main piece so it stays in place while I complete the cut:



Both sheets are cut to width. Next I stack them up to make sure that they match well, and match mark the sides of the plywood so I'll know where they best fit together later. They lined up pretty well:



You can see in the picture above that the top plywood sheet had a few tear outs - those all seemed to be at the corners, which get cut off, so it shouldn't impact the final piece. Now that both of the new sheets are cut to width, I measure out & drill a center pivot hole at both ends for the arc cuts. I use a 4' drywall t-square for this to ensure the point is really accurate. IMHO these are probably your most important measurements - if you're off a little to one side, your arc cuts won't align nicely at the edges of the table. It's a 44" wide table, so the pivot will be at 22" from the side of the sheet. I measure from each side, just to be sure you've got the dead center of the sheet. Since the table will be 95" long, one inch short of a full 8' sheet, so I measure in 22" from one end and 23" from another to get the correct length. Another benefit of using the straight edge at this point is you can draw a good straight line across the sheet that represent the point where all your cuts transition from arc cuts to tangent cuts. That makes lining those cuts up a lot easier, especially for the inner cuts.



Next is making the outer arc cuts. I use a router with a lewin compass for this. To get a nice smooth transition from the arc to tangent on both sides, I adjust the compass so that there is a very small gap between the edge of the sheet and the router bit at each end of the arc cut:

So when your router is at this position:


You should have this clearance between the bit and the sheet:


This way you get a smooth transition, like this:



If your bit is touching the edge of the sheet at the transition point, you'll get a little jog in your cut that you'll have to sand down later. In making the cuts, it's important to keep the compass secured at the pivot point. I keep a hand at the pivot and one on the router, I've got just enough of a wingspan to do so where I can still keep an eye on the cut to make sure nothing funky is going on, like the bit slipping and cutting deeper into the wood. I make all my router cuts in 1/4" increments, so it takes 3 passes to cut through a 3/4" sheet.







With all the outer cuts made, now it's onto the inner cut for the rail top piece. I mark out where the 6" wide rail cut should hit and adjust the router accordingly.



Unlike the outside cuts, where I start at the transition point on one end and cut to the other end of the arc, I start this cut a few inches onto the arc and backtrack to the transition point. This way I have better control of where I end the cut, right at the line marked out for the transition point:



Then, about halfway through these cuts, this happens...





I've not had the best luck with router bits, I can get roughly 2 tables from one spiral upcut bit. Some people say they've done 10 tables with one bit, even with nice whiteside bits I've never come close to that. I always seem to hit certain patches in the plywood where there's extra glue or something and it just eats the bit up. Dunno, maybe I'm cutting too fast.

Anyhoo after a quick bit change, I finished up the inside arcs at both ends:



Onto the straight cuts, here's how I set mine up. I place the router at the arc transition so the bit is perfectly centered at the end of the arc cut, then line up a straight edge at each end and clamp it into place. I find the shop milled edge of my lengthwise cutoffs from before work well, and lets me set up both tangent cuts at once. Make sure it line up at both ends - it typically take me a few iterations at either end to get it lined up perfect.







After plowing through the cuts, you should get a pretty smooth transition all the way around.





That's all for now. Next up is making the inner cuts on the racetrack sheet.
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  #19  
Old 03-09-2012, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

Very nice step by step.

I've never had a router bit snap on me - when it has happened to you, does it just stay in the work piece or does it go flying like shrapnel?
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: New Year's Resolution - Get Working on a New Table

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Very nice step by step.

I've never had a router bit snap on me - when it has happened to you, does it just stay in the work piece or does it go flying like shrapnel?
Nothing catastrophic like shrapnel, the bit usually just falls over in place.
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