We were actually able to snap some pictures during this build, so we decided to share the process with you.
We ordered about twice as much wood as needed for this project so we could hand pick the best pieces to use for the top.
First, all the boards were planed down and ripped to width. We then laid all the boards out and tried to arrange them in the best way possible according to color and grain.
I used a photoshop App on my phone called Snapseed to doctor up this photo. I was able to see the grains in the wood much better by turning it to B&W and strengthening the structure of the photo.
After a couple hours of careful consideration, we had the 9 boards that were going to make up this top. Each edge was ran through the jointer and would be ready for the glue table.
The Top is first glued up in 3 different sections and left to dry. We let this sit until the next day before unclamping and running through the planer. Our planer is only 20″ wide so it would be impossible to run the whole thing through at once. After all are planed smooth, we join 2 of those sections together using biscuits for a nice flush joint. When this dries its off to the wide belt sander to get a smooth top once again and one more time back to the glue table for the final joint. Once all the gluing is done, we can cut to length and roll over the ends to give the look of a 6/4″ thick top. Now that we have a rectangle, it is time to make a template to router in the inlay.
Right about this time my heart was pounding. ONE little Slip and I could potentially ruin all the work done thus far.
First pass through without any major hiccups.
It took us about 8 passes to get the clean lines we were looking for to accept the inlay pieces.
Quarter-sawn White Oak was chose to give it the golden appearance we were looking for.
Once the inlay pieces were fit and glued in, it was time to make the curve on the long side. After a little jigsawing and belt sanding to make a smooth contour another piece was glued to the bottom side to follow the curve. Some of you may be wondering why we just didn’t use thicker pieces of wood. Well, it was extremely hard to find the right lengths and grade in that thickness, so we resorted to this method.
The Top has its final shape and its time to give it a profile.
Several hours were spent sanding this top before it was ready for finish.
Four coats of Polyurethane were applied to the top and the bases. Each coat was required to dry at least two hours before a scuff sand and another coat could be applied. This part of the build requires a lot of patience and a clean finish room with adequate lighting and ventilation. That was something we were very limited on, until now. Except for the patience part….ha! 😉
We are very proud of this piece and hope you enjoyed the write up. If you are like me, you enjoy seeing what it took to get the finished product.