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Woodwork 

Winter 2013-2014

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Treasured Board Table

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Treasured Board Table

One precious board is all you need.

By Tom Caspar

Every woodworker discovers an extraordinary piece of wood once in a while. What do you do with it? One board is not enough for a big project. It’s a crime to cut it up into small pieces for a little project. So you stash it away, like a pirate burying his treasure, and wait for the perfect project. Here it is.

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Chamfer the edge of the top with a router. Go around the top four or five times, lowering the bit for each pass. The chamfer will make the top seem thinner. Standard router bits cut a 45˚ chamfer. Increase the slope of the chamfer to 30˚ to improve the floating effect, using a plane or belt sander.

Click any image to view a larger version.


Cut the tapered legs on the tablesaw. Hold the narrow leg in place with toggle clamps mounted on a sled. This will keep your hands well away from the saw blade. A stopper board at the foot of the leg prevents it from sliding.


Lay out the biscuit slots with center marks. First mark the center of each rail. Then transfer the marks to the legs. Use the side rail as a spacer to determine where the front rail goes.


Cut double slots with a plate joiner for a strong joint. Hold the leg in place with toggle clamps mounted on a stiff board. Cut the first slot with the plate joiner flat on the work surface. Then raise the plate joiner with a 3/8" spacer to cut the second slot.


Cut slots for tabletop fasteners with the plate joiner. Reference with the fence set on top of 1-1/4" the rail.


Spray the base with matte-black paint. Wear a respirator and exhaust the paint fumes outside with a fan. Easy-to-sand red primer is used first to fill the pores and make a smooth surface. The thin, black lines of the base seem to disappear while the beautiful top springs to life!


This story originally appeared in American Woodworker August 1999, issue #74.