Monday, November 28, 2016

Outdoor Table (Part 2)

In the first part of the outdoor table build, I started with the design, wood selection and then I began to mill the pieces for the legs. In this second part of the build, I am going to focus on milling the rest of the boards for the project. That means the top, the aprons and finishing the legs. From there, it will be off to shaping the legs and doing the joinery, then the finish.

The Top - Layout

This is my first time working with white oak, and so far, I like it. I'm not a big fan of oak in general, but that is just because I prefer other woods, such as walnut, cherry and mahogany. When working with the pieces for this top, the wood, in its rough sawn form, I find it a bit of a challenge to imagine what the pieces will look like after they are milled. This is a shot of the pieces prior to milling:

To me, it is not easy to see what is under there, but we'll mill it and see what we see. After the pieces are milled, I will work with all of the pieces to see what is the best layout for the top; which is most appealing. Here are the pieces after the initial milling:

I think I got some good grain matching, but I also tried to get the pieces paired according to their width. Here is what I came up with for the top layout; then off to the clamps.

I'm happy with the way this came out. Some of the pieces were pretty gnarly on the edges and so milling was a bit tricky. I tried to limit the amount of white, sap wood, and get nice grain. At this stage, I let the pieces sit overnight, then put them over the jointer and through the planer to their final thickness. Then, off to the clamps for the glue up. While that was drying, I milled all the rest of the pieces. Here is the final stack of all the pieces required for the table; note the giant laminated legs.

In the next post, I will cover the joinery used for the legs and aprons (hint: you can find that here). I will also dry fit everything and get it ready for final sanding and the finish. So, in part 3, we will wrap this beast up and get it done!


  1. Wow I must appreciate your work. You have done the project so wonderfully. From the selection of the wood to the final finishing,you have carried out every thing so beautifully.

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  7. After reading your previous part. I read this one too.. It is really informative. We can place these table in our gardens with chairs so we can eat, drink and enjoy the summer.anker lc90 review