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How do you make a table flat?

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  • #16
    Re: How do you make a table flat?

    Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm learning so much. Right now I'm bidding on a No.80 Stanley scrapper from the 1920s. I like using hand tools so will give this a shot after I've followed much of the advice posted to get the table/cutting board as flat as possible in the first place.

    For my cutting boards I have used splines, but up until yesterday, I only had a TS at home, now I have the Ridgid jointer ($200 for a 6 month old jointer that is in excellent shape except for a very small nick in the knives).

    The attached pics are of a cutting board I made for my Dad in the UK, its the English flag. The padauk is actually much redder than in the pics. I made this at a woodworking class last semester. I hope to get my joints as accurate at home.
    Attached Files

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    • #17
      Re: How do you make a table flat?

      Very nice work DW

      Enjoy your new jointer, sounds like a good score
      Cheers! - Jim
      -------------
      All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

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      • #18
        Re: How do you make a table flat?

        DW, that's a beautiful board!! I may have to kind of steal your design for a friend of mine from the UK. I hope you don't mind!
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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        • #19
          Re: How do you make a table flat?

          Just make sure you post pictures, tell us what wood you used, and how you made it flat!! This one was hard maple and padauk with hickory splines.

          Cheers Dennis

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          • #20
            Re: How do you make a table flat?

            Originally posted by franklin pug View Post
            does anyone know if there is a belt sander frame that is compatible with the ridgid belt sander?
            This is an accessory that the manufacturer offers for their particular sander. I have never seen a 'universal' sanding frame and I doubt they exist because each belt sander will have different requirements/configuration for connecting to the frame. I think it would be difficult to make a one size fits many sanding frame.
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
            ---------------
            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
            ---------
            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
            ---------
            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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            • #21
              Re: How do you make a table flat?

              I struggle with for a long time. I read articles, viewed clips online, etc. I came up with a fairly simple solution that keeps your boards dead flat. I lay the boards I'm joining on a flat surface. Normally I use the top of my table saw, but I also have a piece of milimite (sp) that I also use. Under where the boards join I lay a strip of wax paper. This keeps the glue from sticking to the surface below and does not effect the flatness. I put my clamps across the boards on top. After its dried, you just pull away the wax paper, which doesn't stick to the wood and you have an absolutely flat tabletop.

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              • #22
                Re: How do you make a table flat?

                For flat surface use planking, it is less expensive than a single sheet. Tongue and groove planking is easiest, but if you can use a dowel or biscuit cutter to create a butt joint then you might consider that route for a flat top surface.

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                • #23
                  Re: How do you make a table flat?

                  Originally posted by BHD View Post
                  Say, thanks for the illustrated suggestion; so simple it hurts. I usually make panels with biscuits. I found using them is less hassle when it come to truing up for flatness. Yet sill have run into XTRA work with hand planing and sanding. But, this jig is an excellent tool. Will be making it soon and adding to my arsenal. Thanks again friend
                  Last edited by jimshoe52; 02-08-2013, 05:31 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Re: How do you make a table flat?

                    Originally posted by teeny
                    Hi all
                    According to me i would use a hand plane but the learning curve is steep. A belt sander can do the job but can cause it's own valleys and divots.................
                    a hand plane has its own set of problems that can prevent a novice user from achieving a smooth surface.
                    Someone who is not good at reading the grain of the wood as well as other issues could do as much harm as
                    an overzealous person with a belt sander.

                    Lacking a planer wide enough I think the router sled is the best bet followed by a belt sander with sanding frame.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: How do you make a table flat?

                      Bob D, In case you hadn't noticed, Teeny copies someone's post word for word and posts i. (In this case he copied WBrooks) Poor BHD must feel neglected, cause it is usually his that gets copied.

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                      • #26
                        Re: How do you make a table flat?

                        Yeah, it was brought to my attention. Thanks though.
                        Maybe one of the admins will block them from posting if they feel their actions warrant it since they have offered nothing constructive.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: How do you make a table flat?

                          Hand plane, followed by card scraper to take off the small marks left by the plane, followed by at least a couple of cold beers.

                          In theory you shouldn't need to sand after the scraper, but I find that the scraper leaves tiny ridges that need to be knocked off. Some people leave them as evidence of the wood having been "hand scraped". Personally, I don't like that look.

                          Sharpening and adjusting a manual plane is a worthwhile skill. Sharpening a scraper correctly is also worth learning. Neither is difficult.

                          Some woods, like rock maple, are touchy and difficult to hand plane. You can still do it, but best to learn to plane on something easier first.

                          A belt sander works fine, but as has been pointed out, in the blink of an eye you can create a major problem. The hand plane is exhausting but sweeping up those semi-transparent curls is more satisfying that emptying the dust bag.

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                          • #28
                            Re: How do you make a table flat?

                            taking the time to do things properly always has its rewards
                            sanding and finishing a table is one of them
                            i hand plane and hand sand woodwork exhausting its true but well worth the effort.
                            shooting the s*** is a lot more fun when you use hollow points (much more splatter)

                            coffee hell gimme booze!!!

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