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Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 14 Jun 2020, 17:50
by woodstalker
So when we first moved into the house from our little 2 bed semi our dining room table was totally swallowed up by the space and the previous owners table and chairs put ours to shame. Cue SWMBO scouring eBay for a “suitable” replacement. Shortly thereafter a reclaimed oak beam table custom made by indigo furniture arrived along with twelve (!) roll top leather chairs. To be fair considering what they charge for these things new it was a good deal. Slight issue in that it was a bit too wide for the space the dining table sat in. These were the days before I really did any woodwork (not that I do much now mind) so I reduced it in width by removing two of the beans and shortening the two stretchers and all the iron mongers underneath that held it together.

Fast forward five years and we have made some changes to the house and SWMBO would like to return it to its gargantuan proportions; the two seats on each end didn’t fit well together and my previous butchery of it meant it was a little uneven (or characterful as I like to call it). So I have procured some oak of the correct width and some new steel and stainless steel bolts. The table is 10’ long and going to be 5’ 5” wide. The design is supposed to be chunky and industrial looking but to be honest like most of these things it is not particularly well put together and all the beams are a little twisted which makes it a pain in the rear to sort out.

So my plan is to use the floor as a reference surface (it’s perfectly flat and level surprisingly) I have disassembled it and reassembled it upside down with the top against the floor. I plan then to wedge it and try and get the top surface against the floor as level as possible. Then I need to work out how best to do a few things with the tools I have:

1. the best way to flatten out the two rebates in the middle where the thick steel straps go so I can drill the steel and set the spacing between the beams.

2. Same method to Create a new rebate to allow my new beautifully flat PAR oak stretchers to sit in and then drill the angle iron pieces that run the full width of the stretchers and physically attach the top of the table to the leg assemblies.

3. Once I’ve done that I will bolt it all together before disassembling again and then reassembling the correct way up. I think that my flat rebates will now cause the beams to have a much flatter surface. If not I’ll have to work our some way of flattening the entire surface in situ. :?


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Where we are now...
(328.26 KiB)

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 14 Jun 2020, 18:29
by Mike G
5'-5" is an extremely wide table. I haven't seen one that wide outside a public building or banqueting hall. It's so wide that you won't be able to comfortably pass stuff across the table to anyone sitting on the other side, unless you stand up first. I urge you to reconsider that idea before you take it further. It also means the room needs to be at least 3.6m wide.....and even that would be uncomfortable for anyone trying to pass behind someone seated.

Fixing the table is pretty easy, but you need to be sure you've got the design right first...and I don't believe you have.

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 14 Jun 2020, 19:15
by woodstalker
Mike G wrote:5'-5" is an extremely wide table. I haven't seen one that wide outside a public building or banqueting hall. It's so wide that you won't be able to comfortably pass stuff across the table to anyone sitting on the other side, unless you stand up first. I urge you to reconsider that idea before you take it further. It also means the room needs to be at least 3.6m wide.....and even that would be uncomfortable for anyone trying to pass behind someone seated.

Fixing the table is pretty easy, but you need to be sure you've got the design right first...and I don't believe you have.


Hi Mike, yes it is pretty wide; I put it together in the first place before I reduced it in width. we think it came from some sort of banqueting hall or something. It is not my design, it’s what it came as; it seems to have been made to order. Although I doubt the workmanship would impress you, having seen your builds. The room it is in is big enough to accommodate. We have moved the dining area from where it was to this new location.

Any suggestions on how to flatten the rebates gratefully received. :D

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 08:08
by woodstalker
Just realised I hadn’t updated where I got to with this. Made a couple of mistakes but the alignment is a bit better and the top better than it was. However there is some unevenness which I need to remove somehow. The easiest way would be to use the router sled I used to flatten the bottom but now all assembled it will be pretty messy in the house. I could use my hand planes but the oak is pretty hard as you can imagine.

At the very least the surface needs to be sanded, scraped and finished with something (I have some Fiddes wax which is what the original manufacturer uses.)

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(420.39 KiB)

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 09:12
by TrimTheKing
Looks great.

Isn’t the unevenness part of the charm and character of such a piece, or is it making use difficult?

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 09:57
by woodstalker
TrimTheKing wrote:Looks great.

Isn’t the unevenness part of the charm and character of such a piece, or is it making use difficult?


Yes that is true but some of the edges can put a bit of a wobble on a glass which is not helpful. I definitely need to sand, scrape and finish it though but I’m on crutches until December so it’ll have to sit in my to do list for now.

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 10:21
by TrimTheKing
Fair enough. Yeah I can imagine too big a step between the boards being an issue.

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 11:17
by Woodster
It looks great but we have a similar garden table and the unevenness can be problematic. Some of the gaps are also a bit too large for my liking but I do like the overall look.

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 11:47
by Mike G
Couldn't you get it out onto the patio to work on it? The you could use your router sled and a belt sander without ruining your house.

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 12:08
by woodstalker
Mike G wrote:Couldn't you get it out onto the patio to work on it? The you could use your router sled and a belt sander without ruining your house.

Not really an option Mike, each beam is 10’ long and I can just about manage one in my own. If we need to move it in the house I use a 1.5 tonne trolley jack to lift it onto four car wheel dollies. There is a threshold to get over out onto the deck at the back.

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 16:09
by Woodbloke
woodstalker wrote:
Yes that is true but some of the edges can put a bit of a wobble on a glass which is not helpful. I definitely need to sand, scrape and finish it...

A belt sander would make very light work of those irregularities on the top - Rob

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 16:54
by woodstalker
[/quote]
A belt sander would make very light work of those irregularities on the top - Rob[/quote]

True, I broke mine a couple of years back; good excuse to invest I suppose!

Re: Ah yes; eBay...

PostPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 16:58
by woodstalker
Woodster wrote:It looks great but we have a similar garden table and the unevenness can be problematic. Some of the gaps are also a bit too large for my liking but I do like the overall look.


Yeah I made them a touch larger than they were so things fall
All the way through rather than getting a build up of food, pen lids, crayons, toy parts, false limbs, the Elgin marbles and goodness knows what else...