Table top design feedback requested


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Old 10-28-19, 02:03 PM
J
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Table top design feedback requested

I'm trying to create a faux butcher block table top to keep it as light as possible and keep cost of materials down. I'm building a prototype top out of pine to play with it and get feedback.












The basics are I used 2" construction lumber, 45 degree miter joints all the way around, and a support block under the table to reinforce the end wall of the top to give it a butcher block look. I know the first criticism will be wood movement with regards to the miter joints, this is why I am writing. I have avoided running a breadboard perpendicular to the top because of the look I'm going for, all my perpendicular pieces, the end and the support blocks are all oriented so that they should move with the table top and not against it. It is inspired by waterfall bench design, same type of grain orientation.

I haven't attached sides of table top yet, they don't worry me as much as the ends.

I am writing for advice and a with a couple of questions.

What do you think about this design for dealing with wood movement? Will this work over time?

My miter joints aren't great because I used a handheld circular saw for some of the 45 degree cuts, cheap pine, and biscuits to align them. Any other thoughts about how to join the miters that might be better?

Is there a better way to do this? I'm very open to feedback. If there is a design out there I'd love to see it.

Thank you in advance,

Jason
 
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Old 10-29-19, 05:36 AM
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If you're going to be making furniture or cabinetry you really need better tools than a handheld circular saw. Perfect joints is all about precision. You can also do the corners differently so it isn't so reliant on perfect cuts.
 
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Old 10-29-19, 08:03 AM
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Pilot Dane,

Yes, I agree with you. I have a large table saw that I could build an over-sized cross cut sled for and make a more precise 45 degree cut on the end of the table... I plan to do that if this design will work. I do not own a sliding table saw and I do not have room for one. For this mock up, I'm just using pine and a circular saw because I am mostly concerned about proof of concept.

I appreciate the picture of the joint you provided, I have seen finger joints and dovetailed joints on tables like this, but that doesn't achieve the look of a butcher block top that I am going for.

Thank you for the feedback. Any other thoughts?

Jason
 
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Old 10-29-19, 09:22 AM
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I think your concept is good and could look incredible when finished. The question is if you have the tools to make those cuts. It look like you are not simply waterfalling one end but also doing an adjoining side. That ups the level of difficulty two ways. You've got a double mitered corner to get perfect and you've got a long edge that needs precision cutting.
 
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Old 10-30-19, 12:24 PM
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Thank you Pilot Dane,

I appreciate you looking and this and giving me your thoughts. I think your comment about the difficulty of the double beveled corner is particularly relevant. Before I embarked on this project I thought it would be workable, but based on your comments and my limited experience so far this design is probably not feasible. I'll finish out this top and report back for readers to see how it turned out.

I'm a little bummed, but thank you for your time and thoughts,

Jason
 
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Old 10-30-19, 02:16 PM
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My wood working tools are not the best and the scales on the machines are almost useless. For critical things I do what you are doing. Make test pieces out of cheap lumber. For miters I get close looking at the scale on the machine but then run samples and put them together to see how they fit. Then I tweak the angle as needed. You can get good results but it can be time consuming. It really helps if you can make all the needed cuts with one setup before moving on as I have to re-do my test pieces every time I move the fence or change an angle.
 
 

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