Urban Survival

First rule of Urban Survival is to keep the wife happy. We commonly have large gatherings at our house and exceed our seating capacity. So for the past year I have been planning on building a large table for our back yard. I researched a design which I could scale up to a size which would accommodate 16 comfortably and squeeze 20. Here’s the design I chose:

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About six weeks ago Steve and I went to a lumber yard he had found which had some exotic hard woods (check sierra club card at the door). We found some 9/4 thick Sepele Mahogany 12′ long and 15″, 14″, 10″ wide making the width of the table 40″ and one board 9  1/2″ wide to make the end cap.

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When holiday break hit I began the project. We are three days in and here is the progress. The first day we joined all the wood by getting the edges as close to meeting as possible and then drilled 3″ dowel holes and #20 biscuits in between. This was a daunting process with each piece of mahogany weighing about 75 pounds. My friend Eric engineered a jig out of solid block aluminum to clamp onto the wood so we could drill the dowel holes straight. Without that jig I think the job would’ve been very tough if not impossible to get the holes to meet up straight.

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photo 9At the end of that first day we were able to glue the first two board together. There is so much about woodworking which is very slow and methodical but in this instance when gluing 12′ long 2″ thick lumber together from the moment the glue hits the wood it’s “GO TIME”. There is no stopping or pausing. You just gotta do it or your project will be fucked, you’ll never get the edges to match if the glue dries before clamping it up.

Here is the clamped wood:

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Day Two we came back and added the third board to make the total width of the table. After planing and joining the wood the total width of the table will be at 39 1/2″.photo 5 photo 6
After we finished that gluing project I took the last part of the day to sand the paint off this 6″x6″ post I found at a reclaimed lumber supply. This post will become the two legs.

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I’ll keep you updated about the progress of the table during the next 10 days. Basically I’m saying I don’t have time to write a real blog post because this project is consuming my time. I’m hoping this whole project will be done by the time I go back to work January 6. Wish me luck.

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