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Desk top for one of my sons

Maverick

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One of my sons asked me a few weeks ago if I could make him a desk top. He described to me what he wanted, which was a 24“ x 80” x2” slab. He was going to buy a couple of pedestals with drawers to set it on. This was the largest piece I had ever made. Used 8/4 white oak and the final dimensions ended up at 27” x 85”. Man is that thing heavy.

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trc65

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Nice work! Beautiful top. That white oak will last generations. You could play with the sagulator if you wanted, but I'd guess that top could hold several hundred pounds with little to no noticeable sag.
 

Arn213

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That is a spacious work space and your son must be happy. I doubt it would sag because it is 8/4, 4 piece glue up and it is oak. Basic load for oak for 3’ long, 1’ wide and 1” is roughly 300 pounds. There is only a computer monitor and keyboard in the middle and the rest of the equipment is off to the side with the weight transfer going to the base. I wouldn’t worry about it.
 

Barb

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That's a cool looking desktop! Very nicely done.
 

Mr. Peet

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There are two legs on the back side of the middle span, so I hope that will be enough to keep it from bowing. If it does start bowing, I will have to add some kind of reinforcement to the front underside to stop it.
Don't think most of us will be around to do any reinforcement on that thing, unless the wood was not cured and starts to walk.
 

Nature Man

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Such a practical use for a long slab of wood! It is so stable with all that weight! Congrats! Chuck
 

Maverick

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Thank you for all the assurances that is not likely to bow or if it does, it will be quite some time. I was really nervous about the glue up because I didn't have a jointer and I was just using my table saw to 'joint' the edges. I did learn a lot from this project.
 

DLJeffs

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Thank you for all the assurances that is not likely to bow or if it does, it will be quite some time. I was really nervous about the glue up because I didn't have a jointer and I was just using my table saw to 'joint' the edges. I did learn a lot from this project.
I'd be interested in hearing what lessons or tidbits of advice you gained. I don't have a jointer either. Kudos for working out in the driveway too. Besides giving the neighbors something to watch, it makes us better weathermen.
 
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DLJeffs

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Nice work! Beautiful top. That white oak will last generations. You could play with the sagulator if you wanted, but I'd guess that top could hold several hundred pounds with little to no noticeable sag.
Thanks for adding this note. I'd not heard of the "sagulator" so I googled it up. Only 8am and I already learned something new today. Now I can relax for the rest of the day.
 

Maverick

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I'd be interested in hearing what lessons or tidbits of advice you gained. I don't have a jointer either. Kudos for working out in the driveway too. Besides giving the neighbors something to watch, it makes us better weathermen.

* The stock was S3S so I first attempted to joint the rough edge using a plywood jig that I saw on YT. I had very limited success with that.
* I then decided to just run the factory edge against the fence but take about a blade width at a time off until I had the rough edge completely cut. There were some pieces that required 6 or 7 passes before I had accomplished that goal.
* I then turned the piece over so the new cut edge was against the fence and cut the original factory edge (Note: I was not trying to get each piece to an exact width so I didn't have to worry about that)
* I should also say I started with a new rip blade and checked to be sure the blade was at 90 deg to the table
* I work by myself, so I had a roller stand on the outboard side and had two magnet style feather boards to keep the board tight against the fence.
* When I had the boards 'jointed' to the best of my ability and equipment, I set them up and moved them around to get the best fit at the joint
* I had planned to use biscuits but then changed my mind and just used cowls and clamps and was pleased with the outcome
* I glued up two boards, let them set up, then glued up the other two and let them set and finally glued up the two sets for the final width
* I did have a couple of small areas toward each end that did not come together as well as I would have liked, but they ended up getting cut off in the final dimensions, so it was a no harm no fowl situation. I just used a power saw set against a straight edge to cut each end.
* Since this was an open grain wood, I did use a grain filler before staining with a neutral stain and then used a poly finish on it.
* I did get a little frustrated with the poly coat due to brush strokes and some orange peel in a few areas, but was ultimately able to get it smoothed out to the point I was happy with it.
 
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DLJeffs

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Thanks for those tidbits John. I've taped a board that I know has a straight edge to a board I want to true up the edge on. Tape it so the straight edge overhangs one side of the working board. Then I run the straight edged board against the fence, making small cuts to true up the opposite side of my working board. Once that side is true, I can remove the taped on board, flip the working board over and true up the other. That works pretty good for shorter length boards - be a little harder on longer, bigger boards like you were using. Still doesn't get as tight a joint as a jointer. Probably my cheapo table saw.
 

Maverick

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Thanks for those tidbits John. I've taped a board that I know has a straight edge to a board I want to true up the edge on. Tape it so the straight edge overhangs one side of the working board. Then I run the straight edged board against the fence, making small cuts to true up the opposite side of my working board. Once that side is true, I can remove the taped on board, flip the working board over and true up the other. That works pretty good for shorter length boards - be a little harder on longer, bigger boards like you were using. Still doesn't get as tight a joint as a jointer. Probably my cheapo table saw.

I had considered using that method, but I decided that was going to be too unwieldy to handle by myself and then the depth of cut would have been close. I just have a Craftsman tablesaw, so I was concerned about accuracy aspect as well. I ended up with less than a 1/16 difference in the width over the 7 foot span, so I felt pretty good about that.
 

djg

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Very nice top! And I bet it's heavy.
NOT Criticism and not directed specifically to the OP, but shouldn't the board's end grain have been alternated? That's what I've always been told and have done on the few things I've made. Maybe since it's so thick, it doesn't matter.
 

trc65

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Some say yes, some say no, the ones I listen to say to acclimate your boards, choose the best face, properly joint and glue them and have a great looking top!
 

Maverick

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Some say yes, some say no, the ones I listen to say to acclimate your boards, choose the best face, properly joint and glue them and have a great looking top!
Thanks for the feedback on the opposing views Tim. I went with the best look as a couple of boards had some small knots on them that I didn't want on top view. And I did let them sit in my garage a couple of weeks before working them.
 
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