Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bistro Table, Part 5: Completion

To complete the undercarriage, I had to attach the central circle and the ring.
The central circle - at first I was going to screw this down, later realized it might
be nice to be able to remove the top, so this part is doweled to the frame without glue
Stained the ring (and the central circle)
Also had beveled the underside to make it less noticeable on the finished table
I attached the ring to the undercarriage with screws - forgot to get a picture.  The screws were driven up through the undercarriage and into the ring.  If I had driven the screws down through the ring into the undercarriage, I wouldn't be able to unscrew them for removal of the top after the top slats were glued in place.

I added feet to the bottom using threaded inserts and foot levelers.  To drill holes to the proper depth for the threaded inserts, I made a block that would expose about 9/16" of drill bit.  The block also helped me drill square to the foot.
The block, the insert and the leveler
Blurry pic of drilling into the bottom of a foot
Used a piece of threaded rod to install the threaded insert
It's easy to install them crooked - this helped keep it straight
Then I just needed to make and install the slats that would make up the top.  There are 32 of them, and this was a lot of work.  So I made a template that helped.
Template marking out a slat for the top
Marking out to get the most of the stock I had
A good start, but ...
... did I mention there are a lot of these things?
I used dividers to step off the spacing around the ring.
Finding the right spacing
I first glued in the four slats directly above the top supports,
then tested the spacing of the 7 slats between them
Turns out the width of an old plastic card plus the width of an old business
card gave the right spacing near the central circle
In turn, I replaced each slat with the template that had holes drilled in it at the locations where I would attach the slats to the top with dowels.
Slat replaced by template to mark holes
Originally I thought I would just glue the slats directly to the central circle and the ring.  But it became obvious that it would be far easier to finish the slats before assembly and then glue them down with dowels.  I finished all parts with three coats of BLO thinned with mineral spirits.

Gluing the slats to the top was interesting.  I'll let the pictures tell the story.
First four slats in clamps
Next 8 slats could use same method
Changed clamping approach for all but the last four slats
Last four slats being glued up.
You just gotta improvise when clamps won't reach the middle
And thar' she blows!  All finished, and in time for Christmas.
Glamour shot
The top, from above
It's a real feeling of satisfaction completing a project like this.  It had several challenges, but all were overcome.  Now let's hope the wife likes it.

And for anybody reading this, have a great Holiday!!  Next up for me is some family time and then some R&R.


  1. That is a very nice job, unique and creative. The result is beautiful.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Ralph. Now let's just see how much the wife likes it.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Derek. Nice to hear from you - hope all's well.

  4. This was quite a challenge; congratulations.

    1. Thank you Sylvain. I guess challenges are what keep us going.

  5. Awesome, and in time for Christmas..well done

    Bob, with Rudy wagging his tail in approbation

    1. Thanks Bob. Approbation - had to look that one up ...