28 December 2015
Our one hundred year old octagonal dining room table is on its last legs. The joints are separating, the wood is splintering, it has lost all stability. I've attempted to restore it several times, but it is too old to be in daily use. We need a new table.
Quynh and I designed a hexagonal table that could be expanded to seat eight. Two end pieces, with a removable center section.
WeirdStuff sells surplus heavy-duty rails designed to hold rack-mounted servers for just $10 each. They are two-stage, allowing for the length to be nearly doubled.
Over 80 wooden pegs were used while fastening the the parts together. I made a steel pin that can be placed in a hole to transfer the exact location to the opposite piece of wood, so that the matching hole may be drilled.
The table edges and beam edges were all planed and rounded off with a router. There was one defect where the guide wheel fell into a perfectly positioned knot in the fourth layer of plywood. This caused an ugly indent. But a little wood filler fixed this glitch. Something to watch out for next time.
I needed all of Google's woodworking clamps to hold the geometry together during gluing. This table should be much more stable than our old one.
My tiny lathe is only 60cm between centers, so I opted to just purchase table legs online. A special jig held the legs while the square ends were cut to fit the hexagon's 60° interior angles.
I'd originally intended that the legs be removable for transport, but in the interests of rigidity that plan was abandoned and the legs were permanently glued and braced.
Finally the table was prepared for painting. A pre-treatment, two coats of stain, and varnish. Ready for dinner.