Set biscuit joiner depth to #20. Lay the four best planks out on a flat surface and arrange them in final position. With a pencil and working across two boards at a time, make a mark at every 8-inch point along the seam of two boards. After marks are made, use the joiner to cut the biscuit slots at each location. Align the reference mark on the tool (similar to circular saw) and hold the top plate firmly flat against the board. In one smooth motion, plunge the tool until it hits the stop. Note: Do not cut joints on outside edges of first and last board.
Slice, dice and serve in style on this easy, attractive board. We’ll show you a simple way to dry-fit the parts, scribe the arc and then glue the whole thing together. We used a 4-ft. steel ruler to scribe the arcs, but a yardstick or any thin board would also work. Find complete how-to instructions on this woodworking crafts project here. Also, be sure to use water-resistant wood glue and keep your board out of the dishwasher or it might fall apart. And one more thing: Keep the boards as even as possible during glue-up to minimize sanding later. For great tips on gluing wood, check out this collection.
Although it’s tempting to use a random orbit sander to smooth your table top at the final stages, I never do. Finish quality is the reason why. Random orbit sanders often leave behind swirl marks that don’t show up until finishing time. A better option is to complete the sanding process by hand, using 180-, then 220-grit paper only in the direction of wood grain. The finish of a tabletop is more closely examined than wood finishes anywhere else, so you need to eliminate all flaws.
A piece of 1/2” plywood offers the best approach for determining the optimal size and shape of your tabletop because it lets you test and tweak various options in 3D. Cut the plywood to the maximum size you might want, set it up on something in the place where the finished table will go, then live with it for a while. Should the top be narrower? Shorter? Now’s the time to find out. Saw some off your plywood mock-up if need be, then live with the new size until you’ve found the sweet spot.
Here’s another example of a stenciled tabletop. Remarkably, this table was destined for the dump when Pretty Handy Girl pulled it from a dumpster. With a stencil, primer and paint, some distressing, glazing and sealing, she gave this beauty a second life – one in which it looks like it came directly from old world Scandinavia. // Pretty Handy Girl
One of the best stud finders you’ll ever use is the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710. It’s unique in that there’s a whole bar of red lights that light up whenever it detects a stud. Unlike other sensors, which have a single light that stays on as it passes over the wood, the lights on the 710 tell you exactly where the wood stops and starts. No guesswork. Push a button, drag it over the wall and those hidden mysteries reveal themselves. You won’t even need to read the directions!