Staked Side Table-Part 3

This past week, once again, was lean on shop time.  Busy, busy at work and by the time I made it home, I was spent.  But that’s the way it goes sometimes.

When I made the staked stand and glued the multiple pieces together to create the top slab, it became apparent that anything larger would require a different approach.  There is quite a bit of slipping and sliding when that many pieces are slathered with glue and pressure is applied.  Now there are several options to deal with this issue.

One option would be to glue up the tops in stages.  Another option would be to add a groove to each piece and install a spline into the groove to index the pieces during glue up.  Yet another option to index the pieces is with the use of dowels.  Finally, a biscuit joiner and biscuits can be used to index the pieces to each other.  Believe it or not, this last option is the one that I chose to go with.  I have no doubt that there will be a good bit of these types of glue ups in my future and the biscuit joiner will be a handy addition to the shop.  First a table saw and now a biscuit joiner…I’ll bet the devil is starting to stock up on winter coats about now.

I’m still a cheap SOB, so I went with the least expensive biscuit joiner that I could find.  I really only had one criteria.  The fence must lock down solid.  I have no intention of using this thing for joinery, so I could care less about how many sizes it will cut or how many angle stops it had.  I need a rock solid 90° fence that will stay at the depth I set it too.  I used this contraption for the first slab glue up and it worked great.  My only complaint is that the chip/dust extraction is a bit of a joke, but it cuts a biscuit slot just fine.


Where I ran into trouble with the first slab was the application of glue.  Trying to get full coverage on twelve pieces and then get them into the clamps in a reasonable time frame was a bit of hassle.  I ended up applying waaay too much glue.  Almost an entire bottle in fact.  I made a hell of a mess!  On the bright side, the biscuits worked great at aligning all of the pieces and the slab came out just fine.  Hmmmm.

So this morning I headed over to Woodcraft and picked up more glue and one of those roller applicator thing-a-ma-jigs.  On to slab #2.


The roller applicator is the way to go.  Perfect coverage, quick and I used a fraction of the glue.  Win, win.

With slab #2 in the clamps, I went back to working on slab #1.  Once I had the slab surfaced, thicknessed and cut to final size I began laying out the locations for the legs.

Top surface of slab #1.


Here is the bottom.  See, the knots are still there but hidden away out of sight.  I also laid out the sight lines for the legs as well as the actual location for the legs.


The drawer location is now penciled in.


I’ve broken my cardinal rule of always creating a full-scale drawing with this project.  I did so as an experiment though.  To my mind, there is actually very little information to be gained by creating a full-scale drawing for this type of project.  The length and width of the top can be stepped off with dividers and then the top slab literally becomes the drawing board for everything else. Save for the height of the drawer.  So far, so good.

Tomorrow I hope to make a start on the drawers.

Part 2 Greg Merritt Part 4

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22 Responses to Staked Side Table-Part 3

  1. Matt McGrane says:

    I like the way the top of the top came out looking. The hard and soft growth lines flow pretty well. I’ll bet the glue roller will pay for itself quickly in saved glue cost!

    • Greg Merritt says:

      Thanks Matt. Although I’m sure it is not for everybody, I like the look. One of the odd things about SYP is that the pieces generally blend well with each other. This is a hefty slab of wood. Almost like building a mini workbench.
      The glue roller is $10 well spent for sure.

  2. Once I had a Ryobi cheap version as all Ryobi’s are and the fence wasn’t square and neither did it lock down tight. I couldn’t work with it at all it was just plain and simple crap so I digged into my pockets and spent a fair amount on a good quality Makita one don’t ask me what type as I can’t remember even though I still have it I used it once and haven’t touched it since. For gluing up panels they work quite nice and nothing wrong in using it but since I started working with Hide glue I do a simple rub joint and have no slippage issues anymore. For panels your working on you don’t even need clamps if your using hide glue.

    Good to hear your busy at work.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      This one is doing fine. I was able to put a square to the demo model and moved the fence several times, locked it down and checked it again. It performed well enough for my purposes.
      If I’m just glueing up two or three boards, liquid hide glue is my choice. For this type of glue up I prefer PVA. Either is far stronger than the wood. I just feel better using PVA for these multi-board glue ups.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      I should add that there is a cost factor. A 5oz bottle of OBG costs as much as a 16oz bottle of Titbond II. I tend to treat hide glue as a precious commodity. It’s a little silly, but plays a factor in my decision process.

      • That’s very true Greg I spent yesterday when ordering a new bottle of 20oz with shipping $55. They were pretty much embarrassed but they said the shipping is through the roof for them. I went over to Patrick’s website and the same bottle with shipping would of cost $80 because the shipping fee was so high and that isn’t the case when shipping within the US. Australia is on the a hole’s end of the earth but never did shipping cost so much in the past. It’s like no one wants to trade with us. Australia sucks up to the US but the US don’t give a rats about Australia. Rather than my country taking charge and being leaders they would rather be submissive and bend over for the world whilst big noting themselves to helpless countries like Fiji. Anyway enough of politics. I want you to feel completely at ease using power tools, you don’t need to justify to us and you are not judged either. Whatever makes your woodworking experience a joyful one do that.

        • Greg Merritt says:

          Wow…that is crazy high for glue.
          LOL…I feel neither shame nor guilt for employing a power tool when it makes sense. Especially for the grunt work. My 20yr old portable table saw works well for breaking down stock and now the biscuit joiner will help me to put those pieces back together when I need to. A one-man shop has to pick its battles.

  3. Coisas EM'adeira says:

    What’s happening to you Greg….
    Some time soon I’ll read that you got a CNC machine :O
    Please…. please…. Take your pills before its to late!!! :O
    Seriously… I just stop using the jigsaw because I started to notice I could not do a plumb cut even with good blades, and only after I experience with ‘pegas’ saw blades for the copying saw. So we need to work with what really works for us… right?
    In some occasions for panelling I bought boards that already came with tong and groove, its a common thing around here. Just out of curiosity do you have it available from that side of the pond?
    By the way I paused “our racing” … Have a new dog fence coming up and some new clamp attempts

    • Greg Merritt says:

      LOL…I’m as surprised as you are. I try to use the most efficient tool for the job. For me this typically means hand tools. But for these types of grunt/donkey work, power tools are far more efficient.
      Yep, I can get tongue and groove paneling over here. It is almost always 6mm thick knotty pine.
      Good luck with your new projects. Hope to read about them on your blog.

  4. Brian Eve says:

    I like the idea of the biscuit joiner for this application. Laminating a top like this is a royal pain. I usually try to find lumber wide enough to minimize number of laminations, but in your case the perfect tool is the biscuit joiner.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      If this was the only project that I thought I would be doing this type of multi-board lamination on, then I would have went with a different option. Since I know there wil be many more of these laminations in my future, the biscuit joiner made the most sense.

  5. orepass says:

    Greg… I rarely draw full scale anymore with the exception of the occasional joint. I find that it’s essential with angled joints.

    • Greg Merritt says:

      I’m still a proponent for the full-scale drawing. At least a section that shows the pertinent joinery locations. Like I said above, there really is nothing to gain from the full-scale drawing with this particular design. The only reason would be if I was unsure of the scale. Sometimes a full-scale drawing can reveal proportional issues that may have been overlooked.

  6. Deniseg says:

    I’m sending the Red One a parka………. Another cup of coffee should set me right.

  7. Kinderhook88 says:

    In my opinion, this is the only purpose for biscuits. I don’t like them for joinery, only for alignment in panels like this.

  8. Pingback: Staked Side Table-Part 2 | HILLBILLY DAIKU

  9. Pingback: Staked Side Table-Part 4 | HILLBILLY DAIKU

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