Midnight Woodworking


12′ Cherry Conference room table – day 1

I started on my latest church project for St. Peter’s. A 12′ long conference table with a cherry trestle base.
Conference table plan.PDF
The majority of the base will be assembled with mortise and tenon joinery, but with a bit of a twist. I am starting with all 4/4 boards, but I want all the base components to finish at 1-1/2″ thick. I plan on planing the boards to 3/4″ thick and then cutting the mortises and tenons before glueing the pieces together into their final 1-1/2″ thick state. Since there is no room, in my shop, for a 12′ long table, I will be building it in pieces that will also aid in the transport and final installation in the basement of the church. Since wood movement for a solid wood top would be an issue, I decided to laminate a sheet of 3/4″ particle board to a sheet of 3/4″ birch plywood, then laminate a piece of Formica to the top. I would love to do a solid wood top, but this will be more stable and very durable.

New pile of cherry

New pile of cherry

I started with a pile of 1″x6″x8′ long cherry boards from Vintage Lumber. Alex had his guys plane both sides to 7/8″ thick and run a straight line cut down one side. This makes it easier for me to process the boards at home. With them planed most of the way down, I can easily identify defects in the wood, that I want to avoid. The straight line cut enables me to do most of my edge joinery right on the table saw.

Working up a cut list

Working up a cut list

I sat down and worked up a cut list, then marked each board with what I intended to cut from them.

Marking rough cut dimensions

Marking rough cut dimensions

I rough cut the lengths, leaving an extra couple of inches in case my planer sniped the ends.

Rough-cutting all the lengths

Rough-cutting all the lengths

Once the boards were shortened to manageable sizes, I ripped them to their proper widths.

Cutting all the boards to the correct widths

Cutting all the boards to the correct widths


Cut and ready for planing

Cut and ready for planing

I moved the pile over to the planer and planed the whole lot down to 3/4″ thick.

Planing everything to 3/4" thick

Planing everything to 3/4″ thick

It didn’t seem like a lot of planing, but I still managed to fill my dust collection bag.

That was a lot of planing...

That was a lot of planing…

After about 4-5 hours of sorting and milling, I have all the boards cut nearly to size. Most of these boards will have curved ends, so I am not worried about cutting them to the correct length just yet. I used every single board with only a few scraps left over. The pile looks a lot smaller somehow.

All the wood has been milled

All the wood has been milled


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This entry was posted on December 8, 2014 by in Church projects, furniture, plans and tagged , , , , .

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