This is going to be tl:dr for many, but Steve and I have delivered the first completed project from our Shelter Shop. By far the biggest woodworking project I have attempted, and both Steve and I are very proud of the results. Steve, Claire and I promised to build a dining room table and bench as a wedding present for Claire's sister and her new wife. Here are some pics during the process of building through yesterday's delivery.
I forgot to take pictures of the 8/4 (aka 2") cherry wood boards before we started milling them down, but the lumber was excellent. We only ended up with one board that was twisted a bit, and we were still able to use it. Here is a board after some planing for thickness, and you can see the planer snipe several inches from the end, which we cut off anyway. After planing and then jointing an edge, we chop sawed the boards to rough length and then cut them to width on the table saw. The top is four boards and the bench is two.
Next, we cut in mortises on the mating edges of the table and bench boards to receive floating tenons. I forgot to take pictures of that process using a Festool Domino machine, but you can see the mortises in the first picture below. That is the two halves of the table top being glued up before gluing them together later.
After everything was glued up and cured, we used a track saw to cut them to final length and width. All edges have a 15 degree angle, which turned out great.
Next up was sanding and finishing. We sanded from 80 or 120 through to 320 grit, and the cherry was smooth as a baby's butt. We then applied two coats of raw linseed oil followed by two coats of Tried and True original finish, which is linseed oil and beeswax. Ultimately, we also put on a coat of carnuba wax because Thos Moser does its oil finished furniture that way, which is good enough for me.
Here is a piece of raw cherry next to the bench top with some linseed oil applied.
This is the bench top after the first coat of Tried and True. This is great stuff that Doug introduced me to, and I love. You don't even need to wear gloves it is so natural and your hands feel better after applying some than before.
We bought metal legs for the table and bench from a seller on Etsy, and they turned out to be even better than expected. We decided to rout out the underside to accept the base plates, and we also used threaded metal inserts so we could use machine screws rather than wood screws. It is very sleek and worked beautifully.
We assembled everything at my house to make sure it was all good, then wrapped it up with moving blankets yesterday for delivery. We haven't been around my sisters in law for a couple of weeks so we took precautions and wore PPE. The table and bench look pretty stunning in place, and like I said, Steve and I are very pleased with the outcome.
The happy couple are even more thrilled with the finished product and have been obsessively looking for the perfect chairs to complete the set. The cherry will darken over time and will only become more beautiful. Another great thing about the Tried and True finish is that it can be maintained with an occasional waxing, or it can be freshened up or repaired if necessary without the need for stripping the original finish first.
From buying the lumber on March 20 to installation on April 5 is pretty quick work. Now, we have to finish another project already under way, and then move on to other projects. This Shelter Shop will stay busy for the duration, assuming we both stay healthy. Thanks for reading if you got this far. 😁