Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thought I saw the finish line.....for a second

Today was supposed to be a big day. It started out that way, but the best laid plans.......well, you know how that goes.

Ran to the hardware store and picked up some timber fasteners. I've found these modified lag screws hold so well nothing really compares. All that was needed was four 6" screws drilled down into the pedestal top to hold the runners/supports for the tabletop. Man, are they tight!

Next step is to attach the pedestal to the underside of the tabletop. With Bobby's help, we got it set up and measured.

Once the measurements were accurate and equal on all sides, lines got traced as guides for the slots to come.

I hate using a plunge router! Probably because I haven't had call to use them enough in the past to familiarize myself with how they work. So, chicken that I am, I used the good old fashion drill with a spade bit to drill 4 pilot holes to accommodate the router bit once it was set to the proper depth.

Next step was to set up the guide for the router. Easy enough. Just measure the distance from the router bit to the first line (2 7/8"), set the guide bar, and screw it into the tabletop to hold it in place. No worries because this is the underside of the table. A little sanding along with a good coat of varnish should hide the holes pretty well.

One side done.

Using a 3/4" straight bit means two passes for each slot need to be made. Took awhile, but the results were really good.

The proof in the pudding....slots accommodate the runners/supports and the depth was perfect.

Next step is to secure the runners to the underside of the tabletop. Maybe it's just overkill, but the more screws the better in my experience. The tabletop is two inches thick. The screws used were 1 1/2" long. Just wanted to make sure when screwed down they didn't pop through the top.

Turning the table upright was a bit of a concern as we didn't know for sure the screws would hold what with weight of the pedestal maybe tearing them out. All went well. The overkill was worth it.

And this is where things kind of went south a little bit. The concern over balance was well founded.

Once Bobby and I set the table up the way it's supposed to be, I put some weight on the short ends - nice and solid! Now the long sides - it didn't take much to tip it forward. Damn! Was looking at the finish line and now I have to find a piece I can make into a base to stabilize the whole thing.

Not only that, but at least 1 1/2" to 2" had to be taken off the bottom of the pedestal in order for the finished product to maintain that all too important 29" to 30" height I'm seeking.

Set up the router planer, adjust the height, begin planing. This is going faster and better than I'd anticipated. Wait a minute....router really slowing down. Time to change the brushes. Really don't want to take the time to do this, but will ruin the router if I don't.

Ok, brushes changed. Turn on the router, goes ok for the first pass. Second pass it slows down even more. Can see some blue "flame" inside the router housing. Maybe it's just at the end of its rope. This thing has served me well and done some things it probably wasn't actually designed to do. I won't give it a burial just yet, but will have to switch to something else for sure.

Time to get out the big daddy plunge router from Harbor Freight. Get it all set up and go to town. This router is HEAVY! It actually bows the angle iron of the sled a little bit if any pressure at all is placed downward on it.

Well, the pedestal is now planed down to the right height. Next in line? Figuring out which piece will become the base. Dang, where the heck is it?