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When our team moved to a new office, we wanted to build out a new co-working space with some nice furniture to encourage team cross-pollination. We searched for a large, inviting round table but couldn’t find anything we liked. Since I had some experience in woodworking and a membership to a local makerspace, I volunteered to make the tabletop at cost.

Rough 8/4 boards on the left, transitioning to milled butcher block stock on the right

The process started with rough sawn 8/4 oak boards which first had to be milled flat on the jointer, then the planer.Once the boards were flat, they were cut to desired thinkness on the table saw.

Final blocks cut on the table saw

Several long clamps were used to glue up the stock into 3 separate sections, which would be glued together in a subsequent glue-up following a few runs through the planar to achieve a flat surface.

Initial glue-up using every clamp I could find in the shop
3 sections after a few runs through the planar

After the 3 sections were glued together and flattened with a hand plane, it was time to take it to the CNC router to cut it into its final circular shape.

The edges were then rounded with a ¼ inch round-over bit and the surface was sanded with a palm sander using progressively finer grit sandpaper. Finally, the wood was conditioned, stained and a few coats of satin polyurethane were applied top and bottom with light sanding in between coats.

Satin polyurethane left to cure

Once the tabletop was completed, a frame was assembled using metal piping from the local hardware store for an industrial look. The result was a large, round oak standing table with a matte polyurethane finish.

The finished table in our new co-working space
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Eli Knebel

I'm a software engineer in the Pittsburgh area, hobbyist maker


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