Short update today. Let’s talk about the table top! Before I knew any better, I bought some wood dowels to join the edges of the maple to form the top. Not having any experience or jig to align the holes, I fashioned one out of a piece of pine. The idea was sound but the jig was hard to keep on the edge and the drilled holes were inevitably out of alignment. After a lot of cursing and plenty of glue, the four pieces turned into two. All of this before I really learned anything about planers. What a shame… The thing about raw wood from a furniture maker is that they are only skip planed and are therefore not flat. My rush to join the top meant that the larger piece will no longer fit into the small planer in the shop. I almost cut it apart before finding the belt sander. With a lot of elbow grease, I eventually got the piece into an acceptable state of flatness. I could have also used a hand plane to straighten the piece, but the one I have was quite dull (so I will have to learn how to sharpen a blade later).
This was a tough lesson for me, so I immediately got the planer going for the rest of the build (the sides and ends of the table). Maple was very hard on the little planer and prone to getting friction burns that required even more sanding. Eventually, I did get better at the planing, but not before two days of hard work. Anyways, from building the base box, I also knew that I did not want to dowel everything – here is where the Kreg Jig comes in! It really was a snap to put everything together. Here you can see the row of slanted holes, ready to accept the fine-thread stainless screws (you can also see all the burn marks on the side that no one will see!).