By Dylan EastmanMore in Blog Cabin
Clean wooden gutters of any loose debris and cut to a manageable length. Miter down to form an approximately 40" x 94" rectangle. Coat the corners with wood glue and fasten together with 15-gauge finish nails. If miters are tight 45-degree cuts, box should be square. Double check diagonal measurements before fastening completely. The two diagonal measurements should be as close to equal as possible.
When complete, set the box on a clean, flat surface. To form legs, cut the antique column in half at the center line of the profile and then trim them to a length of 34 inches. To cap the top of each leg, cut walnut flooring scraps to size and attach pieces to the tops of legs with wood glue and 18-gauge finish nails. Measure thickness of the top.
Set biscuit joiner depth to #20. Lay the four best planks out on a flat surface and arrange them in final position. With a pencil and working across two boards at a time, make a mark at every 8-inch point along the seam of two boards. After marks are made, use the joiner to cut the biscuit slots at each location. Align the reference mark on the tool (similar to circular saw) and hold the top plate firmly flat against the board. In one smooth motion, plunge the tool until it hits the stop. Note: Do not cut joints on outside edges of first and last board.
After all slots are cut, stand each board on end and coat the edge of jointed side with wood glue. Next coat the biscuits with glue. Insert biscuits in one side only of each board, then insert glued biscuits in the empty joint of the next board. Assemble planks in order until the top is complete. Don't worry about small gaps. Next, carefully lay the top down and attach pipe clamps at roughly 1' intervals. Slowly tighten each pipe clamp in a consistent fashion until the gaps disappear*. Small amounts of glue can be removed when dry; scrape up any puddled glue with a plastic putty knife. To minimize sanding later, avoid working glue into the top of the wood. Let the top set overnight.
*DIY Tip: Do not over-tighten the pipe clamps as the top will eventually bow. Clamp a cross piece of 2x4 (perpendicular to the planks) before fully tightening the clamps to keep planks flat during the drying process.
Once the top is dry, remove the clamps from the top and check for relative flatness to the assembly. Use a small hand-held planer or razor to remove any dried glue. Mark each end 1/2" in from the shortest board and make a clean perpendicular cross cut.