I made these two tables from oak, ipe and poplar wood. The smaller poplar table has ipe and oak inlets to match the bigger oak table.
This seemingly simple set of tables has been my most ambitious project yet. It involved some processes that were completely new to me, like lumber milling, board glue-ups, and working with epoxy. This project took about 2 months to complete, and I was super happy with the results.
The first step was to run the boards through the jointer/thicknesser, which I use for planing as well. I use a flat birch plywood sheet as a sled, and place shims between that and the board so that it doesn't move when running it through. This creates a flat top surface. Then I flip the board and run it until I get the desired thickness, and that gives me 2 parallel surfaces (and LOTS of wood dust).
Before I milled the boards, I had to cut them to length on the table saw. Now that I have 2 parallel surfaces, I can run the boards on the table saw and cut the sides to get 4 square surfaces. Then I use my dowel jig to cut alignment holes for the glue-up.
I filled the cracks in the boards with epoxy, mixed with dark brown powder. I was aiming for the a natural look.
Gluing the boards together was simple enough, and the pipe clamps provided plenty of pressure. However, the 90 degree joint was a real challenge. I think I made too many alignment holes, and I didn't have enough pressure from the clamps to push it all the way. It came out alright, but there was a tiny gap left in some parts.
I used 40 to 320 grain sand paper, and then painted it with my lovely assistants using clear lacquer. I applied the first coat, then lightly sanded it with a 320 grit paper, then applied the second coat.