I had some comments about the laminated top and thought I’d post some more pics of the process. The strips started a little better than 1 1/4″ square; I laminated them up in smaller ‘batches’ ending up with four larger pieces between 6″ and 8″ wide. The process was pretty straight forward with lots of glue, lots of clamps and then lots of clean up. This is why working the strips into a few larger planks is much easier than gluing all 30 together at once and trying to flatten them all. The middle ones were cross cut and the walnut frame pieces were fitted. Blind dowels were added between sections and around the opening for some added strength. As mentioned, a laminated top like this took much longer than if I used the flat planks but it’s more stable and the figure in the maple is much more pronounced through the edge grain. I’ll build up a base of shellac and then decide on a top coat for durability. I’m thinking about a water based varnish on the surface for strength and longevity in the finish.
(some of these shots are pretty bad due to fluorescent lighting fixtures and dark dining rooms and weren’t intended to be used here- my apologies for the poor quality pics)