|Glued-up legs. Dry glue drips and smears can easily be seen.|
|The random-orbit sander makes quick work of this job!|
|A comparison of the same leg before and after a fairly quick sanding.|
As you can see, a fairly short sanding can lead to satisfactory results. I didn't bother with the ends, since I will just be cutting those off anyways.
|Cutting the legs down to size.|
Before cutting the legs to size, it was necessary to first square-up one end, since the boards aren't aligned very precisely. I do not own a chop-saw or mitre saw, so I will again be using a circular saw. To the left, I show the set-up I used to accomplish this. I clamped the four legs side-by-side and used my saw guide to first cut a small amount from one end. Since the depth of cut is larger than what my saw can handle, I needed to do this from both sides. Below you can see more clearly why this is necessary.
|Before and after cutting the legs.|
|Bench legs cut to their final size.|
Once this was done, I was able to measure how high I wanted the legs. Since I want my bench to be about 36" high, and I need to subtract 1-1/2" to account for the top, I should make the legs 34-1/2" long. After measuring and cutting using the same method, I end up with 4 equivalent legs, shown to the right. Because of the method I used, the ends of the legs are not exactly flat, but I think they are close enough for this project. I may need to doctor them up a bit though if I run into problems. In the future, I might try to find a better way to do this.
With the legs done, I moved on to the table top. Again, since it is very difficult to have two pieces aligned, it will always be necessary to trim the edges after a face-to-face glue-up like this, which is why it is a good idea to have your pieces oversized initially. Since I am not required to have an exact set of dimensions, it doesn't matter to me, I will simply trim the edges, and the result will be my final size. I used the same basic methods to accomplish this; some pictures are shown below.
|Cutting one edge of the bench top.|
|Bench top edge: before and after trimming.|
|What a mess! Good thing I have a shop vac to clean it up later.|