I use Z-clips (table floats) to fix my skirts to the tabletop to allow for wood movement. I have a spacer that I use with the plate joiner to make the slots. I centre one slot on each skirt, and two as close to the corner block as the tool will allow.
I use a clamp to bring the sides square to the ends, and a depth gauge to centre it on the table. When it's aligned I screw the ends down.
Then the z-clips are fastened down, keeping the skirt parallel to the rails.
A piece of poplar scrap is milled flat on one side to use as a guide for mounting the leaf skirts. I work one leaf at a time, being careful to maintain the grain across all three leaves. The poplar is clamped to the table skirts, and the leaf skirt is centred and screwed down. We're at the end of winter, the leaf will be expanding from here on. I can go almost all the way across the leaf with the skirt with no fear of it interfering with the table closing.
Keeping the grain continuous and the gaps tight gives the best appearance.
Next I make outriggers. These parts are the mount for the rails, serve as leaf storage, and make it possible for the table to be disassembled from the top.
The thickness of the extension rails and top, added to the height of the base, is 29". The outriggers need to be 1" thick to make my completed table 30" tall. I want to raise the middle 3/4", this leaves just enough room to slide my leaf between it and the bottom of the table. Raising this area as much as I can helps hide the leaf skirts when they are stored.
I start by milling 8/4 walnut to the 1 3/4" thickness and long enough to span the distance between the rails. I then mount my full dado stack in the tablesaw to create the step.
The blade is raised to 3/4". The fence is set so that from it to the left edge of the blade is 1/8" more than the rails are wide. I use the mitre gauge with a poplar backer board to eliminate blowout. I start with the very end of the stock, working my way inward. Clearing this out first means there is no material between the blade and the fence, eliminating kickback. I do this until my stock is 1/8" from the fence.
I climbcut the last 1/8". The stock is pushed tight against the fence and drawn, slowly and under control, backwards across the blade. Never climbcut more than 1/8", as it becomes difficult to control.
Both ends of both outriggers are cut like this.
The result of the climbcut is a razor sharp shoulder, free of blowout.
I mark and drill for the hanger bolts that fix the outriggers to the base. I mount them, and check how well the leaves fit while in storage.
They are a little tight, so I rip them down and champher the outside edges.
I then remount them to the base.
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