The skirts on this table will help keep the top flat, but to help out I'm going to make and install three strongbacks.
I start by milling up 6/4 walnut about an inch wide and a couple of inches shorter than the space between the skirts. The strongback is screwed to the underside of the table, the holes for the screws are slotted to allow for expansion of the top. I use a spiral bit mounted in the shaper to cut the counterbore slots. The fence is positioned so the bit is centred in the stock. A mark is placed on the fence indicating the bit position. The stock is placed so that a layout mark on the bottom is lined up to the one on the fence, the machine is switched on, and the bit is raised. I count the number of revolutions I crank the handle so that I can repeat the depth on the next hole. The stock is advanced until it contacts the stop block, and the bit is lowered below the tabletop again. A featherboard keeps the stock secure.
A clearance slot is made with a handheld router.
Next I layout a radius on the ends, bandsaw the curve, and use the edge sander to clean up the saw marks.
From there they get cleaned up with a handplane.
The edges are broken with the block plane.
I use a screw with a washer head, but another option is Chris Becksvroots slotted Expansion Washers.
The strongbacks are mounted, the centre is tightly fastened, the slots allow expansion from the middle, yet help keep the top flat.
Ready for finish.
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