The top was going to be fairly large, so I figured that it might be a good idea to use the frame as a base for the glue up.
I planed the individual boards to the same thickness and laid them out so that I could mark them according to one another and keep that reference as to when I was going to glue them together.
Last time I made a similar sized tabletop I had the idea that it was going to be easier/better to glue up all of it at the same time. It might have been a bit faster, but the results were far from what I had envisioned when I started doing it. So this time I decided to glue it up piece by piece instead.
The results was better this time, and the glue up was a lot less stressful. But it did take a bit longer time. I told myself to wait minimum one hour before removing the clamps and adding the next board. It worked brilliantly.
To avoid getting glue on the cross stretchers, I had placed some plastic garbage bags over them to so that any glue on the underside of the tabletop would be prevented from reaching the completed frame.
I had toyed with the idea of using loose splines between the individual boards, but I decided not to do it since the one board at the time approach would allow me to get a pretty flat surface from the start anyway.
When the top was glued up I sawed it to the correct width using a hand held circular saw.
I crosscut the ends taking into account how much the breadboard ends would add to the length once mounted.
I laid out the location of the mortises on the breadboard ends and made them using the chain mortiser. I then cleaned up the bottom of each mortise with a chisel. The groove for the stub tenon was made on the table saw. I made sure to allow ample of room for wood movement on the outer mortises, and less for the mortises nearer the center of the breadboard end. The center mortise was made to the "correct" size.
On the table top itself I used a router to remove all the required wood so I ended up with two giant full width tenons - one on each end.
I then marked up from the breadboard end where each of the 7 tenons should be.
The waste between the tenons was removed using a coping saw, and I used a shoulder plane and a jack plane to adjust the final thickness so that I had an appropriate fit.
Holes for the pegs were drilled in the breadboard ends, they were then dry mounted, and the location of holes transferred to the tenons.
Offset holes were drilled, and I made sure to make elongated holes for the outer tenons, so that they would be able to move when the table dries up. The single benefit of working with wood that is usually wetter than a house is that wood movement is always going to be in form of shrinking, so I normally only have one direction of wood movement to worry about.
The center tenon got a bit of glue, and the breadboard ends were attached using some pegs made out of elm.
The top of the peg also received a bit of glue, but only the part that would end up in the breadboard end. Just to make sure that it would't pop out (I don't know how it should do that anyway though..)
Gluing on he final board. I have only two clamps that will span 48"
Routing out for the giant tenon (testing router methods)
Trimming the fit.
Breadboard end in place.