Spoiler alert! The following picture is the completed play train table sans finish:
I am still going to do a write-up of the build process but it will take a while to complete.
This table was built for a charity auction. I hope it has a long life full of entertained kids.
There is a point to this post beyond patting myself on the back. One of my "firsts" in this project was using biscuits. For years I have created panels by either rubbing glue soaked boards together or using a dowel jig and dowels.
One year ago a fortuitous series of events led to the acquisition of a biscuit jointer. Some credits and coupons combined with a holiday special from Porter Cable allowed me to buy a 690 router body with free biscuit jointer for about 100 bucks. It's almost as if they knocked on the door and put a gun to my head demanding I take the merchandise.
The biscuit jointer lay dormant until this project came along. I figured it was time to break it out of the box and read the directions.
This story is getting too long, so it is time to cut to the chase. Traditionally, using dowels, I never worried about placement in the joint and my eventual cuts. It did not occur to me that biscuits are a much bigger defect in the joint. I bisected one of the biscuits when I cut the large panel into the two smaller ones needed for this project. A small void was revealed in each panel.
The solution was to mix up some 'wood dough' with saw dust and glue. I packed the dough into the voids and smoothed the top just like drywall mud. There will have to be a second application as the sawdust settles a bit when it dries.