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Building a Table Top

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  • Building a Table Top

    I would like to build a table top that looks like this:

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    Laminated boards with the ends of the outside pieces mitered at 45* to quassi-breadboard ends.

    How can I achieve this effect with tight joints and still account for seasonal movement?

    [ 01-27-2005, 01:16 PM: Message edited by: pconrey ]

  • #2
    I really don't think you can using solid wood. and not have possible problems.

    but I do think there is a way of doing it, and that would be to use a plywood 3/4", preferably with water resistance glue, (personally I think all ply would should be with water resistance or water proof glues),

    and glue to the plywood the wood top strips preferably thin strips (1/4" to 3/8") on the top (much like putting down flooring) and then do the edges with your thicker mitered pieces, and then put stiffener strips 90 degrees to the top strips, this could be Incorporated in to the leg system.

    If need to be depending on the humidity of the shop one may want to leave micro gaps between the wood strips, like the thickness of a thin card. that will give a little to the possible expansion of the top wood with out bowing the plywood,

    Also finish the both the top and bottom of the table with a good finish.

    Polyurethane is a good tough finish, for a table, very moisture resistance.

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    If you do use solid wood to make the top out of, make it out of wood that has been in the area (shop) for (in my opinion) at least one year. (well stacked and sticker-ed)

    even if it is kiln dried, and fresh does not necessarily mean it is dry clear through to the center, and if it is to warp, it will warp setting and not in the table top 3 or 6 months later, you will see and can deal with it.

    also seal the wood table top up good with a good finish both top and bottom, keep moisture/humidity from getting to the wood,
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    • #3
      I made a table top exactly as you describe, I called it a picture frame though.

      I used soft maple, biscuit joints and glue all around. It ended up being 36" square. I then coated it with the 2-part epoxy stuff used for table tops and bar tops in restaurants. The person that I made the table for has not informed me of any problems and it has been 2 years, approx.

      I was worried about the same thing that you are and thought that acclimated wood and a good finish would be helpful. I wonder if anyone else has done this kind of framed table and if they have had problems. It's a really nice way to avoind having end grain show.

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