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Old Mill Coffee table

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Blog entry by SM posted 05-05-2008 07:48 PM 930 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Old Mill Coffee table
This oak board is 9 1/2” x 1” x 11 feet. As you can see, it is has some twist and cupping going on.

Never having worked with oak or a piece of wood this large and rough hewn I am unsure as to whether this is an appropriate choice for a coffee table.

1. If I rip it into three wide strips and rejoin it for the top, will it stay flat?

2. Is it a shame to cut up a board this wide into strips? It does have some figure.

The dimensions for the table needs to be roughly 53×21’ wide and 19’ high. I could make the strips 7,8,7 or six strips: 3-1/2, 4-1/4, etc., depending on what you think would be best for the wood. I realize I could also put a frame around the edges but if possible would like to avoid that. Here is another look at the board:

I am kind-of writing this to outer-space. If someone wants to contribute it is appreciated.

-- SM



12 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2743 days


#1 posted 05-05-2008 07:58 PM

It doesn’t look like any board I would use for a top.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SM's profile

SM

77 posts in 2450 days


#2 posted 05-05-2008 08:03 PM

Hm. That bad eh?
Ok, how could I salvage it? Could I join pieces together and use it for the skirt and legs? Or is she just too deformed to trust?

-- SM

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2499 days


#3 posted 05-05-2008 09:02 PM

You’re going to have to cut this up and work it over on the jointer. You may get some fairly thin pieces, but if you try to straighten it by forcing it back into shape it’s going to revert back to this shape.

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2452 days


#4 posted 05-05-2008 09:11 PM

I had boards of pine 26 inches wide and I cut them up into 3 1/2 in. wide and clued them back and my boards were pretty flat , so yours you will have to cut it for sure but you may end up to a 3/8 board but dont worry there is a trick to make it look the thickness you want

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2452 days


#5 posted 05-05-2008 09:23 PM

Another thing you can do is clamp it as flat as you can and steam it and keep tightning you clamps and once flat let it dry completely and remove your clamps only after the moisture is all gone

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2452 days


#6 posted 05-05-2008 11:25 PM

If it is the only board you have you dont have enough to build a table

View SM's profile

SM

77 posts in 2450 days


#7 posted 05-06-2008 01:30 AM

Thanks you for the advise. As you have said, it is doable, but at this point, I don’t want to spend time “making it work”. Sounds like THIS board was meant to make a couple medium size boxes and somewhere out there, is the wood for my table. Tomorrow I will go skulk around the local mills.

The day was not wasted though: I did just get eight 3”x3”x2-1/2” boxes cut and ready to glue up. . . .

-- SM

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2452 days


#8 posted 05-06-2008 04:05 AM

Myself I dont go for wide boards you always have to cut them down to 3 1/2 or 4 to glue them up I look for 8 foot by not more than 6 inches and straight ….good luck with you boxes

View davidtheboxmaker's profile

davidtheboxmaker

373 posts in 2560 days


#9 posted 05-06-2008 10:32 AM

Boxes sprang to mind when I saw the photo. To get a large flat top out of this board is perhaps possible, but very difficult.

View jjohn's profile

jjohn

390 posts in 2468 days


#10 posted 05-07-2008 03:47 AM

It looks like some of the board is somewhat flat. Would it be possible to cut the curved part and create splayed legs from the stock. Never tried anything like that before so I really don’t know myself.

-- JJohn

View SM's profile

SM

77 posts in 2450 days


#11 posted 05-07-2008 05:57 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. Your right; I can see a funky little table. I’ve wanted to make some bigger boxes, too. I’m glad I ask you all before I tried to make a table top. That board has been up in my lumber rack for a year but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now I still have to find wood for the table . . . .

I got the board at an old mill that one could almost considered abandoned. It is a sad little place with a strange hermit type that as far as I can see, only makes money when someone comes and buys the old wood that is piled and stacked in a multitude of dark rooms and corners. All the old equipment is there; blades my height, rusting away and huge machines I can’t identify. Outside there is a mill partially hidden by grass, weeds, and several logs as long and wide as a dump-truck. I’ll take some pictures next time I go.

Thanks
SM

-- SM

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2854 days


#12 posted 05-07-2008 06:00 AM

Yep, that’s a mess.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

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