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Building very thick table top

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Forum topic by WOODIE1 posted 06-30-2015 03:27 PM 1247 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WOODIE1

117 posts in 1747 days


06-30-2015 03:27 PM

Ok I was watching a TV show Million Dollar Contractor. I know it is a TV show but it is about renovating high end apartments in NYC and I find it interesting.

I saw they were building a round walnut table top. It was about 3-4” thick. How they made it was to join board for say a ordinary table top and then do another just like it. they then glued the together making a sandwich. The part that caught my attention was they glued the to tops perpendicular to each other so that the boards now run 90 degrees to each other. It looked amazing in the end as they used a cmc to then cut the circle and edge details.

My question is isn’t the expansion crossing each board like that going to separate the two halves?


15 replies so far

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 698 days


#1 posted 06-30-2015 03:36 PM

Think plywood. I wouldnt say so. Even though plywood is turned off a log it is the same principal with the grain running perpendicular to each other. You are about to make the thickest and heaviest piece of 3 ply plywood you ever saw.

EDIT: Hummm, how are you going to cut it round. Can you get a 4” router bit?

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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johnstoneb

2150 posts in 1640 days


#2 posted 06-30-2015 03:38 PM

It’s also going into a climate controlled facility.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

693 posts in 1266 days


#3 posted 07-01-2015 04:05 AM

You betcha it’s going to delaminate if the two sections were 90 to each other.Since you’re calling them boards they be way to thick,to be anything close to plywood. Those diy shows are full of misleading wood working ideas.

View Lumberpunk's profile

Lumberpunk

323 posts in 1805 days


#4 posted 07-01-2015 04:17 AM

I have seen similar things tried, they split, maybe in a climate controlled facility it would be ok.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

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emart

422 posts in 2096 days


#5 posted 07-01-2015 04:28 AM

Realistically the grain should run in the same direction when the wood is that thick maple is stable but it will still move slightly. As for the router bits you can get extra long bits from a CNC supplier.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

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crank49

3981 posts in 2439 days


#6 posted 07-01-2015 04:31 AM

Only way I would think it would have a chance is to glue it up with contact cement or possibily epoxy.
Got to have something with a little give.
But, really, it sounds like a bad idea bottom line.
Make it out of plywood or MDF wiith some good veneer on top.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View WOODIE1's profile

WOODIE1

117 posts in 1747 days


#7 posted 07-01-2015 04:37 AM

To be clear I am not building anything I saw them doing it and it just looked odd.

The boards appear to be at least 8/4. The finished top was easily 2 1/2” thick.

They routed splines to join the boards to each other and for ease of description made two tops the same away. They then glued the two tops together with what I saw as running perpendicular to each other.

It is actually a good show with hardly any drama and an insight into the world of multi million dollar renovations in NYC. I am a bit surprised when he mentions $100k worth of cabinets that are painted and use MDF. Then again I am sure there are huge operating costs.

Back to the table is there a way to create a thicker top from using thinner boards??

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

693 posts in 1266 days


#8 posted 07-01-2015 05:36 AM

You can glue as many thin boards together as you want just keep the grain running in the same direction.Its not as easy as you may think.All the pieces need to be milled flat,If you were gluing the faces tI each other.A flat assembly table good wide planer or sander.Even spreading the right amount of glue that can be squeezed out by clamps must be considered.
Or you could just screw and glue the boards together like a barn door and call it good.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#9 posted 07-01-2015 07:47 AM

That’s pretty much the woodworking I would expect from a typical contractor. Won’t matter anyway, the owner will be tossing it in 3-5 years for a new one.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2200 posts in 948 days


#10 posted 07-01-2015 10:03 AM

It doesn’t follow sound ww’ing theory but that doesn’t necessarily mean its gonna fall apart.
Like Rick said, things like that aren’t build with the idea of being around 100 years later.

As far as making a thicker top, sure, you can laminate thinner boards together to make a “beam” so to speak.
Same principle as when we glue up stock to make thick legs.
I would think for wider boards you want them a) dried to the same MC and b) jointed nice and flat.

Sir Irb – I think the thin layers might be the diff with plywood. That being said, I’ve seen a Charles Neil video on the pie cupboard where he made a set of shelf rests by laminating 3 layers of wood in alternating directions.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2281 days


#11 posted 07-01-2015 05:34 PM

Wood will move. There is no way around it. It doesn’t matter if you have climate control, wood will still expand and contract seasonally. When you try to stop wood from moving, that is when you get cracks and warped panels. When you account for the movement, that is when you succeed.

The only reason plywood works is because the layers are so thin.

Also, consider the width of a project. A 10-12” wide project may suffer no ill effects if you break all the rules. However a 36-60” tabletop will fail, it’s just a matter of time.

Thanks for posting, it’s good food for thought.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2096 days


#12 posted 07-03-2015 08:35 AM

Honestly i think the best way would be gluing planks onto layers of plywood and then using extra thick trim on the edge you can either steam bend the outer edge or make it in sections like how wagon wheels are made. this would be a lot more stable than what you saw on TV.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

View gthomson's profile

gthomson

15 posts in 595 days


#13 posted 07-03-2015 09:01 AM

This is coming from a bit of a different world, the solid surfacing world, but might trigger some thoughts also. With solid surfacing countertops (Corian, Avonite, etc…) they build up only the edges, and make it seem very thick, but it may only be thick for an inch or two in.

This is one example of how it’s done there -
http://solidsurface.com/countertop-fundamentals/edge-buildup-and-corner-treatment

In that way, maybe the grain could be done to match, and use a lot less material to do it?

Greg

-- Techie by trade, tinkerer at heart

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2096 days


#14 posted 07-03-2015 09:10 AM



This is coming from a bit of a different world, the solid surfacing world, but might trigger some thoughts also. With solid surfacing countertops (Corian, Avonite, etc…) they build up only the edges, and make it seem very thick, but it may only be thick for an inch or two in.

This is one example of how it s done there -
http://solidsurface.com/countertop-fundamentals/edge-buildup-and-corner-treatment

In that way, maybe the grain could be done to match, and use a lot less material to do it?

Greg

- gthomson


That is probably the best option since the table top will be lighter and more stable.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1777 days


#15 posted 07-03-2015 06:40 PM

Maybe something here to give you some ideas. This is a build of a 3’’ think table.

what ever you do keep in mind cross grain and wood movement. Don’t follow the rules and you lose.

http://www.thewoodgal.com/

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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