Designing free-floating pine slabs for minimal warpage

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Forum topic by Paullcc posted 10-06-2015 03:34 PM 525 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1257 days

10-06-2015 03:34 PM

I’m working on a project where I will be building an 8’x5’ stage with a floor made from two sections of 8’x2.5’ heartpine which can be removed from the stage and flipped over to use as tabletops. The table side will be planed and finished, the stage side will be rough-sanded and given the same finish. Due to both sides being used I would like if at all possible to avoid battens etc and to have the slabs more or less free-floating. My question is how to build them so as to minimize warpage. The 8×2.5 sections will be glued up from probably 4×6-in” wide boards and I think that I will give them breadboard ends for stability. I’m hoping that I can get away with 1.25” finished thickness on these sections to keep the weight reasonable as they will be a bit awkward to handle. I know this sounds a little crazy and i expect some of ya’ll are going to tell me that there’s no way they will be stable but the thing that gives me hope is the wood I’m using. This is true heartpine, old-growth framing lumber that was milled 150-200 years ago and has had a great deal of time to acclimate to the humid New Orleans climate. I have seen 10’ long true dimensional 2”x4”s and 2×6’s of this stuff sit outside uncovered for months without significant warping! If need be I may be able to select only quartersawn boards.

2 replies so far

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1050 posts in 1089 days

#1 posted 10-06-2015 06:11 PM

There are quite a few factors to consider,, will the stage be inside or out ? What are you going to crib up or support them with ? Can you compress them together using the cribbing ? You will need to use some windsge sticks to keep them in plane. You could use temporary end caps to keep them in line and compress them both ways. How many Square Dancers will be dancing and what size girls are they ?

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View Aj2's profile


1423 posts in 1821 days

#2 posted 10-06-2015 06:29 PM

I don’t see why it wont work.Quarter sawn would be better but since they are well seasoned it may not matter.Since they are going to be loose sure need to have support out one the ends and corners.
If someone spilled a bucket of water that may affect the wood but no ones really gonna know till it happens.
Wood is both mysterious and Amazing! I love them old timbers.

-- Aj

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