Hardwood table top

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Forum topic by aaj posted 01-12-2010 02:28 AM 2856 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3055 days

01-12-2010 02:28 AM

I am interested in building a dining table and the plans call for the use of Birch plywood, I am wondering and looking for information on how to use a hardwood like cherry or mahogany or other suitable wood. The question is there a procedure for this type of construction

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View CaptainSkully's profile


1597 posts in 3555 days

#1 posted 01-12-2010 02:37 AM

I’m currently building a craftsman dining table out of quartersawn white oak. Check out my blog here. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I’m certainly no expert, but the top turned out exactly like I wanted. Good luck!

They probably call for plywood to keep the wood from expanding across the grain. My old table swells 1/4” side to side during the year, hence the new breadboard end design. If you use hardwood, make sure you account for this in your design.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18268 posts in 3672 days

#2 posted 01-12-2010 05:11 AM

CaptainSkully, so what happens during swelling season? Does the hardwood stick out 1/8” on both sides of the bread board end? thx,

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View CaptainSkully's profile


1597 posts in 3555 days

#3 posted 01-12-2010 06:22 PM

Good question. The breadboard ends stick out 1/2” on either side, and the wood is moist from being out in the garage. The top can expand up to an inch before encroaching on the pyramid ends. I think there’s a percentage figure for that I saw somewhere. Also, I’m using quartersawn white oak, which is more stable.

I have a strong suspicion that the wood will shrink a bit once it’s encapsulated with finish and comes inside. Because it’s got leaves, the breadboard ends are completely independent from the top so both float and are just clamped side by side by the hardware.

My old riftsawn red oak dining table done years ago has attached breadboard ends and I naively cut it to length as the width of the top. For about three months every year in the Texas heat, the top stuck out on both sides. This was part of the inspiration to redeem myself with a new table. The leaves actually made designing the breadboard end attachment easier. I’ll still get to address that subject on my Aurora sofa table project, but the top will be considerably smaller, hence less movement.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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