Is this table top possible?

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Forum topic by fiddlebanshee posted 05-20-2010 03:31 AM 2202 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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234 posts in 3121 days

05-20-2010 03:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have another question if you all aren’t tired of me yet. I want to make a kitchen table and have come up with this design for the top. Question: would the movement of the wood ruin this in the long term? Or does the wood have enough room to move around if you just glue the boards together. I’m concerned about the different grain directions. Would some kinds of hardwood be worse than others?


-- As if I needed another hobby!

17 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3753 days

#1 posted 05-20-2010 03:36 AM

You might have a chance if you use 1/4 sawn wood and sliding dovetails

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 3166 days

#2 posted 05-20-2010 03:40 AM

you can make it real quick and easy with engineered wood. find one with a thick laminate or laminate it yourself.

you could actually make it from flooring on ply. (prolly not lumberjock pure options there.)

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3250 days

#3 posted 05-20-2010 05:20 AM

I’ll be blunt. I would not try this without using some kind of engineered wood and a laminate or veneer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10782 posts in 3208 days

#4 posted 05-20-2010 09:23 AM

This is Easy!!

I made one quite similar over a year ago. Hexagon, 3-6”’ Tip To Tip. From REAL wood. 1”x6” Solid Notty Pine Top, which is not the most stable wood in the world.

Used Biscuits Joiners & Edge Glue, wherever possibble. 1/2” G1S Fir Ply Under it (Bottom) same Outside Pattern naturally. Glued Top & Bottom together with Titebond lll. Then right away, about a 4” spacing pattern all around of 1” Drwall screws from Underside & Up into Top.

Played around with 3 Different Patterns of Pine Crown Mold until I had one that would look nice as an Edging. Cut, Fit, Glue and Small Brads to hold the Edge in place. Sanded. DONE! (Except Stain & Poly)

Had an Old, 3 Legged Pine Base, that was stripped to bare wood, that it was attached to. Then all was Stained , and Finished with 3 coats of Wipe On Poly.

Pine Top, after a Year has NOT moved at all.

-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK! (Ontario, CANADA)

View UncleFester's profile


33 posts in 4362 days

#5 posted 05-20-2010 11:12 AM

I wouldn’t try it. Any time you glue end grain to side grain on a surface that big, you’re asking for trouble.

-- Uncle Fester

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


408 posts in 3197 days

#6 posted 05-20-2010 11:39 AM

Personally, I would only try to get that look through veneering.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3493 days

#7 posted 05-20-2010 05:39 PM

Maybe you could use the “breadboard” technique to join the end grain sections to the long grain and allow for expansion/contraction?


View Radu's profile


330 posts in 3219 days

#8 posted 05-20-2010 06:13 PM

Here is my version. Edge glued, glued and screwed immediately on 3/4 plywood base. The outside boards are also fastened with pocket screws. It hasn’t moved a bit. I chamfered all edges to 45. I just posted in my projects. Have a look if you want.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3134 days

#9 posted 05-20-2010 06:32 PM

Wonderful design. I would think it possible to do, but the long-to-end grain connection is troublesome. I would recommend making the 4 quarter panels as solid pieces, with an elongated tenon and mortise along the long-to-end grain connection; then attaching them to each other with inset “figure 8” connectors to allow for the movement.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 3131 days

#10 posted 05-20-2010 07:13 PM

veneering is the only way to do it. other techniques will eventually fail due to wood movement.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4050 days

#11 posted 05-20-2010 08:57 PM

Just give it room to move and joinery that will allow it to move too (like screws through elongated slots, etc.)

Anything is possible. It just needs a little engineering.

-- Happy woodworking!

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3374 days

#12 posted 05-20-2010 09:25 PM

A related question. I wonder if there is a commercially available solution/system to accommodate movement that would allow the boards to be screwed to an MDF base (fixed along one side/length only and slotted the other to leave scope for movement) with an appropriate expansion gap between them?

T&G planking enables the same function, but you really wouldn’t want grooves in the table top. You could fill the gaps with silicone, but my experience from flooring is that the exposed surface doesn’t wear that well. The other issue is that as the joint closes it will tend to bulge upwards unless you design it so that there is a space within the joint to accommodate the volume reduction.

Cork strip is the tsock solution for flooring around here, but it doesn’t accommodate much movement and anyway would not deliver much by way of a working surface.

Something like a urethane tube or extruded hollow section urethane strip let into semi circular or other channels in the edges of the board might have some potential too.

Something wooden would be nicest of all…


-- Late awakener....

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4490 days

#13 posted 05-20-2010 09:51 PM

Gluing 4/4 wood to mdf or plywood will not keep it from expanding. It might last a year or two but you will never be able to move it to a different climate.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3944 days

#14 posted 05-20-2010 11:20 PM

veneer is really the best option. other than that it just seems like alot of work to make it so that it is stable in solid wood. And you would still have problems with is cupping and joint strength and the like.

View fiddlebanshee's profile


234 posts in 3121 days

#15 posted 05-21-2010 01:21 AM

Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge and experiences. I am not going to make this anytime soon, I was just playing around on sketchup, although it is certainly a project that I will attempt in the future, maybe in a year when I have a bit more experience. It’s good that I asked and drew in Sketchup first before actually getting the wood and cutting it all.

What I eventually want to make is an expandable octagonal table with one or two leaves. The diameter of the small octagonal would be 36”, which would expand to 60” with a 24” leaf. I may try 42” but I need to measure the kitchen first when all appliances, countertops and cabinets are installed.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

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