Need advice to prevent bow

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Forum topic by becikeja posted 08-27-2016 11:53 AM 568 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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925 posts in 2959 days

08-27-2016 11:53 AM

I have been asked by a friend to build a coffee table. Not just any table but a sons of anarchy table. I was not familiar with the show so I had to google it. Once I saw it I had to accept the challenge.

I did a rather large relief carving several years ago that was about an inch and a half deep. I plan to use the same techniques on this one. The carving was in 2 inch deep oak, and after a couple of years it began to develop a slight bow caving in on the carving. I am guessing it’s due to all the missing wood that is no longer there.

I had an idea for this piece but not sure if it will work and need your advice.
I’m thinking of layering 4/4 mahogany boards. Completely glue overlapping boards to create a table that is 24” wide by 42” long and 2” deep. My thought is the bottom layer would hold the boards stiff and keep the top carved layer from warping.

Do you think this will work? Is there a more practical way to do it? Would I be better off just finding some 8/4 mahogany?

Your advice is most appreciated.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

5 replies so far

View kohalabeeman's profile


24 posts in 1662 days

#1 posted 08-27-2016 12:37 PM

Lay up your pieces for glueing so that the exspantion and contraction of the wood is minnemized .

View bondogaposis's profile


4993 posts in 2498 days

#2 posted 08-27-2016 01:20 PM

Depends on the construction of the base. A standard table base with aprons should prevent cupping.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View kohalabeeman's profile


24 posts in 1662 days

#3 posted 08-27-2016 04:57 PM

Watch how the wood is laid-up , not plain sawn or rift-sawn but quarter-sawn will yield a stable slab to stay flat with the seasonal changes due to moisture’s vaibles in your work peice .

View becikeja's profile


925 posts in 2959 days

#4 posted 08-30-2016 10:32 AM

If my interpretation of your comments is correct, you would suggest buying 8/4 lumber and not building it up from 4/4 lumber. Is that correct?

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2640 days

#5 posted 08-30-2016 01:52 PM

I agree the table aprons should keep it flat, it’s also true the qtr sawn is less likely to warp, but may be very hard to find. As for the 4/4 versus 8/3, I suspect that if the wood is flat sawn, you could glue 4/4 together in such a way as to minimize warping….but it would be guess work and you may have a seam showing in the carving. I think I would try to find 8/4, if unavailable, that would dictate gluing 5/5 together. I’d love to see the piece once done, sounds like fun.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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