Question about chevron pattern top.

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Forum topic by Chuck1685 posted 04-03-2017 01:50 PM 655 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 1235 days

04-03-2017 01:50 PM

Hello all. I have been commissioned to build a dining table for one of the local fire departments in my area. They came up with the design for the most part and I have discussed with them a lot of the potential issues that could come along with it. I will attach some photos of the sketchup design that I drew up base do on what they wanted. My biggest concern is the top obviously. First the perimeter board wrapping around the whole top will be an issue. They want this there because they want to inlay some diamond plate within the edge. This is indicated by the grey strip around the perimeter in the pictures. Next issue is the pattern itself. They want to use oak, because of its durability, due to the fact that multiple different people will be using and abusing the table for years to come. They want the top a minimum of 6/4 thick. So my original plan was to use 1” thick solid oak to make the design and attach the individual boards to some sort of substrate(maybe oak ply?). So the question with that is, should I edge glue the boards together to get the design down and then attach the whole structure to the substrate? If I do that then I was thinking I would edge glue the boards together using titebond and then glue the whole pattern to the substrate using silicone or some other type of flexible glue along with some screws underneath sitting in
slotted holes to allow for the solid oak to expand a bit across the ply. But then I started to think that maybe the pattern itself is going to be a problem do to all the different grain direction. At this point I am not sure what the best way to build the top is. Any ideas would be very helpful. Thank you to all in advance for sitting through my babbling and for any help.

4 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3006 days

#1 posted 04-03-2017 02:52 PM

You are setting yourself up for disaster…

1. The 1” thick oak boards will have a different rate of movement across the grain of the board than the plywood. As the boards dry during dryer weather they will shrink more than the plywood, causing cracks to occur and open. When the ambient moisture level increases, the boards will swell. The overall result will cause the table top to buckle and be a mess.

2. The edge banding will undergo similar problems due to differing wood movement across the end of table.

Perhaps using a thick veneer (1/8”) over a solid substrate (a couple of layers of MDF?) would be a better solution.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Chuck1685's profile


30 posts in 1235 days

#2 posted 04-03-2017 04:04 PM

Thanks Herb. So you think that if I resaw the oak boards to 1/8 thickness then I will have less movement? I have a solution for the edge board to allow it to move with the change season, but I am still concerned about the boards in the chevron pattern fighting eachother since the grain patterns are basically opposite from one side of the top to the other.

View sras's profile


4883 posts in 3276 days

#3 posted 04-03-2017 04:28 PM

If the top layer is thin enough, the substrate will keep everything stable. This is how veneered panels maintain stability. Personally, I would opt for thinner than 1/8” – maybe 0.060 to 0.080”. This is only because I have no experience with 1/8”.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Chuck1685's profile


30 posts in 1235 days

#4 posted 04-03-2017 04:35 PM

Thanks Steve. Do you think MDF will act as a good substrate then? If so will titebond supply a good bond between the oak veneer and the MDF? I have very limited experience when it comes to using a substrate and thin boards. I’m usually using 8/4 stock in a long grain to long grain glue up for my table tops. So this is a bit outside the comfort zone lol. Thanks again.

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