Wood movement

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Forum topic by RickM posted 03-01-2008 03:32 AM 1001 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 3737 days

03-01-2008 03:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question alder pine

I am building a new work bench and due to monetary constraints I am building the top from Premium grade pine 2X4’s jointed, planed and cut to 1 5/16×2” and I will be turning each one on it’s side (1 5/16th up), I would like to put an alder bread board edge and band it with alder. The top is 23 inches wide or so and I am planning on three tenons on each end a 2” then a 4” and then another 2” and they will all be 3/4” thick. Can I make a tight mortise and glue all the tenons or should I just glue the middle and float the other two, or cut the mortises at 2 1/4”, 4 1/4”, 2 1/4” and the glue it solid? I’ve never done this before so am worried that all the time to flatten and mill the lumber will come for naught as it warps and checks. Any help – thanks.

-- RickM

2 replies so far

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3781 days

#1 posted 03-01-2008 04:31 AM

Glue it in the middle and let the ends float. Make the end tenons narrower than thier mortices so they can move. I usually peg the outside tenons. Elongate the hole so the table top can expand and contract without causing problems.

-- Scott - Chico California

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4015 days

#2 posted 03-01-2008 04:41 AM

Something else to remember is that 2×4s on their edge will put the top in quarter-sawn configuration, so the movement will be much less.

Don’t apologize for a pine top. That is exactly what I am planning on using for my workbench, except I am going to cut up 2×12s so I get the benefit of the better lumber.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

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