Pine Slab for Bartop???

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Forum topic by pete79 posted 02-28-2011 06:27 PM 4636 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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154 posts in 2560 days

02-28-2011 06:27 PM

Anyone know what the risk is of a 2.5” thick pine slab cupping/twisting in a finished basement bar? We’re trying to finish a bartop with a live edge slab that is about 8ft. long and about 25in. wide. I’m debating over whether to get a pine slab to match all the other rustic/knotty pine woodwork in the space, or if I really need to look at something else like maple/ash/cherry, etc? Any reason that pine would cup/twist more than anything else?

-- Life is a one lap race.

2 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 02-28-2011 06:41 PM

No. It should be at 7 percent moisture content or so. Then you can
plane it to flat and it will stay. Finish the underside too. You can always
screw or put sliding dovetail battens in the bottom of the slab to keep it

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2074 days

#2 posted 03-01-2011 03:45 AM

Different woods (and cuts of woods) will move a little differently. I would not glue a 12” wide piece of maple over a 12” wide piece of cherry with the grain running the same direction. Maple is much more dense and absorbs and releases moisture at a different rate then cherry. The cherry will loose the movement battle and split before the maple does.

A 25” top will expand and contract over a 1/4” over the course of a year. (about 1/8” per foot of width). Like Loren said, seal both the top and bottom with the same type and amount of finish. If you don’t, these two faces will absorb and release moisture at a different rate setting up for twisting, warping and cupping. I would cut slots in your mounting frames and use large #12 screws (or even lag screws) to secure the top. The slots in the frames will enable the top to move freely but keep it from cupping and warping. Also, make sure you don’t butt the slab up against any immovable objects. Something will have to give when the top moves. Keep at least a quarter inch between the slab and immovable objects.

Other then taking into account wood movement, there is no reason you can’t combine different woods to really add character and interest to a project. I do it all the time.

You can’t stop wood movement. You can only design and build to accommodate and account for it.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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