table top idea

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by jaedwards575 posted 04-23-2011 08:07 AM 1204 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jaedwards575's profile


90 posts in 3084 days

04-23-2011 08:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question

I have 2 slabs of quarter sawn oak that is approx 26’’ wide that I would like to turn into a table top. They were sawn last fall so I have plenty of time to prep for this project. My question is, what is the best way to join these together? They are full center cut, and already have a large amount of checking/splitting down the middle in the pith of both. Would it be better to split the boards, and rejoin them together? If so, what type of joinery is best? Ideally, I would like to have to boards lay side by side for a 52’’ wide table. Any help would be appreciated.

-- Aaron Possom Town, TN

2 replies so far

View Crushgroovin's profile


234 posts in 2950 days

#1 posted 04-23-2011 08:41 AM

I would suggest that before you decide on a method of joining the boards you may want to look into what you like in a table. Browse the projects on this site or others and figure out what your taste is. There are some very distinct styles out there and they all use different types of joinery. The joinery is sometime a crucial part of the design which is why I suggest finding a style or design first.

Also be aware that the wood will move throughout the year based on humidity. The boards expand and contract as moisture moves in and out of them. Most major styles & designs take that into account. The last thing you want is that beautiful wood to end up all split & twisted. You may want to throw some Anchor Seal on it now to keep that from happening before you even get to use it!

As for myself I really like Craftsman/Greene & Greene which utilizes QWO and breadboard joints. I am trying to get my skills and workshop to the point where I can make several “Greene & Greene” style Sofa Tables. Darrell Peart has a page on this site, his work is what inspired me along this journey into woodworking.

I look forward to see what comes of that beautiful wood you have acquired.

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View pete79's profile


154 posts in 3167 days

#2 posted 04-23-2011 12:49 PM

As crushgroovin said, it depends on your personal preference in styles when you get into what joints to use. Nonetheless, here’s a couple ideas/thoughts:

- For the checking/splitting, you could consider filling those with epoxy and then planing them afterwards. I’ve seen this done before and the result is really pretty neat. I have no idea if this should be done before/after/during drying though.

- Assuming you just want to join two edges of the slabs together to get the width of the table, I have great luck with dowels. Not sure how stable this is at larger widths, but I’ve done well with up to 20” widths.

Also, as crushgroovin said, account for movement. You might consider some sort of rails on the under side connecting the two slabs with fasteners and no glue to allow for this, but again it depends on your preference in styles.

Hope that helps and isn’t stating what you already know.

-- Life is a one lap race.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics