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Coffee and End table question

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Forum topic by Scomel Basses posted 12-18-2012 02:13 AM 592 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scomel Basses

158 posts in 649 days


12-18-2012 02:13 AM

For years I’ve only built musical instruments. I am now interested in building furniture. The first thing I want to build is a coffee table and matching end tables. I will be using my own design and have a question about build materials. The idea is that I’m going to build a basic box and then frame it with various pieces creating a few slats and a couple doors and then will stain the whole thing an undetermined dark finish. My first inclination is to build the box out of birch ply and then use oak or some other wood for the frame. This seems cost effective and would make for a very ridgid box. However my other second inclination is to build the frame with hardwood and then use the same type of wood to make panels that go in between the slats. What do you experienced furniture makers say on my build method? If I had a scanner I’d upload my drawing plans and I’m sure it would make my question a lot easier to understand.


3 replies so far

View Wdwerker's profile

Wdwerker

332 posts in 885 days


#1 posted 12-18-2012 02:33 AM

Don’t mix birch ply with oak. All the same hardwood or a nice contrast, maple and walnut, cherry and walnut, something like that.
Solid birch frames with birch ply panels would work well, natural or stained , your choice.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

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Scomel Basses

158 posts in 649 days


#2 posted 12-18-2012 05:15 AM

Thanks for the reply, Wdwerker. Why you say not use the birch ply? what is the ply had oak veneer?

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1007 days


#3 posted 12-18-2012 09:10 AM

There are a couple of different ways to dry wood, and everyone will firmly tell you their way is the best.

However that being said alot of drying times and so on depend on the climate where you live, I have a cherry tree that I will resaw that I could have resawn 9 months ago because it seasoned in 3 months here, but I haven’t yet. It also depends on the kind of tree. The main thing is to check the moisture content and make sure it’s in a 12.5-15% range (also depending on what you are doing 15% is still really high for alot of applications) Just check and make sure it’s dry or not. If you kiln dry you do need to give the wood some time to acclimate after you pull it out of the kiln, but you don’t have to season it for an additional 3 years unless you leave in a monsoon zone… The acclimation is just so that it can pull whatever moisture it needs back into it if it’s below what it needs to be for your climate zone to be stable.
Rough your pieces after they have dried, but be aware they may still cup, bow and twist on you even after you mill, has something to do with the width of the piece. But if you are going for the natural edge thing then you can’t do some of the things they tell you to do to prevent cupping.
And in some areas, it’s good to go ahead and seel a large slab as soon as you can to prevent uneven moisture absorption. Just be aware of where you are going to put glue or not.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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