Table Top Flat While I Work on the Rest?

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Forum topic by Iffy posted 08-29-2008 05:33 AM 1146 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Iffy's profile


26 posts in 3894 days

08-29-2008 05:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table top

Hey all,

I’m working on a solid walnut dining table and had a question about my planned order. Basically, I’m doing the table top first so that I can construct the base to the correct size (in case anything doesn’t go as planned with the table top). The table top is 8 or 9 walnut boards edge glued together to form a 40” wide surface.

So my question is, is the table top going to stay flat during the 2-3 weeks that it takes me to finish the base? Based on some reading I’ve done, it seems that once it’s on the base, being secured to the base will keep it flat. But what about before its on the base?

Or should I get sorta close on the base before I finish the table top to reduce the length of time the top sits without being attached to the base?

Thanks for any advice!

5 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3681 days

#1 posted 08-29-2008 04:56 PM

the longer you leave the top off the table the better chance you have of it warping on you. i would get the base pretty close then work on the top.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

714 posts in 3586 days

#2 posted 08-29-2008 06:59 PM

You can clamp a couple of cauls to the ends of the tabletop and set it aside.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3705 days

#3 posted 08-29-2008 11:31 PM

Don’s suggestion is a good one. I would also recommend you stand the top in a vertical position. Wood is more stable when stored vertically.Make sure that the edges are touching a wall or support equally so as to keep proper pressures on the board. It might twist if only one edge is touching.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View AkumAnubis's profile


17 posts in 3782 days

#4 posted 08-29-2008 11:52 PM

You could also add bread-board ends to the top, which would add value and longevity to the final product as-well-as keep it flat while you make the base.

-- -...(insert inspiring phrase /quote)

View Iffy's profile


26 posts in 3894 days

#5 posted 08-30-2008 12:44 AM

Good tips. I really don’t like bread-board ends, so I’m going to pass on that. I think I’ll do a combination of the above suggestions. I’ll keep the table top disassembled until I finish the legs. Then once the legs are done I’ll do the table top and try the cauls method until I finish the aprons.

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