Minimum Thickness for Book Matching a Slab?

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Forum topic by richardwootton posted 02-05-2013 09:29 PM 3172 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1699 posts in 1953 days

02-05-2013 09:29 PM

I picked up some Black Walnut yesterday and one of the pieces would be perfect for a book matched slab table top, the only problem is I doubt it will be thick enough to book match it. If I remember right it is 8/4 but it might be 7/4.

Here’s a picture.

Thanks for the input,


-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

6 replies so far

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10387 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 02-05-2013 10:07 PM

Well, you’re going to have to resaw it in half and you’ll lose
a bit in the kerf, but more importantly the two halves
are going to move and then you’ll have to flatten
both halves. You may be unable to make a long
slab table top, but it’s possible the boards will turn
out flat enough to do so.

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1676 posts in 2622 days

#2 posted 02-05-2013 10:45 PM

OR slice the entire thing into veneer and glue it onto a substrate.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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8535 posts in 3646 days

#3 posted 02-05-2013 10:47 PM

I am guessing there is a good change after resawing this that the 2 halves would want to move some and twist. I would resaw this to a thick veneer and install on MDF substrate if you want to capture the book matched grain across the entire length

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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1699 posts in 1953 days

#4 posted 02-05-2013 10:48 PM


The table top would be about six feet long. The reason that I’m entertaining the idea of book matching the slab is because I have a live edge about 6 feet long and I’d like to do a live edge table.



-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

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1006 posts in 1950 days

#5 posted 02-05-2013 11:29 PM

That’s a beautiful piece of walnut! I think you can get away with the modest thickness if you have an robust frame to mount the table on. You shouldn’t rely on just the top for strength, you need some sort of structure below. It would work. Even with resawing and planing you should be able to get a final thickness of 5/8” – 3/4” depening on whether you have 8/4 or 7/4 stock. That should do for a 6’ table, but I wouldn’t call it a “slab” table top..

Post a picture when you get the table finished!

Note added: What is the dark round spot just under the end of the other board? Is that included in the 6’ of live edge?

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932 posts in 2352 days

#6 posted 02-06-2013 12:07 AM

you will clean up around or just below 3/4 depending on how good your resawing skills are, which should be thick enough for a top, if you think it needs to be stronger you can always put crossmember braces underneath to give it more strength but that should be unneccessary, However to make a good bookmatch, you are going to need to joint one of the edges, or it won’t really show up as a bookmatching.

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

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