Tabletop dilemma..

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Forum topic by Debora Cadene posted 05-03-2013 01:35 PM 1283 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Debora Cadene

60 posts in 1793 days

05-03-2013 01:35 PM

Well, here are the two benches and the table top base is also painted, but sits in my living room with no top on it.

The top of the table was “supposed” to be done like the benches. My intentions were to pocket hole it together then to the table apron. Upon further discussion, I’ve discovered I shouldn’t be working with wet wood, and that pocket holeing it together then to the table, will leave no room for expansion or for water to vacate. I have also learned that pressure treated wood, although contains no arsenic anymore, is not a good choice for a table top. Also learned that I need to wait to stain or paint pressure treated wood.(too late) And my benches have no spaces in between the boards….again….too late. I decided to maybe just do full length boards with no bread board, and leave small spaces. Not what I really want, but at the moment I feel backed into a corner and have no other choice. Back to the drawing boards.
I went back to Menards to find some untreated wood or possibly even some cedar. As you can well guess, I came home with diddly-squat!! Nothing straight, and no large cuts of cedar. I went to two other lumber places and they didn’t have anything straight or worthy either. And the gentleman said with costs being so hi for lumber or what ever, that the quality they were getting in was good enough for construction but at a lesser cost, so I wasn’t gonna find anything decent. I even considered getting 1X depth wood, but its not what I really want because its too wimpy looking.
SO. I have two places more I can call today. One apparently sells kiln dried pines and the other is a cedar mill, but is not kiln dried. Fingers are crossed. But was wondering about table top layout. Am I settling for full length planks? Or is there a way to do my original plan? Can I pocket hole it? And spacing for boards….I’ve read that you should do 1/2”. That is such a big space. EVen 1/4 looks big. (i just discovered my wooden carpenter pencil is 1/4” wide…....i know…useless information) Anyhow…any other input will be greatly appreciated.
I love wood, but I don’t know wood or what it does in different environments. And I really wanna build.

7 replies so far

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 2830 days

#1 posted 05-04-2013 11:47 PM

Nice craftsman ship and go luck on your top.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4110 posts in 2340 days

#2 posted 05-05-2013 03:05 AM

Is this for outside use? I ask because you used pressure treated lumber. If so the bottoms can be used, why not get a piece of Marine Plywood and edgeband it with cedar or whatever you can gets that looks decent and holds up to outside abuse. I have one I build for a neighbor about 10 years ago, painted, still looks good last I was over his place..

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28576 posts in 2269 days

#3 posted 05-05-2013 03:26 AM

Big box stores most of the time are not good places to get wood for finer finished projects.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Debora Cadene's profile

Debora Cadene

60 posts in 1793 days

#4 posted 05-05-2013 12:19 PM

Yes this is for the outside. I never thought about using plywood. Its not the thickness I’d like, but I suppose it could be doubled. I don’t know what marine plywood is, or edgebanding is though…..

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2127 days

#5 posted 05-05-2013 12:28 PM

Simply put…marine grade plywood is plywood rated for outdoor use. Edgebanding, is the technique of ‘wrapping’ the outer edge of plywood, or any other wood for that matter, with a decorative layer. Think of it almost as running a ‘band’ of tape around the outside of the plywood.

Relative to the concept, I would concur with the plywood concept as opposed to ‘high end’ hardwood. It’s cheaper and likely to be more ‘stable’ from the varied moisture conditions.

Good luck and feel free to ask the group any questions…

View Debora Cadene's profile

Debora Cadene

60 posts in 1793 days

#6 posted 05-05-2013 12:32 PM

Thank you….I will definitely be inquiring about it next trip into town.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4110 posts in 2340 days

#7 posted 05-05-2013 04:01 PM

ScrubPlane, excellent explaination. Debora, Marine plywood is expensive, prepare for some sticker shock. But it does live up to its name and is resilient to time and weather. regular plywood would work but would not last the test of time as the surface tends to delaminate, for lack of a better explanation it peels off over time, worse if it used on a tabletop where the water can pool and such. Marine plywood can take such abuse, it will wear but takes much longer, unlike this new “pressure treated” lumber which has no arsenic in it making it useless. I am currently replacing every landscape tie in the yard with brick, stone or concrete. The next time it will need work will be in say 30 years and I doubt I will be worried about it then anyway.. Let my kids or the next owner deal with it right? (laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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