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Forum topic by cliffslocal777 posted 10-16-2013 11:27 PM 876 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cliffslocal777

19 posts in 409 days


10-16-2013 11:27 PM

I am building an outdoor farm style table for my wife. The top will be 4 2×10’s with 2×8’s being the bread board ends. I understand the problems/challenges of green wood and it continuing to warp and split etc but my question is this.

Ive had them drying in my garage and they are, i believe, cupping is the term. I don’t have a planer so would the best thing to do, since i am building this table more as an inexpensive learning experience be clamp, glue and screw ( pocket hole) them all together with the hump side up. Then sand it with my belt sander to get it down? I have a jack plane and router but the belt sander could be easiest? i dont have any jigs to plane with the router. Is there anything better i could do? The table will sit outside under a covered patio in a dry climate. Thank you.


12 replies so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

13530 posts in 2058 days


#1 posted 10-17-2013 01:16 PM

If you don’t have a jointer or planer then using a jack plane is the quickest way, providing the blade is sharp and your plane is tuned to perform properly. Straightening up a 2X10 shouldn’t take more than a 1/2 hour or less depending on how proficient you are (assuming a 6ft. length. It would be an advantage if your plane blade edge was slightly convex in shape, say a difference of 1/36” from the corner to the middle of the plane.

Sanding the boards straight, even with a belt sander would in my opinion be a bit of a dust noisy nightmare with no guarantee they will wind up anywhere near straight.

An excellent alternative and maybe the easiest way might be for you to find a local cabinet shop who would be willing to put those boards through their commercial planer for a small fee. That would only take about 10 minutes or less and your boards should be straight enough for joining afterward. I doubt they would charge you much for it.

My take on solving your problem. Maybe someone else will have a better idea.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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hydro

208 posts in 475 days


#2 posted 10-17-2013 02:41 PM

Do you have a table saw? What are you planning to use to cut the tenons and dado for the breadboard end?

That said, you stated that this is an “outdoor” table. If so, the wood will continue to move throughout its life and you will need to allow that to happen. If it were me, I would take the lumber outdoors, wet the cupped side thoroughly, and lay them in a shady spot, cupped side down in the grass. The idea is to allow the cupped side to absorb moisture and expand, pushing the cupped side back to flat. Once they are reasonably flat, machine them to fit the breadboard end and pin each board in the center only. You need them to be able to shrink and expand as they get wet and dry out (rain/sun). If you attach them at both sides, or worse yet try and glue them in place, they will likely crack in the middle.

Wood will always move. You cannot prevent it. Plan for it in your design and enable it to happen.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

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DMC1903

186 posts in 1051 days


#3 posted 10-17-2013 03:01 PM

I built a outdoor patio table this summer using Douglas Fir that has 10-15% moisture content, we live in a climate that has all seasons, including a very wet and cold winter.
So, as a test on how much the wood would move, I attached the top planks to the rails using pocket screws with the holes bored out to allow movement. If the top does ok this winter, I may cut it down and build it with Breadboard ends on it or just replace boards if needed.

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Jim Finn

1733 posts in 1645 days


#4 posted 10-17-2013 10:25 PM

I built an outdoor glider seat of pressure treated yellow pine and after a month, much of it twisted so bad that I tossed the whole project and just saved the hardware.

-- In God We Trust

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stefang

13530 posts in 2058 days


#5 posted 10-18-2013 09:47 AM

Here in Norway I have seen a lot of roadside rest area picnic type pine/fir benches with relief cuts on the under side (cupped side) of the boards spaced a couple of inches running the length of the board. This prevents cupping so it also keeps the tops flat. The depth of the cuts are tapered out towards the ends so they are not visible from the side. Just a thought.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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cliffslocal777

19 posts in 409 days


#6 posted 10-18-2013 05:24 PM

Stefang, thank you for the replies, all very good ideas. I am going for a “rustic and distressed” look so some cracks and not quite strait boards are not huge issues for me on this first go around. However, I would like to make it as straight as possible. I am not very proficient with the jack plane but would like to learn. I will work on putting a slight convex edge on that plane. I do have experience with sharpening. The only thing with the cabinet shop, while a great idea that I did not think of, is that I’d like to do this all myself if that makes sense. Interesting idea on the relief cuts. How deep were they?

Hydro, I do not have a table saw currently. I plan on pocket screws, pipe clamps and glue to connect everything. I do not have an 82” clamp for the bread boards though. That is a great idea to try to fix the cupping.

DMC,I don’t follow the boring out the holes. Do you not use any glue?

My only previous experience is hanging all new doors in my house and a solid wood front door along with similar tasks throughout my house. This is my first foray into proper woodworking if what I am doing can be called that.

If you look at the attached picture (sorry for the poor writing) do you think that by screwing through the 2×3’s into the 2×10’s that that will straighten out the cupping a bit?

Finally, do you think without having a bottom spreader that the legs will be sturdy enough? Any thoughts to reinforce?

Many Thanks all.

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stefang

13530 posts in 2058 days


#7 posted 10-18-2013 06:12 PM

As I recall they are about 1/2” deep on stock that is about 2” thick. I’m concerned about your construction method. Pocket screws for breadboard ends will not work due to the long boards expanding/contracting when there is moist/dry air while the breadboard end pieces will be staying the same length as wood hardly shrinks at all lengthwise. This can only result in disaster. I suggest you search the net for how breadboard ends are done and why they are done that way.

As for bottom stretchers, with good mortise and tenon joints they shouldn’t be necessary providing your apron is wide enough and your tenons are a tight fit.

I have had good luck with polyurethane glue on outdoor projects. It is very waterproof. Remember though, that it expands as it dries, so it’s a good idea to do a test piece or two first to get a feel for how much to apply, so you won’t have too much (or any) cleanup work after it dries. The Titebond III glue is also waterproof, but check to make sure it can be used outdoors as I’m not sure about that.

Good luck with your project and let us know how it comes out.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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hydro

208 posts in 475 days


#8 posted 10-18-2013 07:39 PM

First, I like the idea of slitting the underside of the boards to relieve stress. Good suggestion!

If it were my project, and I did not have power tools, I would fabricate a mortise and tenon connection to the breadboard ends using common hand tools.

First you will need flat lumber and unfortunately the easiest way to get around those cupped planks is to just buy new ones. Small cost for the time trying to plane them flat by hand (PITA).

Do a search on cutting mortise and tenon joints by hand. You will need a square and pencil for layout, a drill and bit the size of the mortise thickness (make them ½”), a stout sharp chisel to square up the mortise, and a fine tooth hand saw. Make the mortise about ¼” wider than the tenon to allow movement, and I would cut the joints about 1 ½” deep and screw or pin them in the middle only, to allow the wood to move.

This will be a good learning experience, it will teach you some valuable stuff about making joints in wood, and you will learn some basic hand tool techniques

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

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cliffslocal777

19 posts in 409 days


#9 posted 10-21-2013 09:10 PM

Thanks Stefang and Hydro. I finally had some time to get the tabletop together. I did pocket screws and glue so I am sure it will fall apart soon but this is mainly a learning experience for me more than anything. I will say with the glue and screws that it is crazy solid for now. I am really enjoy working on this so far and learning different things. If it last me a few months that will be fine until I can make a better one. I learned a bit so far and would do a few things differently on the next one (in addition to proper joinery). I actually don’t mind some cracks and stuff as I am going for rustic. I plan to stain it a dark color like mahogany or walnut. I have quite a bit more work to do with my hand plain and sanding though on the table top. Tonight I hope to start on the legs and apron.

It is my first time using a hand plane a lot and I have to say I really enjoy working with it and learning how to use it. I have an old Stanly jack plane from my father in law so now I am looking forward to cleaning that up and giving it a go this weekend as well.

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hydro

208 posts in 475 days


#10 posted 10-21-2013 09:39 PM

Looks nice!

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

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stefang

13530 posts in 2058 days


#11 posted 10-22-2013 09:34 AM

It certainly looks very good, and who knows, it might last a lot longer than anyone thought possible. When giving advice, I think most woodworkers including myself would normally only recommend tried and true methods so as not to mislead anyone and ruin their project, but I (and I’m sure many others) have broken a lot of woodworking ‘rules’ over the years without encountering any problems. I guess the main concern is all about risk. Either way, you will learn something valuable from your project and still be able to enjoy it for awhile. I’m glad you tried the planing. It can be fun.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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cliffslocal777

19 posts in 409 days


#12 posted 11-01-2013 11:32 PM

Hey Hydro and Stefang, I finally finished, now I plan to make a matching bench.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/91558
Thanks again for your knowledge. Cant wait for the next project. I have some Koa from my father in law who lived in Kona. I plan to make a book shelf to hold my collection of The Surfers Journal.

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