Tabletop glue up

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Forum topic by Mcqueen posted 10-31-2013 03:22 PM 746 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 758 days

10-31-2013 03:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: coffee table tabletop

I’m planning on building a coffee table using cherry. I want it to be 2” thick with the dimensions 48” x 34”. I was planning on having wide boards, 7”-10” to make up the top but now that I research more I am afraid of cupping. Any advice on how to proceed, any tips? Are the boards thick enough that this won’t be a problem?

Thank you.

10 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile (online now)


2017 posts in 1346 days

#1 posted 10-31-2013 11:59 PM

I have a few thoughts about this project:
1. If you truly want a 2” thick surface, you will need to find at least 10/4 stock and plane it down. It might be difficult to find cherry in that size.
2. If the wood is dried to about 8% moisture content and you allow it adequate time to acclimate to your shop, cupping shouldn’t be an issue.
3. If you alternate growth rings facing up and down, any cupping will be offset to some extent by each board’s neighbors. However, there has been some discussion about the validity of this practice and the results.
4. You might consider adding breadboard ends to help hold the top flat.
5. A top of this size will weigh about 70 pounds, so good luck with moving it around.

Good luck and post pix.

-- Art

View michaelsgarage's profile


71 posts in 1016 days

#2 posted 11-01-2013 12:14 AM

cauls, cauls, cauls. and alternate clamps.

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 2267 days

#3 posted 11-01-2013 12:16 AM

My first thought was breadboard ends as mentioned above.

I would also consider letting the wood acclimate to it’s intended space. I did a similarly sized table top and while it was fine in the shop after a few months in the mouse it began to move all over the place to the extent that at times I could literally hear it crack.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

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3 posts in 758 days

#4 posted 11-01-2013 12:34 AM

Thank you for your replies. I was eyeing 8/4 stock that is already s4s (or in some cases s3s) . Do you think I would still need to plane s4s boards? I anticipate some minor hand planing.

Thank you again

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Monte Pittman

18608 posts in 1427 days

#5 posted 11-01-2013 12:36 AM

Wood is going to move. The more stable the environment, the less it will move. One thing I do is put a good finishing sealon the underside of the table top. Seal it as well as possible. Many put heavy finish on the top and none on the bottom. So the bottom changes with the humidity in the room. It can actually cause more damage because of unequal movement. At least that’s my theory and I am sticking to it.

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

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 2267 days

#6 posted 11-01-2013 12:38 AM

Perfectly viable theory Monte.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

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Clint Searl

1518 posts in 1451 days

#7 posted 11-01-2013 01:29 AM

2” is too thick. Breadboard ends will NOT prevent warping.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View CrazeeTxn's profile


150 posts in 1040 days

#8 posted 11-01-2013 01:45 AM

Don’t get in a hurry. Don’t think it’ll help with cupping as some great ideas have been thrown out there.

Glue two edges together at a time vs. trying to glue the whole dang thing up at once. This will allow you an opportunity to get the seams as level together as possible to eleviate A L O T of extra sanding. I usually practice this theory, but thought I could get away with it on a bar top I made (which I did alternate ring patterns on), but I probably spent more time and sandpaper on it sanding than I did taking it from rough to finished.

View Mcqueen's profile


3 posts in 758 days

#9 posted 11-01-2013 01:56 AM

2” is too thick to warp or 2” is too thick of a tabletop?

View lateralus819's profile


2070 posts in 979 days

#10 posted 11-01-2013 02:12 AM

Ill 2nd crazee. My first time i glued way to many together at a time. What a mess. I’d stick to 2/3 at most. Get the joints as perfect as possible. Saves having to remove excess materials.

Breadboards would be a good alternative.

-- Never confuse mistakes with failure. Kevin

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