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I built a table... How much trouble am I in?

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Forum topic by Simpleman1775 posted 06-23-2014 08:12 PM 1027 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Simpleman1775

32 posts in 918 days


06-23-2014 08:12 PM

I

First table I have ever built. I used quilted maple and sapele. I didn’t know that I have to leave room for expansion. I get it back from the mill today (planer). It is all glue. I want to put a false edge along the bottom. I will not glue this part. I will attach it using screws and add a slightly larger opening for the heads to allow for expansion. What can I do to fix this? I don’t want to break it down completely. Help a table noob, please.


13 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#1 posted 06-23-2014 08:28 PM

How critical is the finished dimension?

The way the top is framed out, you are guaranteed to have issues at the mitered corners. I’m assuming you now understand that and is why you are asking for help. I see a couple easy(ish) solutions. First would be to just cut the end pieces off, which would make the top a few inches shorter and expose the end grain. You would lose the framed in look, but I think the table would still look very nice. Some people hate showing end grain—I’m not one of them.

The second idea would be to cut off the ends and then add breadboard ends that are pinned in slots, but not glued. This would allow you to get back to the framed look, while allowing for movement.

Not sure by what you mean by a false edge. If you are referring to a skirt board, you can build that as a frame and then attach with table top fasteners, such as these.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6476 posts in 2065 days


#2 posted 06-23-2014 08:32 PM

I agree w/Jay. If you were to cut off the end strips of maple, you would be back in business the quickest and easiest. The bread board is possible too, but a fair bit more work, for limited gain (IMO) on this design.

View DonBoston's profile

DonBoston

75 posts in 929 days


#3 posted 06-23-2014 08:32 PM

heh, you must have just finished reading my thread, “I thought I was doing good…”

-- Don Boston RECreations by Don http://recreationsbydon.com

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Simpleman1775

32 posts in 918 days


#4 posted 06-23-2014 08:53 PM

I like the bread board idea! Could I just cut off the left and right maple sides (perpendicular smaller pieces)? I am guessing this would allow for left and right expansion the table would need? I don’t “need” mitered corners, I just thought it looked better than butting them against each other But now I understand some of my errors. Yeah, I guess I did mean a skirt board. I like that too!

I did read yours DonBoston. Good luck to both of us! I’m using 3/4” iron piping for my legs. I’m now slightly worried about how to attach them to the bottom. I’m using cast iron base flanges. for the top and bottom.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2280 days


#5 posted 06-23-2014 08:53 PM

Yep, edgebanding only works on veneered tops. Solid wood tops cannot have cross-grain pieces, unless it is a breadboard end specifically designed for wood movement.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Simpleman1775

32 posts in 918 days


#6 posted 06-23-2014 09:09 PM

I can just use the quilted maple I have though right? to make the bread board.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#7 posted 06-23-2014 09:14 PM

Sure. You’ll lose some length from doing the tongue and groove for the breadboard, but no reason that the maple won’t work just fine.

Also, as long as any cross supports are far enough from the top, you shouldn’t have any issues using the iron pipe. The only way it would be a problem is if you had a cross brace piece limiting the iron movement an inch or so below the top. If any crosspieces are a foot or more down, then the individual pipe lengths should have enough give to accommodate the wood movement.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

203 posts in 953 days


#8 posted 06-23-2014 09:16 PM

I have a related question, I am currently repairing an engineered and veneered wood top. Had to trim off the ends and was going to do a cross grain repair with a solid wood piece. Can I glue it or should I use splines and screws to allow for movement of the 3/4 solid piece?

-- -Tim Royal... Always reminded of this when I see the amazing work LJ's do (I have no choice but to be humble!), "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#9 posted 06-23-2014 09:19 PM

revrok, if I understand your explanation correctly, you should be fine gluing. Wood moves most in a direction perpendicular to the grain, it will move very little lengthwise.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

203 posts in 953 days


#10 posted 06-23-2014 09:21 PM



revrok, if I understand your explanation correctly, you should be fine gluing. Wood moves most in a direction perpendicular to the grain, it will move very little lengthwise.

- JayT

Thanks, that’s what I thought but suddenly got nervous as it’s a nice older Broyhill Buffet.

-- -Tim Royal... Always reminded of this when I see the amazing work LJ's do (I have no choice but to be humble!), "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1743 days


#11 posted 06-23-2014 09:47 PM

JayT offers great advice (both options) for this situation

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1724 days


#12 posted 06-23-2014 11:18 PM

Wood will only expand and contract with humidity changes. Summers are more humid and winters less. IF you have air conditioning , that will reduce the humidity in the house from that outdoors. Using a humidifier during the winter will (obviously) increase the humidity in the house. IF you monitor and control the humidity in your house to be consistent (maybe +/- 2%) year round, the top will not expand or contract significantly and you will be okay.

I have never tried this, but, in theory, it should work. The other options already mentioned are more likely to be successful.

-- Art

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1147 days


#13 posted 06-23-2014 11:25 PM

I also think the miters are your problem spot. They will open up even if just a little over time and even a small gap would be very noticeable. I like the breadboard edge idea (although I’m not opposed to showing end grain on my pieces either) and maybe you could leave them just a little long to accent them and hide any movement in the rest of the top? Otherwise if you have a obvious front and back to the table with a part going against the wall you could glue the front but let the back float.

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