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"Oh no" moment - Lumber sizing & island counter top design

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Forum topic by Keith Kelly posted 10-28-2014 09:39 PM 864 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1130 days


10-28-2014 09:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

So I’ve been designing this kitchen island, and am finally building it. All is going well, EXCEPT for a lumber thickness hiccup. I feel like an idiot. Up until now, I completely thought that 4/4 hardwood lumber would be 1” thick. So, I confidently went to a lumber supplier (1 hour away) that had Cherry in only 4/4 thickness, and bought a whole bunch of it! I get home, and finally pull out my caliper to find it’s 13/16”. I call up another supplier and ask them about that, they say that across the board, 4/4 = 13/16”. I mean, I was confident that hardwood lumber was different, so now I’m uncertain of all things in life! I mean, I’m a relative n00b to woodworking (approx 2 years) but I’ve moved on to learning wood movement in great detail, finishing in detail, joinery etc. Apparently in all this time I’ve been using rough sawn lumber from an Amish mill, I’ve been just assuming that surfaced lumber was the same. Anyway, I feel like I just learned that a cheeseburger is actually a taco.

So, my dilemma:
I had hoped to have 1” or 1.25” top for this island. Going to 1” was a sacrifice, but going down to 3/4” is hard to grasp. However, I now have LOTS of lumber that will work for a 3/4” top, but very little for a 1” top. In fact, going to 3/4” would be a good thing, in that it expands the selection of Walnut I can use (and allows me to use some figured stuff). But, is 3/4” too thin for a top of this size?

Here are my plans… your input would be much appreciated
  • Make a 0.75” top
  • Simulate a 1.5” top by cutting off the ends/sides and gluing underneath

What do you think? What would you do?

I mean, I’m guessing that maybe 0.75” must be common for a table top, since that’s all the local hardwood stores seem to carry.

Side note: the overhangs of the tops will be supported by brackets that are not shown.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com


7 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1818 days


#1 posted 10-28-2014 09:46 PM

Now you’ve learned a lesson nominal vs actual lumber sizes. Go buy some 5/4 lumber and save the 4/4 for another project.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6576 posts in 1617 days


#2 posted 10-28-2014 09:47 PM

Nothing wrong with 3/4” lumber so long as it’s properly supported.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13520 posts in 1323 days


#3 posted 10-28-2014 09:52 PM

I think your plan will work just fine and will look fine. 4/4 is measure when it is rough and then when planed becomes 13/16.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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jmartel

6576 posts in 1617 days


#4 posted 10-28-2014 09:59 PM

I believe 13/16 is when it’s skip planed. Finish planing gets it down to 3/4”.

Personally, I find that with 4/4 rough lumber, I can usually get 7/8” out of it fully planed, depending on board selection.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Yonak's profile

Yonak

979 posts in 988 days


#5 posted 10-28-2014 10:23 PM


... I mean, I was confident that hardwood lumber was different,
so now I’m uncertain of all things in life!

- keith204

lol .. That’s putting a lot of trust is lumber suppliers.

If they won’t take it back, for next time, you should be able to specify unsurfaced which should be a full 1”.

keith, that’s going to be a nice cabinet .. very nice layout.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1724 days


#6 posted 10-29-2014 12:41 AM

4/4 should yield 13/16”, but based on your design and as you suggested, I would use extra pieces and cut offs to simulate thicker stock while using 3/4” stock for the majority of the top. This also allows you to use the nicer grained stock you have. FWIW

-- Art

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2438 days


#7 posted 10-29-2014 12:45 AM

Well, look at the positive side of this.
When you glue a board under the bottom of the edges you will have a 1 1/2” thick top.
And, if you are careful about matching grain it will be very hard to detect.

I have an “eat at” bar top on my island/counter that was made from 2” thick cherry. The surface is 18” wide by 84” long and had to be glued up from six boards. Most people don’t even know it’s a glue-up. People even ask me where I found such a huge slab of cherry.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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