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Help with Walnut Slab flatness

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Forum topic by tugboat1980 posted 12-17-2014 06:09 PM 1284 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tugboat1980

6 posts in 725 days


12-17-2014 06:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut slab coffee table crack

First post here! I bought a bookmatched set of walnut slabs and intend on making a coffee table out of it. One slab is OK (the top one in the pic below) while the other one has a good bow in it (the bottom one in the pic below). I think the bow is from the cracked edge on the left of the slab while the rest of it is OK (let me know otherwise).

I was thinking about having it thickness planed down at a local cabinet shop but i think that would result in the tabletop being too thin. What should I do with it besides the fill the gaps with slow cure epoxy trick? Should I just leave it as is and plane the rest of that half flat, leave that edge down turned, and glue it together while compensating for that down turned edge? Take off that part of the slab entirely?

[img]https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8679/15854871408_097d3ab826_c.jpg[/img]


23 replies so far

View Yonak's profile

Yonak

979 posts in 988 days


#1 posted 12-17-2014 06:53 PM

tug, flickr says that image is unavailable.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#2 posted 12-17-2014 07:06 PM

Here ya go…

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#3 posted 12-17-2014 07:07 PM

How thick are they?

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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tugboat1980

6 posts in 725 days


#4 posted 12-17-2014 09:00 PM

Thanks for the fix! Don’t know what happened. They’re both about 1 5/8”. Maybe a shade thinner.

I also plan to add a few butterflies to the cracks.

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Dallas

3599 posts in 1954 days


#5 posted 12-17-2014 09:33 PM

Are these air dried? Kiln dried? What is the moisture content? Have you let them acclimate to the atmospere they will live in?

I have a 4” slab that curled as soon as I cut it, but after about 6 months in the shop it was completely flat.
Now, mine was standing dead, but had been dead for about 2 years before I cut it down.

Take your time, ask questions, research and you are already in the best place you could be for learning.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Timberwerks

355 posts in 2628 days


#6 posted 12-17-2014 09:56 PM

What will you be doing for a base? If these will float on top of a base and no joinery is involved I would leave them, fill cracks and butterfly. Or you could build yourself a set of router rails to flatten, even flatten via hand planing. I think you can work with what you have though.

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

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tugboat1980

6 posts in 725 days


#7 posted 12-17-2014 11:13 PM

As of right now I’m planning on bolting steel table legs straight to the underside of the top…unless that’s a bad idea and you all recommend something different. The table legs will be these legs in brushed steel:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/151783293/steel-table-legs-rect-stock-black-matte?ref=cat_gallery_10&ga_search_query=steel+table+legs&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

I’m halfway decent with a hand plane if the grain is straight but I haven’t been able to get the knot area cleanly. If it’s OK as is I’m planning on flattening it (leaving the cracked/downturned area as is) with my old #6 Stanley and get the knot area with an orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.

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Timberwerks

355 posts in 2628 days


#8 posted 12-17-2014 11:27 PM

Oval out the holes in the leg set to allow for expansion & contraction and you should be good to go as is.

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

View Shakerguy's profile

Shakerguy

5 posts in 724 days


#9 posted 12-18-2014 08:23 AM

I think I would flatten it however you can and then fill the cracks with epoxy.

Lefty

View tugboat1980's profile

tugboat1980

6 posts in 725 days


#10 posted 12-18-2014 10:04 AM

How would you flatten it?

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emart

422 posts in 2095 days


#11 posted 12-18-2014 10:09 AM

If you are willing to invest some money a power planer works wonders for this sort of thing. I bought an older power planer for $30 a few months ago and it worked very well at flattening a slab I split by hand. The cabinet shop would also work if the slabs will fit in their machinery but do not send them in until after you have stabilized the cracks.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1572 posts in 1943 days


#12 posted 12-18-2014 12:48 PM

If you are looking for table or bench legs, this is a good place to go. Here is a pic of a pecan bench that I made where the top was not perfectly flat. These legs have a good wide plate for fastening that can easily be shimmed to get the bench or table to sit perfectly level.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#13 posted 12-18-2014 02:12 PM

If it doesn’t flatten in the shop why not rip the board with a bow in half so each piece has less deflection? You won’t have to plane off as much that way.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2326 days


#14 posted 12-18-2014 08:18 PM

I think WDHLT15 meant to give you a link to the Rite Leg Company...

They are good people and their products look great.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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WDHLT15

1572 posts in 1943 days


#15 posted 12-19-2014 01:52 AM

Thank you, Herb. You are exactly right. Looks like that I missed a Click and Paste.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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