New man cave table

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Forum topic by alittleoff posted 03-02-2015 01:09 AM 890 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View alittleoff's profile


539 posts in 1304 days

03-02-2015 01:09 AM

I’m wanting to build a small roughly 3×6 or a little smaller table for my man cave, I’ve got lots of 1×4 yellow pine I would like to use for the top. I’m thinking of using 3/4 in. MDF or something similar for a base to support the pine and make it more stable. Should i glue the 4 in. Boards to the MDF or just screw the top down to it after I’ve finished gluing all the boards together and finished them. Also I’m wanting to wrap the edges with 1×3 pine. Should i tongue and groove it or just glue it using biscuits? I wouldn’t mind doing something so I could use dowel pins around the edges just for looks. I’ve also thought about using some cedar for the legs, since I’ve got some 4×6 and 4×4 rough cut lumber. How do you think it would look using the cedar for all the base. I want a natural finish so don’t know how that would work out. Anyway all help will be appreciated and thanks in advance.

2 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2344 days

#1 posted 03-02-2015 03:37 AM

Gluing solid wood to a stable substrate like MDF is hugely problematic. The MDF doesn’t change dimension much when humidity shifts but the pine will. You’ll end up with more warping and not less if you do that.

That being said, there are tricks that will work. Below is a picture of a table I was involved with back in my days of employment at Remmert Studios.

This table looks like it has a 2” thick top but it’s actually built up from thinner material and is less than 3/4” thick. The customer had purchased the wood and had it milled before contacting us. It was too thin to flatten and plane without dropping the thickness under 3/4” and they wanted a slab table.

The solution was a 1 1/4” thick torsion box for support under the top. A 50” wide walnut top will expand and contract at least 1/2” in the Midwest so it has to float. The ends of the torsion box have slots and sliding wood blocks fit into those slots and are screwed to the top. That keeps everything flat but allows the top to float, expand and contract as necessary.

-- See my work at and

View jerryminer's profile


928 posts in 1469 days

#2 posted 03-02-2015 06:38 AM

Also I m wanting to wrap the edges with 1×3 pine.

Be careful here. If you wrap 1×3 across the end of the glued-up 1×4, you will create a cross-grain situation, which will lead to a self-destructing table.

You need to allow the wood to expand/contract across the grain.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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