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Forum topic by RnG posted 08-19-2009 12:15 AM 2253 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 3229 days

08-19-2009 12:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut biscuits wide glue up

Making a round table top for my brother with 4/4 black walnut that my dad and I cut over 30 years ago. It will be 4 feet in diameter and my brother wants it all in as few as boards as possible. I’m worried about cupping and want to make all the boards 4-6 inches wide and glue them up (biscuits). He wants them all 9 inches wider or more, which I can do, but believe that is not too smart. What do you guys think? I have never made anything this wide and am worried about cupping with humidity changes in their home.

6 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 08-19-2009 12:34 AM

Well I would go with the smaller size and even better use quarter sawn wood

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View RnG's profile


8 posts in 3229 days

#2 posted 08-19-2009 01:10 AM

yeap, if I had quartersawn I would do that. I’m sure there is some in the stack in the barn, but that is 8 hours away and I have what I have currently. TY

View CaptainSkully's profile


1600 posts in 3584 days

#3 posted 08-19-2009 02:29 AM

I don’t really understand why he’s stipulating that. You’re correct in being concerned. If they’re all made from the same tree, the grain should be relatively easily matched. Maybe a compromise is to cut each wide board in half, keeping the halves together, and then use Norm Abram’s trick to orient the growth rings up/down/up to minimize cupping. This would give a very good grain match. Depending on how dark you finish the walnut, you may not even be able to see the board seams. When I made the scarf joint on my tile frame, I cut it apart and glued it back together and the seam is invisible.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 3797 days

#4 posted 08-19-2009 03:07 PM

I would explain the problem to my brother, but if he still wants the wider boards I would make it that way. I really don’t see a problem with the wider board if they have been drying for 30 years. But if you are still concerned with cupping, you could install cleats across the grain on the under side of the table where they would not be visible. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View CaptainSkully's profile


1600 posts in 3584 days

#5 posted 08-19-2009 10:26 PM

Good idea Chiefk. Even though the wood may be “dry”, you can still get seasonal movement if you have moist months and dry months. Make sure the top is attached so that it can move. My original red oak dinette table was kiln dried and it moves a quarter of an inch across the grain during the year, hence the new breadboard design.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3794 days

#6 posted 08-19-2009 11:03 PM

put some battons on the back of it. also make sure you finish both sides evenly and you should be good. but you need a film finish… a good oil varnish (waterlox, arm r seal) or a good precat or cat lacquer (nitrocelulose from the box stores will not work. if you have spray capability a precat lacquer or a water based will work well if not 5 to 7 coats of waterlox or arm r seal. that will stabalize it and the battons will keep it from warping. i think your brothers right with the larger boards. with 6 inch boards your looking at needing 8 boards to make the table which is alot of boards. the grain up and down trick works very well too but it doesnt help enough that you should use it over grain matching. with a good finish and battons that should be all you need and just worry about matching grain. if youre in a bookmatched situation the grain will be up down any ways. hope this helps.

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