building a "reclaimed" looking dining table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-04-2013, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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building a "reclaimed" looking dining table

I'm a relative newbie on this. earlier this year I built a dining table for my daughter. I stained/varnished 2x8 birch planks from HD, and used 3 cross braces that were 1x3's. I then attached ikea legs. Overall I was reallypleased with it, and she think I'm dad of the year. It looked good however I have noticed that planks seem to be " gaping" a little from each other. I swear they originally touched, now they are about 1/8" to 3/16" apart.

So here are my questions (finally, right?)
I want to build a table for me and my wife. Should I use different wood? I want a naturally type of finish and I will beat the wood up and stain it. Could I use birch 1" x 8's boards instead of 2" x 8's? If I do that do I need to put an apron underneath? I would rather not have an apron, I just want a table top with hairpin legs. AND lastly, where did I go wrong with the boards gaping? Should I have used biscuits and glued/clamped the planks together? How can I make sure that the planks/boards don't warp at the end so that one plank end goes down and the one next to it goes up?

Thanks everyone, I really am an enthusiastic beginner on this.
Bob
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-04-2013, 03:53 PM
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So were the planks not glued to each other on the table top?
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-04-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hi there, that's right. I didn't glue them at all. I just had 3 firing (?) braces across it and then screwed the legs on. Do you think that was the issue? I'm wondering if I glue the strips together with biscuit joints if that will solve the issue, do I even need the biscuit joints? Thanks so much for helping here
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 02:46 PM
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Borg lumber is marginally dried. Should be acclimated to your environment, glued after drying more than when bought, allowed to acclimate even more after jointing and planing, and then finished on both wide surfaces after glue up.
We build tables from reclaimed lumber that is over 70 yrs. old. Even then the lumber is acclimated after further cutting/planing.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Bill, thanks for the advice. So what you're saying is that I should purchase the wood, let it dry out as its probably been sitting outside. THen glue it on the side, I'm assuming I should clamp it to. Then once I've done that I should still let it "settle" before I finally stain it. Do you think I will still need to add cross braces? (Belts and Suspenders theory). Love the idea of BORG wood. YOu can tellthat I'm a complete neophite on this, I had to google it and eventually go it. Big Orange indeed :)
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbydacron View Post
Bill, thanks for the advice. So what you're saying is that I should purchase the wood, let it dry out as its probably been sitting outside. THen glue it on the side, I'm assuming I should clamp it to. Then once I've done that I should still let it "settle" before I finally stain it. Do you think I will still need to add cross braces? (Belts and Suspenders theory). Love the idea of BORG wood. YOu can tellthat I'm a complete neophite on this, I had to google it and eventually go it. Big Orange indeed :)
If you have a local dedicated lumber yard, this would be a better source of whatever wood you want to purchase.

The wood needs to reach a moisture equilibrium with your house. At this time of year the moisture in our houses is the lowest of the year, so I would expect the wood to have more moisture than the house.

When wood changes moisture, either loosing or gaining, there is movement in the wood. This can result in warping/twisting etc. Hence it is good to allow the wood time to get close to the moisture content of the house. Easier to address any dimension issues at the beginning.

It is common to glue the boards together. The board edges should be straight and ideally make full contact along the length. Clamping should be to hold them close while the glue sets. It is possible to clamp a gap closed, but this adds stress to the joint which may give way over time.

You want to clamp on top and another on the bottom to prevent bowing across the table top. I would clamp at each end and in the middle.

If the boards are long, I like to use a dowel to align the boards for length. Personal preference. Many people would say too much extra work.

You can stain after gluing.

A tight fitting glue joint is actually stronger than the wood.

You can attach a side to side brace if you want. It may help in attaching the legs.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 05:31 PM
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You might want to do a search for 'breadboard ends'. They help you with the expansion of the top.

Bill
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dodgeboy77 View Post
You might want to do a search for 'breadboard ends'. They help you with the expansion of the top.

Bill
A picture to illustrate. Breadboard ends on a cutting board.

building a "reclaimed" looking dining table-decorative_board_bottom.jpg

I think of these as hiding the end grain.

How wide is the table? You may have to use a mortise and tenon and only glue in the middle. The breadboard ends do not move with moisture as much as the table.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-05-2013, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I'm expecting the table to be around 84" long and about 40" - 42" wide. As a novice do you think I will be able to master breadboard ends. I don't have a router, but I'm happy to buy one or rent one. Ive always figured that jobs are easier (not necessarily easy) when you have the right tools so I dont mind making the investment.

Any recommendations on the type of wood I should use. I don't want to use pine, too soft and I dont like the colour. I want a fairly light natural colour, I stained my daughters table with minmax ipswich pine and a clear satin polyurethane finish.

THe other question is that I would rather not make an apron for the table. Is an apron a nice to have or a need to have? I just want to have metal legs under it

Again, thanks for all the help and advice here
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-07-2013, 11:34 PM
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A fairly light colored wood would be maple, hard maple would be best. That's my opinion though.

I think needing an apron would depend on the design of the legs. There are several metal leg designs on this site with no apron.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/r...rogress-36738/

At the end of this thread the OP describes and posts a picture of his metal table legs.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-07-2013, 11:52 PM
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Bread board ends will fail if no allowance for movement has been made, unless you don't care what it looks like in a few years. Not an opinion but fact.

There is only one rule in woodworking: Wood moves

Everything else is left to the discretion of the maker.


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