Dining Table ??? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Dining Table ???

Next up on my project list is a dining table for my mother-in-law. She has found a table she likes and I am going to build it to look like it.
They had an old tree in their yard that had been there since she was little that had to be cut down. She wants me to use it to build this table. It is Hemlock. It has been cut and drying for about 14 months so I think it is dry enough even though I have not checked it. I don't know if this would be a good choice for a dining table, but the table she has chosen appears to be pine? see attached pic. She likes the rustic look and it will match well in their log home.
My questions are what problems are likely with using Hemlock for a dining table? Should I try to get her to choose another type of material? and what should I do to finish it properly? Please help! I have to stay in good with mother-in-law
Dining Table ???-carlas-table.jpg
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 04:05 PM
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I may have used hemlock for framing the grade at the lumber stores was "Hem/Fir" so either Hemlock or Doug Fir.

They both have similar grain patterns.

This page gives some more information.

http://www.vermonttimberworks.com/ho...ishes/hemlock/

Should be easy to work with if you are leaving it rustic. This would not be my preference for a dining table. Too easy to get splinters.

I cannot tell from the picture. Will the boards be glued together or be independently joined to the "bread board" end.

If being glued together then more important to know the moisture content of the wood vs the eventual home.

Lot's of options for how to finish. Does the MIL have a preference - satin / gloss / polyurethane / oil?
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 04:20 PM
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Looks like a nice table design preacher man.
Hemlock is a pine. Although its considered to be a soft wood, my experience working with it seems that it was harder than most other evergreens. As long as the wood is dry, you should be fine. I don't think you'll have any problems with it. How thick are they cut? And are they kiln dried, or air dried?

Ps: Dave that link in not responding.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
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Ps: Dave that link in not responding.
Thanks for the heads up.

I am not sure why it does not work for you, but it is working in my browser.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Paine

Thanks for the heads up.

I am not sure why it does not work for you, but it is working in my browser.
I'm doing it from iPhone.
It says page not found, so it might not be formatted for my device.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 04:57 PM
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Hemlock is usually a rascall to dry...it twists and turns and checks a lot, but you can beat it into submission, and this looks like the perfect kind of project for it.
I think it will not disappoint her.
For finish you might darken with potassium permanganate, sand, pickle with white latex, varnish with matt polyurethane, and rub with brown shoe polish and 0000 steel wool...
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Will the boards be glued together or be independently joined to the "bread board" end.

Does the MIL have a preference - satin / gloss / polyurethane / oil?
The boards will be edge glued because the bread board end will extend giving room for a leaf to extend the table.

There is no prefrence at this time concerning the finish. She likes the table color in the picture so I am thinking it will be natural or very close. Just whatever color changes the finishes will make.
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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How thick are they cut? And are they kiln dried, or air dried?
The lumber was cut about 1 inch thick and has been air drying in a shed.
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 05:17 PM
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being 4/4 stock have you concidered building the top like a work bench? that way you would have a solid 8/4 - 12/4 thickness of the top. it would make it a toe buster if one was to run into it. but i think a 4/4 or morelikely a 3/4" (milled) top would look to thin for a table with 6x6 legs and the heavy turn buckle bracing.

John,

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post #10 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 05:35 PM
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Yes. This design requires 2" and 3" stuff!
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 05:44 PM
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3/4 should be fine for a table top. My only concern is, these were cut a 4/4. So I'm guessing their still in the rough. Planing down a board that is 4/4 doesn't leave much room for smoothing it out. Take light passes.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 05:57 PM
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I agree 3/4 is too thin for that style of table, il also turn them on edge and go to 2 inch

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post #13 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to make it thick. Have not decided how to do it either laminate it or build it up like a torsion box to give the appearance of a 2 or 3 in top.
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 06:47 PM
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The weight of making it solid will give it the sound and feel of a quality thick top.....
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-01-2012, 11:17 PM
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Air dried in a shed will still be 10-12 % moisture but hemlock doesn't move as much. If your not in a hurry finish the drying inside prefferably after the summer humidity.
Try to use the quarter cut boards. If you cut the boards to 4 inches wide or so before you joint and plane the board to preserve the thickness.
Double up the edge piece to give the illusion of 8/4?
Poly especially in a soft wood that will dent would not be my choice. An oil based varnish can be refreshed when needed in a year or so. Poly once cured is not good to add coats to as there is no chemical adhesion
Bob
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post #16 of 18 Old 08-02-2012, 12:01 AM
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I forgot to mention that hemlock is a pretty good wood for a table top as it has good wear resistance and lacks the pitch and resin of pine and many other "softwoods".
Bob
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post #17 of 18 Old 08-02-2012, 11:07 AM
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Thick top GOOD. Thin top BAD. Poly BAD. Wiping varnish, then wax GOOD.
Bill
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-02-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill White View Post
Thick top GOOD. Thin top BAD. Poly BAD. Wiping varnish, then wax GOOD.
Bill
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