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post #1 of 7 Old 09-25-2016, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie Question

Please forgive me if there is an obvious answer to this question (I did search around the forum first before posting this). I am building a table top using 2" thick Sapele. The planks are 7" wide. I want the planks to be defined, in a farm house style, rather than a solid top look. I feel like I will lose that look if I glue the planks up. So my question is this: what is the danger in NOT gluing up the planks and getting them to lay flat by fasting the planks to cross pieces (that are not attached to the apron).

I suppose another option is to glue them up and router in a chamfer where the boards meet, but if there is nothing to loose by not gluing them that seems the easier approach.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-25-2016, 08:10 PM
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It's not so much a danger but will be an irritation. Unless you cover the table with a table cloth when used food stuff will go between the cracks making it very difficult to clean. It would be like having a picnic table in your house. If you are good with that then go for it. A glued up top would have the risk of a crack to have to repair after it ages a bit. This would be eliminated using individual planks.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-25-2016, 09:11 PM
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I built a dining table and veined it between the planks with a router. It is just as Steve says above; food crumbs constantly must be brushed from these recesses. It definitely slows the cleanup process.
The table is now over 15 years old. Great table, strong, well made, but boy I wish I had Steve's advice back when I was making it.
It definitely changes the look of the table. You may feel the look is worth it.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-25-2016, 11:02 PM
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That's going to be a heavy table.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-28-2016, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses. It sounds like there isn't really any drawback to not gluing up the planks other than to avoid crud getting in the gaps. I have milled them so that there is no gap between the lengths though.

Nonetheless, I'm leaning towards gluing them up and running a very shallow v-groove along the length of each joint (just enough to define the boards). I'll post the results.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-28-2016, 08:33 PM
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I just built a project similar to the one you have in mind, and asked a very similar question in the joinery subforum. Anyway, the answer I got was to either make the grooves afterward with a router, or edge joint everything and sand or plane a chamfer/round over on the planks afterward.

I ended up making a rough chamfer with a block plane, and then gluing up the panel. Mostly did it that way because I don't really like to use my router. It's tricky though, because your glue up has to be nice and flat - you can't really plane it down my afterward. Also you have to clean the squeeze out out of the groove thoroughly or so it doesn't show in the finish. I glued up only one joint at a time for that reason.

I think it came out looking good. However it is going to be finished by my brother and his girlfriend, so I don't know yet if I cleaned up the glue well enough not to interfere with the stain they will be using.

I didn't want to just leave gaps because of stiff getting down in between them. If I were to leave a gap, I'd make it a bit like a picnic table - wide gaps that you can get into to clean, with each plank attached to a batten of some sort.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-28-2016, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
I built a dining table and veined it between the planks with a router. It is just as Steve says above; food crumbs constantly must be brushed from these recesses. It definitely slows the cleanup process.
The table is now over 15 years old. Great table, strong, well made, but boy I wish I had Steve's advice back when I was making it.
It definitely changes the look of the table. You may feel the look is worth it.
Maybe fill the grooves with a contrasting wood color?

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
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