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post #1 of 8 Old 05-27-2016, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Question Table questions

I have been looking to build a dining room table for SWMBO for longer than I care to remember. I have found a sawmill for the walnut logs for the legs and aprons. We were in a local restaurant recently and saw a wood table with the boards set on their side. I measured roughly that they were 1-1/4 in. thick and about 2-1/2 in. wide. The outside board was a bit thicker. I have a TS, band saw, router table and planer.
1. I would like to make the table to have a leaf in the middle. How do I make each section so they are the same?
2. Glue them together in pieces and then glue up the whole section?
3. Attach the top to compensate for wood movement?
Any advice for these questions is greatly appreciated plus anything I have overlooked, which is probably a lot as this is my first real big project. Thanks.

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-27-2016, 08:47 AM
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Which way do you plan to run the grain of the wood on the top? It would be easier for what you are doing to run the grain crosswise than lengthwise. What you would need to do is cut the wood 1/8" to 1/4" too thick and glue it together in panels small enough to fit through your planer. Surface them down to close to the finished thickness before making the final glue up. When gluing the strips clamp them to a wide board without glue to keep them running straight. If you start doing much straightening after the glue up it will detract from the appearance. If running the grain lengthwise this would make it a lot more difficult as you would have to keep the glue joints in line from one end of the table to the other. If you don't have a jointer with a long top it would straighten long pieces of wood. For that design you would have to glue up a top long enough to make both sides of the table and the leaf in one piece and then cut the individual parts.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-28-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Steve, many thanks for the reply and most useful information. The table I saw had the grain running with the long side of the table which appeared to be about 8 ft. long; solid top BTW. I see what what you are saying- for the grain to run parallel to the ends. Might be easier as this is my first attempt as a large project. I thought of getting a 4X4 piece of good MDF to use as a base for gluing the sections to keep them as even as possible.
Any and all suggestions are always welcome!

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-28-2016, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Steve, many thanks for the reply and most useful information. The table I saw had the grain running with the long side of the table which appeared to be about 8 ft. long; solid top BTW. I see what what you are saying- for the grain to run parallel to the ends. Might be easier as this is my first attempt as a large project. I thought of getting a 4X4 piece of good MDF to use as a base for gluing the sections to keep them as even as possible.
Any and all suggestions are always welcome!
You can't do that with the MDF. Solid wood has to expand and contract and if you glue it to the MDF it won't be able to. What would happen is the solid wood would split when the wood shrank. Even if that wasn't an issue the MDF would add a lot of weight to the table and if you ever got it wet the wood would swell up and or get fuzzy.

If you do the top with the grain running lengthwise be sure you glue it together as one piece including the leaves so all the wood would align. Another issue would be with the leaves running cross grain. It would be prone to warp. You might have to put strips of steel on the underside of the leaves to keep them flat.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-02-2016, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Steve, I'm not gluing the top to the MDF. Didn't make that clear. Using it as a work surface to keep everything level as possible.
I looked at my wood stack and none of the pieces are long enough to go across the table top. They are too short to go from end to end. It looks like I'll have to piece them together like a hardwood floor to make a section. Lots of resawing and planing for the future.

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-03-2016, 12:05 AM
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Most tables the grain runs crosswise. It would save you a lot of problems if you did that.

The MDF would add an awful amount of weight to the table. I think you will regret it every time you move the table. Anyway any sheet stock if you screw the top to it be sure to elongate the screw holes and not torque the screws down real tight.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-03-2016, 06:49 AM
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Run them long way, piece together what you need to, it will work. Biscuits would help with alignment but anytime your piecing together something of this size there is going to be some sanding. Once glue has cured and it has been sanded flat, cut it. That part always makes me nervous lol. Don't make the mistake of cutting before you have sanded it pretty close to complete. If anything catches your circular saw when trying to make those cuts it can make for a miserable time. Attaching top- use the figure 8 desk/table top ties. They look like two washers welded together. Can find them at rockler or woodcraft. Have fun and be safe.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-03-2016, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Steve, post #5 states that I'm not gluing the MDF to the top- wouldn't consider doing it. Using it as a work area for assembling the top. I don't have a biscuit cutter but thought of using Titebond III and a few pocket screws and clamps to assemble the top. SN22, thanks. Have seen the figure 8 ties in the Woodcraft catalogue. Now to find time to start.

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