Re-claimed Plank Table advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-18-2014, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re-claimed Plank Table advice

Hi all

Great community you have here! I have been trolling and reading and sifting through the advice posted.

I'm building a plank dining room table (8' x 3' with 2 - 2' end leaves). Found a mill who had some 100+ year old 12' - 12"x12" fir beams from an old warehouse. Had them cut them into 2" planks. I got three lengths and one 6" wide piece to use for the bread boards. They are full of character (and some checking) and they are now planed, jointed and I have been patching holes, the odd knot that is a bit too unruly and getting ready to lay it up.

The issue is that I can't alternate the end grain for cupping as the best faces are all aligned the same way. Darn it! The bottoms are all checked. I routed a 1/2" (w) x 1" 9(d) x 8"(l) strip on the bottom of the middle and worst piece, roughly 12" o/c and generally through the worst of the checks - i.e. perpendicular to the length of the board. I glued and tacked an 8" piece of maple into each slot. In effect (I hope) a way to restrain cupping and set me at ease (I hope) that the checking won't get worse or open up on the table top. (It's similar to a granite counter top trick used to reinforce sink cutouts, though there a piece of steel and epoxy or polyester adhesive is used).

Anyway, I am figuring out how to lay it all up and remembered my dad has a biscuit joiner I bought him 25 years ago. Well, it is practically new. As I look at those #20 biscuits I'm wondering: will they actually be useful or a hindrance with wood of this size and if useful, how many to use and where? That is, run them down the middle at 1" or two, stacked at say 1/2" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom? Or is glue enough?

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Aaron
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-18-2014, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Oh dear...just found the biscuit thread. I guess that answers the question!
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-18-2014, 06:02 PM
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Are the maple strips spanning across multiple boards? If so, this will not allow for wood movement and will cause serious issues.

As for alternating grain direction, if the boards are that old they are probably as dry as they'll ever be. However, not doing it the right way is just asking for trouble down the road.

Post some pictures of the boards and end grain. There may be other options.
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-18-2014, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - I'll post some this weekend.

As to the maple, it only spans one board - 12 pieces, each 8" long.
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-18-2014, 09:21 PM
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this could be a real issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by AML1242 View Post
Thanks - I'll post some this weekend.

As to the maple, it only spans one board - 12 pieces, each 8" long.

The issue is that I can't alternate the end grain for cupping as the best faces are all aligned the same way. Darn it! The bottoms are all checked. I routed a 1/2" (w) x 1" 9(d) x 8"(l) strip on the bottom of the middle and worst piece, roughly 12" o/c and generally through the worst of the checks - i.e. perpendicular to the length of the board. I glued and tacked an 8" piece of maple into each slot. In effect (I hope) a way to restrain cupping and set me at ease (I hope) that the checking won't get worse or open up on the table top. (It's similar to a granite counter top trick used to reinforce sink cutouts, though there a piece of steel and epoxy or polyester adhesive is used).
Wood moves or expands or contracts across it's width. You have created a hinderance to that movement by adding and gluing the strips in the slots. This may NOT be entirely different than butterfly inserts and since it's after the fact, only time will tell if it becomes a problem. The only thing I can see that may happen is the board may want to cup slightly.... I donno?

Biscuits are not necessary and IF your edges are straight and square your glue joints will mate properly and that's all you'll need. Do not overclamp so as to squeeze out all the glue, creating a glue starved joint. Apply the glue to both edges and slide them back and forth a bit before clamping with even pressure.
Use cross cauls to maintain alignment every 24" or so down the length.

Your breadboard ends can only be secured in the center and must allow for movement from the center outward by using elongated slots on the bottom for the screws. Generally there are tenons on the length and mortises across on the breadboard ends, it's just easier to make them that way.

Photos will help with your issues.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-18-2014 at 09:24 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-19-2014, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture of the main planks, laid out in the order.

The maple strips are on the underside of the middle plank. You can see its cut through the pith & heartwood. Down the centre is badly checked the full length on the underside. While it should be as dry as dry can be, I was concerned about it splitting more than cupping. In either case, the objective was to restrain movement.

Thanks for the reminder on the floating bread board. Can I dowel into an elongated slot on the tenon? As you may be able to make out, I've already got some wooden plugs so I am not opposed to doweling it in just to add some more character. The breadboard is 6" so I imagine a 3" M&T nd maybe 2 dowels into elongated slots in the center plank - almost like the two plugs on the left board, but in the right place!
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-30-2014, 11:32 PM
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Those boards are right thru the centre of the log. The ideal thing to do if you have another board or two, is to cut the centre 4 inches out of each plank and glue the sides back together. This would yield a much more stable ,almost quarter cut tabletop that would look and function very well.
Get more help in the table design to insure that the support system allows for wood movement.
If you must use them with the centres as is, don't worry about the grain ring directions. Many if not most prefer them glued up as you have them all the same direction. That allows for easier holding any eventual cupping under control. It is better than a wavy tabletop. A two inch thick top will take solid fasteners to the cleats or apron.
Hope that was not too poorly stated..?
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-01-2014, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice.

I'll file away that idea about cutting the centers for next time. Aside from one more 6" length (for the ends), that's all I have. Also, I've cut in 5 maple bowties running down the centre plank, so I guess they stay 12" wide...

As to the table legs/base, I have a design committee here (wife and 2 daughters) who thought wooden legs would be "too much". I had a tubular steel frame made, including allowance for two end leaves, and just got it powder coated.

In the picture you can see three angles down the middle (trust me on the 3rd one!), each with 3 holes. The intention was to screw the table from underneath.

Having read a bit more, I'm thinking about grinding the outer holes into slots. I can then screw into the middle hole and use a screw with washer in the slotted openings? Do you think that make sense?
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-01-2014, 09:08 PM
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yes, that the right approach

Screw the center down real tight, slot the outboard holes to allow for expansion/contraction and just snug those screws. Nice frame and that should have a great overall look.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-01-2014, 09:44 PM
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I agree with Bill. Sounds like you've got the right idea about turning the outer holes to slots.
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-03-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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I finished the bowties and started gluing up plank 1 & 2. I picked up some Titebond III. The planks dry fit pretty well - a bit of shimming to improve level. 3 clamps under, 3 clamps over, 2 on each end, 2 cawls (sp?)...glued it up and noticed the bottle says clamp for 30 minutes...do they really mean 30 minutes? Is there any harm leaving it clamped overnight? tick - tock if there is...LOL

Thanks
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-04-2014, 01:18 PM
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Myself I prefer to leave it overnight. It won't hurt to, for sure. I say better safe, than sorry.
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-04-2014, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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M & T - depth and method

Ready to M & T the bread boards this week (not sure if this will post as a reply to my OP or a new thread as I changed the title...if a new thread, then this is an 8' reclaimed fir plank table. 3 - 12" w x 2"thick x 8' planks) Breadboards are 6" x 2" x 36"

1 - As I was reading about the size of the joint, I was left a bit confused. With 2" thick material, some would say the joint thickness should be about 5/8" and others say 1".

2 - length of the joint. I have 3 - 12" planks across for the tenon. I was thinking about 28" but that is just an eyeball guess.

3 - Depth - the ends are 6". I was thinking 3" for the mortise. I was thinking for using the table saw and then cleaning our the corners. I don't have a router bit deep enough. I suppose I could use a drill press and clean it out by hand with chisel.

As usual, any advice appreciated!

thanks

AML
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-26-2014, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AML1242 View Post
Ready to M & T the bread boards this week (not sure if this will post as a reply to my OP or a new thread as I changed the title...if a new thread, then this is an 8' reclaimed fir plank table. 3 - 12" w x 2"thick x 8' planks) Breadboards are 6" x 2" x 36"

1 - As I was reading about the size of the joint, I was left a bit confused. With 2" thick material, some would say the joint thickness should be about 5/8" and others say 1".

2 - length of the joint. I have 3 - 12" planks across for the tenon. I was thinking about 28" but that is just an eyeball guess.

3 - Depth - the ends are 6". I was thinking 3" for the mortise. I was thinking for using the table saw and then cleaning our the corners. I don't have a router bit deep enough. I suppose I could use a drill press and clean it out by hand with chisel.

As usual, any advice appreciated!

thanks

AML
What did you end up doing? I have a table that is 85" long and 50" wide with 2 3/8" think planks that I'm trying to figure out the same thing.
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-27-2014, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hi - I wrongly posted an update here, with pics and an description of the ends. I can post some better pics of the M&T in progress if you are interested. I'm not sure if this link is placed correctly and I'm not sure how to shorten it...anyway, the thread is just a couple threads away from this one...


http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/reclaimed-fir-plank-table-update-
pics-63121/
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