Re-claimed Plank Table advice
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.