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post #1 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Solid wood expansion?

I am building my first solid wood project and after reading story after story of table tops warping and legs not touching the ground, I am getting worried.

I am using maple and padauk. I ordered it through a cabinet maker in town that I know. I don't know the true moisture %, but he assures me it should be within an acceptable range.

My project is going to have a 1.5" solid top with breadboard ends and 3x3 legs (which I am planning on making by laminating 3 1x3 boards.

Is there anything I need to consider or reconsider before final cut up and glue up? Do I need to alternate grain direction to reduce risk of warping? Finish on top and bottom of table top? Is my plan for the legs going to encourage warping or twisting?

How much worrying is too much?
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaleSspin View Post
I am using maple and padauk. I ordered it through a cabinet maker in town that I know. I don't know the true moisture %, but he assures me it should be within an acceptable range.

My project is going to have a 1.5" solid top with breadboard ends and 3x3 legs (which I am planning on making by laminating 3 1x3 boards.

Is there anything I need to consider or reconsider before final cut up and glue up? Do I need to alternate grain direction to reduce risk of warping? Finish on top and bottom of table top? Is my plan for the legs going to encourage warping or twisting?

How much worrying is too much?
What are the dimensions of the top? The wider the top, the greater the movement during seasonal changes.

The wood may be "dry" by the shop selling it to you, but you should let it adjust to the moisture in your shop for a few weeks before using.

What species of maple?

This site is useful for calculating dimensional changes. It does not include Padauk.

Do you appreciate Padauk will change to a dark muddy brown? Looks nice when sanded, but I am not a fan of the colour after UV has done it magic.

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/shrinkulator.htm

Flipping the pieces to orient the grain helps.

How are you planning on attaching the breadboard ends? These should be glued or screwed or nailed only in the centre. The rest needs to float since the main table will move with the seasons but the breadboard ends will remain about the same length.

Laminating for the legs is common. If the wood is stable before you laminate it should not be a problem.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Top dimension is 23 total. The plan is to glue up alternating strips of rock maple and padauk. The largest 2 boards are 4.5" (maple), there's 2 4" pieces (padauk) and then several pieces alternating between that will be no more than 2" each.

The bread board ends are 4.5x24 each.

I'll have to do some research about attaching the bread boards then. I didn't realize I can't just face glue them to end grain. So glad I asked!
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaleSspin View Post
Top dimension is 23 total. The plan is to glue up alternating strips of rock maple and padauk. The largest 2 boards are 4.5" (maple), there's 2 4" pieces (padauk) and then several pieces alternating between that will be no more than 2" each.

The bread board ends are 4.5x24 each.

I'll have to do some research about attaching the bread boards then. I didn't realize I can't just face glue them to end grain. So glad I asked!
The breadboard end is really to cover the end grain of the main table.

Since you cannot glue this along the length, it will be held by the tenon. Common to make a tenon on the table and a mortise in the breadboard end.

I would not make the breadboard end wider than e.g., 2in since some could put a lot of weight on the end, accidental or otherwise and break off the breadboard end.

I have pondered about attaching the breadboard end by making a sliding dovetail joint. A bit more work, but better support of the breadboard end.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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The breadboard end is really to cover the end grain of the main table.

Since you cannot glue this along the length, it will be held by the tenon. Common to make a tenon on the table and a mortise in the breadboard end.

I would not make the breadboard end wider than e.g., 2in since some could put a lot of weight on the end, accidental or otherwise and break off the breadboard end.

I have pondered about attaching the breadboard end by making a sliding dovetail joint. A bit more work, but better support of the breadboard end.
Ya I was just looking at examples of that. One issue is that I've already cut some of my stock to length, so I don't have the extra on the ends for tenon. I'll have to mortise the top and ends out and dowel them together.


(I also have the bread boards supported by the legs, the table overhang will be fairly minimal actually)

So it should be sufficient to dowel them up, leaving slightly looser mortises in the bread board ends, and only glue up the middle few dowels to the bread board end? So...glue dowels all along the end grain. Then only glue the middle few to the bread board ends.

Last edited by TaleSspin; 11-13-2013 at 06:15 PM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 08:24 PM
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Here is a really good tutorial on making breadboard ends by firemedic. He used hand tools for the build, but the principles of how/why to do things don't change. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/b...d-tools-32653/

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 09:12 PM
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maple and padauk seems an odd choice since the padauk will, as already pointed out, turn much more ugly over time whereas walnut, which is considerably cheaper, will start off looking good and end up over time looking good. Another good choice would be cherry (to go with the maple) since that will start off looking good and end up over time looking even better.

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 09:19 PM
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[QUOTE=Dave Paine;540309

The wood may be "dry" by the shop selling it to you, but you should let it adjust to the moisture in your shop for a few weeks before using.




.[/QUOTE]

I would rather have it adjusted to the environment of the room where it will be used in its final configuration.

George
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-13-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a really good tutorial on making breadboard ends by firemedic. He used hand tools for the build, but the principles of how/why to do things don't change. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/b...d-tools-32653/
Thanks I'll check that out right now, just taking a break from the project.




And to those in regards to the padauk color change, it's basically what I had. Someone had gotten me a gift card to a little place in town that mostly sells furniture and a little bit of hardwood out the back. It's what they had so I thought I'd try it. I guess we'll see! I've seen examples of how it darkens up and I don't mind the color, it should still contrast well with the nice white maple.

Thanks again everyone for your help!
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-14-2013, 12:05 PM
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time

The longer I can let something set between steps the more consistent the final product. I recently finished a coffee table from a top that had been constructed three years ago. I'm retired and have the time, rare in many cases, but it sure works to help you feel more comfortable about proceeding. If you work with exotic hardwoods and all the oils and waxy surfaces it is almost a necessity to let something reside under a table collecting sawdust for a while.

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post #11 of 12 Old 11-14-2013, 12:55 PM
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Doweling the warp boards to the main table panel would not be wise. The dowels will prevent the main table panel from being able to expand and contracts. Instead, you could use Lag bolts inside of slotted holes, the longer slots to the outer edges of the table. Again, no glue. You can put plugs over the bolt holes. I have seen pine table tops that we built expand to 1/8" or more past the warp boards in the humid summers and shrink back to an even fit in winter.
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-14-2013, 07:55 PM
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I'll have to disagree with posts about the color of Padauk. I've made a fair amount out of Padauk- two full restaurant bars, a couple of mantles, dining room table, full balustrade, etc. The color of fresh milled Padauk is bright orange which I find to be objectionable but the color darkens over time and if a dark shellac is applied the color IMO is preferable to Walnut.

The balusters are fresh milled the the small table has aged.
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