Laminating Different Species Wood for Coffee Table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Laminating Different Species Wood for Coffee Table

Hey,

This is coming from a first timer really, trying to put together a little coffee table. Buying a single piece of solid wood is a little too expensive so I thought I may go by the local mill and pick up some off cuts and laminate them together, also it's the aesthetic I'm going for.

First I'm wondering if this is even a good idea, I'm aware that different wood species have different shrinkage and expansions so I want to know whether certain species shouldn't be put together?

Second how should I go about the lamination? Is just a normal join + glue gonna work? Or should I add some kind of support underneath the table top to hold the pieces together after the gluing as well?

Finally, if this idea is just completely crazy please say so, and maybe I can just settle for some nice plywood.

Appreciate any help with this.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 07:45 AM
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The overall design looks alright but where I marked a #1 it looks like you have wood cut in a U shape around a different species. It's feasible you might have trouble here depending on the different species. Where I marked #2 cutting out a hole and inserting a piece of wood you are very likely to have a problem here. What I marked X shouldn't be done especially if you have the grain running perpendicular to the rest of it.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 09:21 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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all the grain runs "long" ...

Your sketch shows that even though the pieces are glued together to form wide "planks" all the grains seem to run lengthwise on the planks. This is correct and allows the wood to move across it's width. Wood does not change much if at all in it's length dues to season humidty changes. Further you never want to combine a horizontal board and a series of planks with glue which would restrict the movement.

You will have "fun" making those mitered corners unless you use a guide and a very sharp circular saw set at exactly 90 degrees to the edge. The saw must also be set at exactly 45 degrees to get a good, close fitting miter. Make some test cuts to get things just right.

You might also consider eliminating the vertical posts, for good looks ... I donno, but I don't care for them. The table would have a very clean contemporary look without them sticking up through it..... JMO.

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 #4 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 09:46 AM
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I like your design....BUT.....

You didn't specify what the "local mill" is.....is that a sawmill or like a millwork/cabinet shop???

The reason I ask is the most common mistake made with newbies and several oldies is using green or incorrect MC wood (even reclaimed 200 yr old material can be wrong by storage or how originally used) and this causes major issues in the end with a build. Wood coming straight from the sawmill is a long road to being ready to build with for furniture (can be years if ADing). Even store bought 2x's like for houses are actually too high of a MC.

Here's just 5 of many that I've commented on....MC is very important just as a proper build.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f26/k...cess-s-131825/

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/he...please-133425/ read my post at #17 but all are parts also.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/he...arping-128393/

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/ta...rating-126266/

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/wh...arping-120937/

Have a Blessed and Prosperous day in Jesus's Awesome Love, Tim
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 10:19 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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there's other issues I see....

When gluing up various length boards, end to end, they must be of common widths. Random width boards butting together will create offsets which will be difficult to work around.

To solve this, make them in 2 or 3 different widths or all the same, so when you line them up side by side there will be a continuous straight edge for the adjoining boards to mate against. Then glue them up in a large "plank" and then cut your miters. They are going to be difficult to clamp up and keep the joints "gap free".

Another issue is the boards should all be the same thickness and run through a thickness planer.

You asked if this was a crazy idea, no, but there are issues that need to be addressed.

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 #6 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 02:32 PM
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If it were me I would tongue and groove the ends of the boards and glue them together into the necessary lengths first. Then joint them straight and glue them together for width. You could glue them up into panels for the individual parts and then miter them where needed. Once you had panels glued up and sanded it would be more like working with plywood. Sanding would be necessary as you go because it would be too difficult to thoroughly sand it once all of it was put together.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The overall design looks alright but where I marked a #1 it looks like you have wood cut in a U shape around a different species. It's feasible you might have trouble here depending on the different species. Where I marked #2 cutting out a hole and inserting a piece of wood you are very likely to have a problem here. What I marked X shouldn't be done especially if you have the grain running perpendicular to the rest of it.
Thanks for the great feedback and warnings. To be honest the split up in the drawing is just random, not really how I plan to put it together, just a way to represent the idea I had in mind. But I'll take into consideration everything you're saying, and about drilling the hole, maybe I can make sure that the hole only goes through one piece and doesn't go through any of the glue joints.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Tim View Post
You didn't specify what the "local mill" is.....is that a sawmill or like a millwork/cabinet shop???
The local mill is a sawmill. I'm aware that I have to be careful when it comes to MC in the wood I get, and I'll be sure to ask the guys at the sawmill for wood that's already been in the kiln or air dried.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
You asked if this was a crazy idea, no, but there are issues that need to be addressed.
That's actually a great idea, I'm sure I can still achieve the varied look even if I limit myself to a few set widths. I'll keep that in mind moving forward.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If it were me I would tongue and groove the ends of the boards and glue them together into the necessary lengths first.
I've never really done any tongue and groove work ever, so I'm not sure how to do it. But it seems you're saying to cut the grooves and tongues into the widths (end grain) of the boards and then to leave the sides straight and glue the different strips together? Kind of like this?
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-09-2016, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGFXNovice View Post
I've never really done any tongue and groove work ever, so I'm not sure how to do it. But it seems you're saying to cut the grooves and tongues into the widths (end grain) of the boards and then to leave the sides straight and glue the different strips together? Kind of like this?
Yes, that is what I was thinking. That way you are not putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You could work on one length at a time. I thought perhaps tongue and groove would be the easiest end grain joint. If you would rather you could use a doweling jig and dowel the boards together. Be sure you make the boards about an inch oversized in length and width until you get it glued up into panels. Then you could square and size the wood to your needs.
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