Table top made of 4X6's - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Table top made of 4X6's

New member here looking for some advice:
I've built a dining room table by screwing together 5 foot lengths of 4X6 Douglas Fir using 1/2 inch by 10 inch lag screws. Each post has 4 lag screws connecting it to the next one and the screws are staggered so that every post is screwed to the next one. I also generously applied wood glue. The legs were then attached using hanger bolts. I attached some pictures to give an idea. The wood is standard Home Depot Douglas Fir and I left it out for a week or so in a dry climate before I started working. My question is: if left indoors, even with all the bolts and glue, should I expect a lot of warping? If so, what could I do to minimize or prevent that from happening? If I built another one like this, what precautions could I take in advance?
Thanks in advance for any help/advice/warning
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 05:40 AM
where's my table saw?
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nice looking table

I think you've done everything possible to prevent movement.
What I don't know is the type of post? I assume they were pressure treated? Those are generally so wet they need a long time to dry out because of the process used to treat them.
As long as you have sealed both sides of the table they should dry more or less evenly. The ends will probably check in my experience, and there's not much you can do about it, except seal them real well. Time will tell, but I would expect some cracks to form as they dry out.

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 #3 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 07:44 AM
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You did go to trouble to make the top. Even if all the mating edges were jointed, and being glued and bolted, will not prevent wood movement if it occurs. It doesn't necessarily have to happen at the joints.

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 09:12 AM
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Douglas fir seems to vary by store, but I've had some Douglas fir 2x that was still wet inside after a couple of months. With Home Depot construction lumber I really prefer not to use it for at least 3 months if I want it to stay stable.

You could get lucky, though... I got at least one board that was bone dry all the way through straight off the pallet. You'll have a better sense then we will of how dry it was when you cut it.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I sealed all of the sides, so hopefully that helps. As far as alternating end grains, I was more concerned with using the cleaner side of wood than I was with end grain, so that could end up being a problem. Would it be worth finding kiln-dried wood in the future to avoid any problems?
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 02:04 PM
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Even though it's kiln dried, construction lumber is still pretty wet ... iirc it's around 18%

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 03:44 PM
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Does this table double as a bomb/tornado shelter?

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 03:47 PM
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Here in BC, KD conifer lumber is 24%MC. Air dried would be 12-14%, Indoors might go as low as 4% in a very dry winter. Outdoors under cover, air-drying takes about a year per inch here.
Dfir is too expensive to consider a PT service application.
BUT, you've done the best of all = finished the entire surfaces and anchored the wood "in service."
The finishing will really slow down the rate of drying as the wood settles slowly in service.
Monster of a table but looks good.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-18-2014, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Haha yea the 4X6's were a little overboard, but I just liked the heavy duty look of it. And as with most amateurs, I started building and figured it out as I went that it was a little more than I bargained for. The posts were all fairly dry when I cut them, and I bolted the heck out of it, so I feel a little more optimistic about the longevity. Thanks for all the replies.
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