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Hey everyone--I am new to the site as of about 5 minutes ago. Looks like a great place for someone who enjoys woodworking!

I found the site while trying to research a wood that I would like to work with. A local wood supplier has some really, really nice sweet gum (or he called it liquidambar). I have never worked with it and when I brought home a sample my wife and I fell in love with it for (hopefully) the kitchen table that I plan to build us soon. I have read a fair amount about it online today and can't get a good feel for whether it would be a good choice or not for a dinner table. The table will be large, probably 7x 10ish in a triangular shape to fit our kitchen. The wood is already dry, planed, and is a couple inches thick.

Anyone have any input?
 

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I turn a lot of sweet gum but haven't done any big flat work with it. It seems like it would be a bit light in weight and maybe softer than I would use for a table.

That is just a guess really from what I seen turning it. It is one of my favorite woods to work. If I did a table with it I would think hard about using a two part epoxy finish on the top at least to protect it.
 

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I think that sweet gum and what we have in this area red gum are the same. The stuff can be beautiful showing streaks of various colors similar to spalting. The problem is that for flat work like tables and cabinets there is a lot of movement to contend with. The wood is very unstable and there can be a lot of shrinkage. It's also not very impact resistant either. I built some stuff out of it early on as my father in law had a ton in his barn. My wife's grand father had several trees cut off the farm like 40 years ago and no one ever used it for anything.
 
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