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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm making a kitchen table for the house out of some oak I had cut from pallet material. The table will be 42" by about 6'. I'm working on the table top it self right now and have two questions.

First the wood I plan to glue up is varying from about 8% to 16% moisture content. I have it planed and ready to biscut joint and glue up. Should I try to get the 16% stuff down to say 12% before proceding? If so what is the best way to dry it a bit without it curling or cracking?

The boards that I plan to use for the top are all just over an inch thick right now. I was planning to glue up the pieces in one foot wide chunks then plane them again to 1" and glue up the 6 one foot wide pieces to make a 6' table with 5 "new glue joints" to be sanded before finishing. The pieces to make up the table top are from 3" to 8" wide. Would I decrease the chances of wood joint separation in the future if I ripped all the 8" wide stuff in half and made the whole table like a butcher block style with the whole 6' lenght made up of pieces no more than say 4". Or should I just use them as is and keep them in as big a chuncks as possible?

Any thoughts?
Phil
 

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You'll definitely be better off to get the moisture down to where they are all equal. If you would bring them inside to a climate controlled space then in about a week they should be equal or close to it. Also those are going to be the conditions that the table will be in after done. I personally don't like to have any board over 6" wide in a panel. Also you need to watch your annular rings when gluing up and alternate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dave thanks for the opinion! I was thinking I should take both suggestions for a better end product. I made a large four foot square coffee table years ago in high school and after all these years (18) it still looks as good as it did. Nothing cracked or split. Looking back I think the wood was bone dry when I started.

My wife recently bought (ha I guess she was tired of waiting) an Amish made china cabnet and I see there is already a crack where two pieces of wood were glued together. It was made back east some where and here in Alaska in the winter it is very dry.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dave,

I have the wood stacked and stickered in the shop. After the moisture evens between the pieces I plan to glue up 6 pieces roughly a foot wide and then run them thought the planer one last time. After that glue the 6 pieces up for a 6' top. As the wood was starting to dry a bit I see some was moving. I cut all the larger pieces in half so none of the pieces are wider than about 4 or 5 inches. It's a good thing I did as some were starting to crack and they would of ended up in two anyhow and unusable. Its turning into a big learning experience!

Phil

 
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