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HI,I have some 15" wide Cherry and I am going to make a Shaker table.What is your opinion as to using wide boards etc..?
 

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I personally like wide boards . I know there are concerns in wide board construction...but the Shakers did it. I would stick with the theme. Plus it is just cool :thumbsup:
I just pulled a couple picture from my gallery cause it was easy, but I make alot of wide board stuff. The walnut trestle table is 18" and the curly maple desk is 24"...it would be a crime to rip stock like that down in my opinion.
 

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I feel that I should make another comment about wide boards. If the board is cut dead center of a tree then a wide board should not move much at all. If it has alot of arced grain to it then it will curl. A board with a lot of irregular grain like what Darren showed will resist bowing. The long sweeping arcs in grain are what tend to make it bow.
 

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I know there are concerns in wide board construction..
I was being lazy, Big Dave is giving a better answer. I will try to help too. There are things to know about wood and it's characteristics before a guy goes making slab tables, and he should do his research. Dave hit the nail on the head with his comment about grain. If you look at the walnut table that slab is all heartwood and it is the second board off the exact center of the tree (I know cause I sawmilled it :laughing:) Again with the curly maple slab, it is a very stable wood because of its species, way it was sawn and interlocking curled grain.
I think this book has been mentioned before. A feller has to understand wood to know how to best use it. Stock selection is key. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Wood-Craftsmans-Guide-Technology/dp/1561583588
 

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Hi Pigroll,

These guys are right.

Funny thing is when you are learning woodworking, they teach you to use narrow boards to prevent warping. Generally six inches and under.
Then as you master woodworking, you are taught to use wide boards, and that's the way the "real pros" do it.

There a number of ways to work with wide boards, without having problems, and that includes the grain as mentioned in the other posts, as well as providing for expansion and contraction.

So many things require learning the rules, and then once you do, you can throw the rules out, and it's okay. That's the case here.

The 18th century piece on the home page of pro woodworking tips, uses boards up to 24" wide. It was built a good number of years ago, and I got the opportunity to see it a couple months ago. It looks great.

If you still are concerned, you can rip the pieces, and then glue them back together in the same order. This will maintain the grain continuity and appear to be a single piece, while relieving any internal stress the wood is under.

Have Fun :thumbsup:

Lee
 

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If the grain is straight (all 3 ways,, yes diving grain is the kiss of death to a board)
and the lumber is properly dried (proper MC. no stress).
If you use the pith ,, it prob. will crack (may be OK with you though,, some of the best figure is right next to the pith)
You fasten the top to the aprons so the top can move in width

Then:
No problem at all.
jim
 
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