Reply by JBrow

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Posted on keeping small table flat

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1368 posts in 1560 days

#1 posted 09-14-2016 01:39 PM


Leaving the underside of the table tops naked has the appeal of savings on labor and materials. However this short term gain can become a long term pain. When moisture can enter and exit the wood on one surface much easier than on another surface, the unbalanced movement of moisture greatly increases the changes of cupping or bellying of the top.

A simple test of this concept is to glue up a panel that is flat. Then leave the panel on the workbench for several days, so that moisture has difficultly transferring to the underside of the panel lying on the workbench surface. There is a real good chance the panel will cup in one direction or the other. Flip the panel over and after a few days the cup can reverse.

Some additional thoughts on whether to finish the underside of a table top, all recommending the application of finish to the underside of a table top, can be found at…

Keeping Table Tops Flat, a general discussion of a variety of tricks that can help keep table tops flat, including finishing tips…

How-To Apply Epoxy Finish, a step by step how to finish a tabletop with epoxy and lessons learned from cupped table tops…

The DIY Guide to Finishing a Table Top, generally describes the steps for finishing a table top, including the underside…

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