Reply by Lazyman

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Posted on Bowling Lane Table and planning for wood movement

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5990 posts in 2309 days

#1 posted 02-21-2017 04:07 AM

Not sure that I can help much but here are few of thoughts. If nothing else, my response will push this back to top and maybe others will have better ideas.

While wood movement is something you normally have worry about on a table top, because the boards are not glued together, they may have enough gaps between them that they have enough room for wood movement, since most of the movement is across the grain not its length. The fact that the finish on the top looks crack free also indicates that this wood is pretty stable—its probably over 50 years old if it was removed from a bowling alley.

Is that angle iron in the 3rd picture from the original installation or something that was added later to hold it together while it was moved? The crack there was probably caused by driving the screw in without a proper pilot hole and if it is from the original installation has probably been there for over 50 years too and not from wood movement. I would replace the angle iron with wood, if for no other reason than to make sure that no one hits their knee on it. But, if you are still concerned with movement, making the holes oversized will give some protection. The nails that hold the boards together may also give the some flexibility to move a bit so that not all of the movement shows up along the sides are at individual points where it is attached to the supports.

It is not clear to me what your concern is with using a router bit on the edges. Are you worried about hitting hidden nails? A metal detector can help you locate them. I find the Zircon m40-FFP a pretty handy tool for locating hidden nails in wood ($30 at Amazon). If you can locate them, you may be able to remove them before using the router.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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