Reply by Rich

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Posted on Another Tabletop Question - Individual Boards Instead Of Glue-ups

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6393 posts in 1561 days

#1 posted 02-09-2018 04:35 PM

Nope, if they’re butted up against one another, it’ll still be a problem when moisture increases and they widen. When they dry and shrink, there will be gaps. If you’re OK with that, then why not shiplap them and leave maybe a sixteenth of an inch space between them (use something like pennies for spacers when you lay it out)? That can expand and contract without any problem at all. Just be sure not to glue them to the apron across their width. I’d suggest using battens to keep it all flat and put one screw up through the middle of each slat. A base sheet of plywood would do the same thing and add thickness and stiffness. There are all sorts of options.

You will likely have an issue with cupping, so seal it up well. We have a table out on the patio that my wife bought years ago that’s built with the shiplap slats mounted to a plywood base. It’s been through many monsoon seasons and is still solid. I did have to sand it flat several years ago because the slats had cupped, but I sealed it up and it’s still looking good.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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