LumberJocks

All Replies on 2x10 Tabletop with no breadboard? Cupping?

  • Advertise with us
View bucketheadmn's profile

2x10 Tabletop with no breadboard? Cupping?

by bucketheadmn
posted 08-01-2016 02:33 PM


30 replies so far

View Robert's profile

Robert

3537 posts in 1989 days


#1 posted 08-01-2016 03:33 PM

First, the lumber: If you are using syp lumber or any other “construction” grade lumber, it has to be allowed to dry quite a while. You can either measure with a moisture meter aiming for less than 10% or weigh the boards every week and when they are stabilized the weight will be the same. This could take up to a couple months or more depending on the wood, your cllimate and storage conditions.

The breadboard: IMO absolutely necessary for a table like this. These things are prone to some pretty wild cupping. My first, second, third…... ;-) joinery attempt is always in practice pieces. Don’t freak out about it just take some time to practice. As far as technique, you will need some tools depending on how you do it. A dado blade easily plows a groove. Multiple passes.

You can make the tenon using a router. The tenon should be 2” then cut sections back to 3/4” leaving 3 sections 2”. This is where you will put the pins. Keep the tenon about 1” short on both ends and elongate the holes to allow for movement. Do not elongate the middle hole. You can also draw bore to keep it nice and tight.

The tabletop: I would not recommend using boards that wide. I recommend getting 2×12’s and ripping out the pith center which results in mostly 1/4 sawn (much stabler) wood, and it is better looking. After the top is glued up (usually step 1 in a project like this) I would keep it clamped in cauls and wrapped in plastic.

Tools: I usually leave the tenons a little heavy. Do not try to get it perfect right off the saw. A rabbet block plane or large shoulder plane will do the job.

Finally (finally!) I would check out some videos on breadboard ends.

You can do it!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2481 posts in 2306 days


#2 posted 08-01-2016 11:14 PM

Ana White strikes again!

-- Aj

View jonmakesthings's profile

jonmakesthings

73 posts in 1326 days


#3 posted 08-02-2016 12:54 AM

I say breadboards are a near necessity if you don’t want the top to warp.

-- How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

View Tabletop's profile

Tabletop

139 posts in 1255 days


#4 posted 08-02-2016 02:05 AM

Just my opinion but breadboards are not a necessity but only if you….
Use dry lumber, acclimated to a controlled environment
Use square lumber
Use no board wider than 6”.
Alternate end grain, up and then down
Fasten top correctly to whatever your underpinning
Finish both sides, top and bottom, the same.
Don’t use pine construction lumber

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1368 posts in 1428 days


#5 posted 08-02-2016 02:19 AM

bucketheadmn,

In my mind, the first and foremost consideration when wanting wood to behave over time is to use only good lumber. This would be lumber milled for furniture making. My observation of construction grade lumber is that it is very unstable over time and when it decides to move (it usually does), very little can be done to stop it. Unfortunately, given the dimensions of the top, furniture grade, kiln dried to 12% moisture content lumber is likely to be expensive. But it will behave much better over time than construction lumber.

While I cannot argue with the benefits of a bread board end treatment, a second alternative is battens attached to the underside of the top. A shallow center stop groove down the length of the batten would be a recess that would conceal the heads of pan head screws. A through slot cut down the center of the stopped groove would create slots for the screws and thus allow the top to move without cracking. The screws would secure the batten to the planks making up to top. Making the screws as long as possible without piercing the upper surface of the top would maximize their holding power.

Since the battens rely of the holding power of the screws from below and the top is not restrained on its upper surface, the batten approach is less functionally less attractive to the bread board end. But if good quality low moisture content lumber equalized to its environment is used, the battens approach may work.

I also agree with Tabletop (and all of his ifs), especially with a top that is a finished thickness of 1-1/2”.

View Tabletop's profile

Tabletop

139 posts in 1255 days


#6 posted 08-02-2016 07:28 AM

Great idea with the battens, Jbrow. Depending on how you finish , with or without a skirt, could be a great look with a contrasting color as well as reinforce.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1458 posts in 3357 days


#7 posted 08-02-2016 11:42 AM

+1 to JBROW & Tabletop, for me i’d go with at least 2” to 4” QS quality lumber and have very little worry of movement.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2839 posts in 2804 days


#8 posted 08-02-2016 11:50 AM

I wouldn’t go heavier than 5/4 lumber for the top, and keep the boards narrower. If you want a thicker look you can build up the edges. I’d stay away from framing lumber, but that’s just me.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3126 days


#9 posted 08-02-2016 12:10 PM

+2 to jbrow and tabletop. I’ve built two tables of the type you’re talking about (see the project posts here on LJs), and cupping has not been an issue.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View TraylorPark's profile

TraylorPark

213 posts in 2106 days


#10 posted 08-02-2016 12:48 PM

Here’s my 2 cents. I built a round table out of 2×12 construction lumber, no way to do breadboard ends. I simply ripped the lumber in half and was super, super diligent on my jointing after I flipped one board to have alternating end grain patterns. I didn’t do much for acclimation of the lumber, but it was purchased in the winter so that might have helped, being that it came from the home depot and stored inside with all the dry heat. Anyway that was a year and half ago and it hasn’t cupped or moved at all in 6 northeast Ohio seasons. Below is a picture.

-- --Zach

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3128 posts in 2681 days


#11 posted 08-02-2016 01:26 PM

Breadboard ends will not stop flat or plainsawn lumber from cupping. They (breadboards) are primarily a way to hide end grain and give a nice finished edge to a flat surface.
Follow Tabletop and TraylorPark’s advice and it will come out right. I would do breadboards just for appearrance but that is personal taste.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bucketheadmn's profile

bucketheadmn

12 posts in 1174 days


#12 posted 08-02-2016 01:34 PM

Lots of good information here thanks!


Ana White strikes again!

- Aj2

I appreciate all of the input knowing that there are quite a few of you that cringe at the mention on Ana White – that is why I am here learning and trying to figure out how to best make this table. While her post was the idea/inspiration behind doing a new table I figure it is better to research and plan before hand instead of coming back in a year wondering what the heck happened with my pocket holed tabletop.

It seems that consensus is that 2×12s are too big to use for the top. After my original post I read a bit more and was thinking that it would be better to start with 2×10s and rip them down to 8 inches using a table saw to provide nice straight edges to glue together. We really like the look of the 1 1/2” thick wood and I would like the heft of it. Someone mentioned 5/4 lumber – is 1/4” that big of a difference in the size of a tabletop?

Also it looks like another big thing is to not use construction grade lumber. Budget wise this may be my only choice to begin with; however, I am going to try to find non-box store lumbar yard and take a look at the stock that they carry for kiln dried furniture wood.

Few more questions surfaced after reading all of your responses:

1 – Are 4 legs enough with a tabletop length of 9 1/2” feet? I am wondering if I should add two more in the middle or a center 5 leg? I thought I had read somewhere that a 2x has enough gap strength for like 15 feet or something, but I can’t find it. Staying with only 4 legs would be ideal.

2 – Should I use a 1x or 2x for the apron, and how much setback can I use on the apron? I would like to make sure I set it up correctly for the best support.

3 – I had to look up what battens are – but they look interesting as a way to avoid doing breadboard ends. I was already planning on doing some cross brace supports between the aprons to allow the tabletop to ‘rest’ on. If I understand battens they would be in addition to that to help hold the boards flat? I assume that using something like a 2×2 or 1×2 would be ok and I would just use elongated holes in the batten to allow for expansion width wise while they help to keep the boards last length wise. And I am thinking that these could be inside of the apron so they are hidden from view?

Thanks again for all the answers and info here! I know I could just find a good set of plans and follow them, but it is great learning some things in order to create a one-of-a-kind with dimensions that fit for my needs.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2503 days


#13 posted 08-02-2016 01:48 PM

Battens also help make the top look thicker without actually being thicker. You could come sidereal doing them along all four edges. If you use hardwood lumber and get it flat and 3/4” thick, adding a 3/4” strip under the four edges gives you that 1.5” look you are after, and saves you some wood and money. With enough supports along its length it will still be plenty strong for a table top.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3537 posts in 1989 days


#14 posted 08-02-2016 02:03 PM


Breadboard ends will not stop flat or plainsawn lumber from cupping. They (breadboards) are primarily a way to hide end grain and give a nice finished edge to a flat surface.

A breadboard not only hides endgrain, but does, in fact help keep a panel edge flat and stable.

I recommend consulting a few resources for those wondering about this. Here is just one of a myriad on the subject.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3128 posts in 2681 days


#15 posted 08-02-2016 03:02 PM

There is nothing wrong with using construction grade lumber for your table top. Just use it correctly. 8” wide will still cup if plainsawn as most construction grade lumber is. Bring it inside, stack it and sticker it for a few weeks or month. trim the edges straight and square and rip down the middle so you are 4” to 6” wide then alternate grain pattern when gluing up. Alternating grain causes the forces to cancel each other out to some degree. Ripping down the center relieves the stress causing cupping more than any thing else. Use breadboards if you want. If you use full width 2’ plainsawn kiln dried lumber direct from the lumber yard it will cup and you can’t stop it.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16190 posts in 3126 days


#16 posted 08-02-2016 03:43 PM

Here’s another suggestion: Build the base using the best joinery possible, assuming it’s a keeper. Then, splurge on the ‘finest’ straight-grained construction grade lumber you can find. Let it acclimate in the shop for a month or so, then build your table top as you wish. If it’s affixed to the base using screws, in elongated holes, or via clips, or figure eights, or whatever, it can always be removed and replaced with a ‘proper’ hardwood top later if the thing moves like crazy.

If you see the project blog I did on this very table build, you see tops of the table and sideboard moved like crazy when first glued up. I was able to plane them flat and keep them flat with some patience.

If construction grade is what you want, go for it and learn stuff along the way.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1368 posts in 1428 days


#17 posted 08-02-2016 09:31 PM

bucketheadmn,

1 – Are 4 legs enough with a tabletop length of 9 1/2” feet?
I would personally make an effort to provide support at the center (lengthwise) of the top. This could be diagonal bracing from a center stretcher where the center stretcher is in turn supported by the legs. A single centered support would probably be sufficient, although I would think about supporting the top in a couple of places between the legs.

2 – Should I use a 1x or 2x for the apron, and how much setback can I use on the apron?
I tend toward ¾” thick lumber, but see no reason that would prevent a 1-1/2” thick apron from working. The table is large and can get pretty heavy. A ¾” thick apron would reduce its weight. I would think an apron set-back of ¾” to 2” would generally be about right. For me this is mostly an aesthetic design decision, although too deep a set-back could reduce support of the top along its edges.

3 –If I understand battens they would be in addition to that to help hold the boards flat? I assume that using something like a 2×2 or 1×2 would be ok and I would just use elongated holes in the batten to allow for expansion width wise while they help to keep the boards last length wise. And I am thinking that these could be inside of the apron so they are hidden from view?

Since you plan to glue-up the top, the battens are probably not necessary (with quality and dry lumber), although there is a range of opinions regarding the functionality of breadboard and batten ends. If the battens are used as added insurance intended to help the top behave, the closer to the ends the better the support. So, in my view, yes the battens could be concealed by the apron. If the ends of the top begin to curl, having installed thicker batten would be better but ¾” thick battens are, I think, strong enough. If end curling is severe, the screws will probably pull out of the top.

Elongating the holes rather than employing a continuous slot also would work so long as the holes are sufficiently sized to handle movement in the top and the screws securing the top are centered in the elongated holes.

View Tabletop's profile

Tabletop

139 posts in 1255 days


#18 posted 08-03-2016 12:13 AM

A lot of great information and the only thing I would add would be make a few phone calls or visits. Find local cabinet makers or sawmills. I think it will surprise you at the price you will pay for 6/4 or 8/4 boards. It’s a fraction of what the bd ft rate is at a big box store.

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 1170 days


#19 posted 08-03-2016 02:18 AM

I have been lurking on this thread since it started, some great answers, I have made many a table top, Hard Woods, Cherry, White Oak and Walnut, finished to 7/8” thick, non as long as yours but wider, with batons/cauls on the under side tight and tightly mounted to the skirts, and that is where the “wood movement” is suppose to be the concern, width. Mine all have the end grain sealed with Poly, that is where the moisture can get in, all with Kiln dried lumber, all mounted without movement after being mounted tight.
Wood movement specs, 1/16-1/8” per foot of width, thats for raw unfinished wood. Do you have heat and AC?
Even with windows open in the fall and spring, it will not happen. In the 1800s when they came up with these #s, they had no AC, in the summer, dry wood/coal heat and a BLO and or wax finish.
I would be more concerned about the wood twisting if using construction grade at your length. As a General Contractor building houses from sticks, buying bunks of 2×6 banded, all look good, cut the banding and within 2 days some are twisted, bowed but not much cupping.
You said this is an old farm house, well let the table look like it came with the house from day one. Distress it, finish accordingly, antique it.

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 1170 days


#20 posted 08-03-2016 02:35 AM

More then 4 legs, they better be cut perfect to length, or a rocken table and spaced not to interfere with a chair when seating.
Skirt about 3 1/2-4” in from the top, 2 1/2-3” wide but the top should be about 32” high, so chair leg/seat height is a consideration to get your legs under the skirt.
Trestle style legs, then a center cross connection can be incorporated, 4 legs need an apron. Post a pic of what you are trying to make and make it easy on us to help ya.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2839 posts in 2804 days


#21 posted 08-03-2016 12:04 PM

Re: support, the one thing you DON’T want is a stretcher so wide that you can’t get your legs under the table. 32 inches is high for a table – 30 is more common.

View bucketheadmn's profile

bucketheadmn

12 posts in 1174 days


#22 posted 08-03-2016 01:14 PM

A few of you have mentioned the term skirt – is that an interchangeable term with the apron? In my googling and I was unable to define what part of the table you are taking about.

As far as height I was planning on 30” – which is what our current table is. I was going to sit down at it and do some measuring to see what size apron would make the most sense – my wife would like a taller apron of 6”, but I am afraid that it would get in the way of sitting.

I was then planning on using either a 2×4 or 2×6 as the stretcher with 2×4s as supports for the legs, not sure what they are called though you can see them in the picture below.

One of the reasons that I have been planning on using 2x for the tabletop was to hopefully get away from any additional legs or diagonal bracing. It is my understanding that the thicker the wood is the longer it can go unsupported without bowing or warping. If the table I am looking to build was only 6 feet long or so I would to be too concerned with making sure I do not need additional support, but my wife wants a long table to fill the dining room up.


Post a pic of what you are trying to make and make it easy on us to help ya.

- nightguy

Here is a picture of a table similar to what I we would like to end up with. No breadboards and with only 4 boards for the tabletop, 4×4 legs with a single stretcher and apron built back a bit. Finish will also be different – but the overall style is what my wife would like.

I am planning on doing a base for the table as seen below here – again hoping that the additional supports across the width from apron to apron help alleviate the need for additional legs or a diagonal brace in the middle.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1368 posts in 1428 days


#23 posted 08-03-2016 03:42 PM

bucketheadmn,

The table you pictured looks like a good solid design to me. The only change you may want to consider in this design is whether seating at the ends of the table is wanted. If seating at the ends of the table is desired, the top should extend out from the legs to provide a place for knees. A cantilever of the top at the ends from the legs from 12” – 14” would probably be enough (I personally prefer 14”).

View Tabletop's profile

Tabletop

139 posts in 1255 days


#24 posted 08-04-2016 01:29 AM

Just a few thoughts…

Over the years I have worked with many interior designers and many of them have said that odd numbers are more appealing than even numbers. The top being 5 boards not 4 but it really comes down to your preference

Oversize holes in supports so screw can move with wood. Use washers if needed

Stretcher, does anyone else think it will sag over time? I’d run a board on edge either on top of it or under it depending on the look you prefer.

View bucketheadmn's profile

bucketheadmn

12 posts in 1174 days


#25 posted 08-04-2016 01:22 PM


Stretcher, does anyone else think it will sag over time? I d run a board on edge either on top of it or under it depending on the look you prefer.

- Tabletop

What do you mean by ‘board on edge’? And are you referring to the long stretcher? Would beefing that up to a 2×6 help prevent any sag? Thanks!

And I am talking with a reclaimed wood guy in my neck of the woods – trying to get all reclaimed lumber for the table. Sounds like it will not be much more expensive than buying construction grade lumber. If that does not work out I did find a local lumber place that sells furniture grade wood and will be stopping to talk to them.

Part of me is wishing I did not do any research or reading before and just ran to lower or menards for my lumber – i’d be done by now and save some $$ :) But I am glad I will be building a table that will last.

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

401 posts in 2508 days


#26 posted 08-04-2016 02:28 PM

To second some other people here. I wouldn’t shy away from doing a breadboard becasue of the complexity. I’m sure you are capable if you were to give it a shot, BUT if you just like the look or style of a table without one then like other people have said, keep the boards narrow, glue up a lot of narrow ones not a few wide ones. use quarter sawn boards vs rift sawn boards if you can. (looking at the endgrain of the boards chose ones that have straight and not curved lines. going accross the end of the board. If you do use rift sawn boards coventional wisdom is to alternate orientation of the boards outside of the tree up, then inside of the tree up and so on. BUT I am not so sold on this. They will counter act each other but you might end up with a wavy table very hard to make flat. I would orient them the same way and then Literally bolt, not screw the table top to sturdy cross members on the underside, in a manner that still allows table top to expand and contract across the grain so it doesn’t split. And then finish the whole thing top and bottom in the same fashion. In a modern climate controlled house where temperature and humidity are controlled it should work just fine. If it’s an 100 year old house like mine, where the gas furnace dries the air out in winter and humidity soars in the summer and ambient temperature ranges between 50 and 90 depending on time of year than you will have problems, and why the breadboard was invented in the first place.

-- Ted

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

401 posts in 2508 days


#27 posted 08-04-2016 02:40 PM

I see I’m late to the party as usual. Nice looking table.

-- Ted

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1368 posts in 1428 days


#28 posted 08-04-2016 03:36 PM

bucketheadmn,

Given the long length of the table top, center supports of the top are, I think, a good idea. But then the photo you posted of the design you are considering offers these center supports. Sure, placing the center supports in the photo on edge would add quite a bit of additional support to the top. However, doing so complicates the method for attaching the top to these center supports. The question, I think, depends on how much weight beyond the weight of the top must be supported. Since it is a dining table, I doubt it will ever carry more than 100 pounds (if that; unless there will be Russian folk dancing on the table). Therefore it seems to me that adequate support is provided by the center supports (spaced probably every 2’) oriented as shown in the photo.

But if you want to further strengthen the support for the top while having the ability to conveniently use the center supports as attaching points for the top, the center support orientation could be alternated. One support set on-edge while the next support is set on-face (as shown in the photo). The every other on-face supports could be used to secure the top.

View bucketheadmn's profile

bucketheadmn

12 posts in 1174 days


#29 posted 08-04-2016 04:06 PM



bucketheadmn,

Given the long length of the table top, center supports of the top are, I think, a good idea. But then the photo you posted of the design you are considering offers these center supports. Sure, placing the center supports in the photo on edge would add quite a bit of additional support to the top. However, doing so complicates the method for attaching the top to these center supports. The question, I think, depends on how much weight beyond the weight of the top must be supported. Since it is a dining table, I doubt it will ever carry more than 100 pounds (if that; unless there will be Russian folk dancing on the table). Therefore it seems to me that adequate support is provided by the center supports (spaced probably every 2’) oriented as shown in the photo.

But if you want to further strengthen the support for the top while having the ability to conveniently use the center supports as attaching points for the top, the center support orientation could be alternated. One support set on-edge while the next support is set on-face (as shown in the photo). The every other on-face supports could be used to secure the top.

- JBrow

If I am understanding you correctly I would use a lap joint on every other center support for the on edge joint. That makes sense and I was looking at those joints for the center supports wondering if I did them how weak I would cause the apron to get. But if I only do them every other the apron should not loose any strength I would assume.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1368 posts in 1428 days


#30 posted 08-04-2016 05:17 PM

bucketheadmn,

Without know the dimensions of the apron or the supports, it is difficult to predict the impact of the lap joinery you mentioned. However, cutting a rabbet or doing a through lap joint on the apron, I would think would, weaken the apron. It is just hard to know by how much the apron would be weakened and if the joinery would weaken the apron too much.

An alternative to cutting into the apron is to attach the supports (at each end of the supports) to a length of ¾” X some width lumber that I will call a sub-apron. This then creates an assembly consisting of a pair of sub-aprons connected by the cross supports. The assembly is then screwed and/or glued to the inside of the apron. This method would eliminate the need to cut into the apron and would further strengthen the apron. The downside is that it adds weight to what already will be a heavy table and care is required when cutting the cross supports to length. If the center supports are a little too short or too long, installing the overall assembly would be difficult and could cause bowing along the length of the apron.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com