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Dining Table Question

by BRef
posted 02-14-2017 01:36 PM

9 replies so far

View Robert's profile


3951 posts in 2334 days

#1 posted 02-14-2017 02:25 PM

I can’t think of any particular problem but you will have some issues to overcome such as 1) keeping the top flat during glue and 2) making sure all the grain is oriented the same direction. You can build the top in sections that will fit through your planer, than glue those sections up en masse.

Of course design is totally personal. 1 3/4” seems quite thick for a dining table, but that depends on what type of table it is (trestle, farm table, etc.). It would be good to post a drawing of your concept. Also, rather than mixing different types of wood together I think oak will make a good dining table top.

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

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1774 days

#2 posted 02-14-2017 02:47 PM


The edge grain top would require ripping boards to the proper width, a little extra work. The glue-up would probably be best done in several stages, since yellow glue will tack before glue is spread on all the mating surfaces. But the biggest issue may be its appearance. Only the wife can give you that ok. It may be worthwhile to select the project wood and take a single board and make an edge grain surface for her approval.

The advantage is that there may be some defects, like a knot, that could render a board un-usable if edge glued but the defect could perhaps be buried in the glue-up.

The alternative to an edge grain (face glued) top would be to double up the perimeter edges and ends of the edge-glued top. If the top is glued-up long enough and the outer-most boards are extra wide, each long edge of the top could be ripped and then glued to the underside of the top along the long edge from which it was ripped. This would result is a good grain and color match. The pieces cut from each end could be glued to the underside of the top at the ends. Likewise a good color and grain match should result. Since the end pieces glued to the underside of the ends of the top are themselves boards that are edge glued, wood movement should not become an issue.

View Woodknack's profile


13474 posts in 3234 days

#3 posted 02-14-2017 06:20 PM

I don’t know what you mean by continuous, but you don’t see edge grain tables because it’s a butt load of work, would be very heavy because it would need to be thick, and strength wise is rather dubious. It’s a giant cutting board. It would probably be okay but you’ll probably need a large clamping jig to assemble it. You’re going well off the beaten path so there won’t be many who have done it.

-- Rick M,

View BRef's profile


18 posts in 1909 days

#4 posted 02-15-2017 11:11 AM

Thanks for the replies.

rwe2156 Good suggestions, The table my wife liked had the 1 3/4” top and I must say it looked good, but if I do this I might shave off at least 1/4” for weight considerations.

JBrow you are right the appearance is what worries me, but I guess if I make it and we don’t like it I would always have cutting boards I might be able to get rid of. I do like your suggestion of building up the perimeter edges.

Rick Continuous is one single board the entire length rather than pieces glued to the end grains. I’m not concerned with the strength I don’t think that will be an issue.

So I have not decided what to do yet. A dining table is a project that has been kicking around for almost 2 years and I even started another mission design but 25% in the wife changed her mind. Now she is on me to start another.

Thanks again, and if anyone has suggestions keep them coming.

View Tony_S's profile (online now)


1351 posts in 3937 days

#5 posted 02-15-2017 11:28 AM

Quick and dirty description
Mill and face glue wider pieces of the 4/4 to make 1-7/8” material(or more depending on the true thickness of your 4/4)
Mill and edge glue from there.
You’d have a glue line in the center of the table edge, but that would look a hell of a lot better than a butcher block top.
A lot easier as well.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1739 days

#6 posted 02-15-2017 03:46 PM

I’d just build up the perimeter to the thickness desired as already suggested. A butcher block table (end grain surface) will be very fragile in anything less than 2 inches thick. Also, wood movement due to seasonal expansion and contraction could easily split the table in two.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View hotbyte's profile


1002 posts in 3829 days

#7 posted 02-15-2017 04:43 PM

Visit some stores and/or antique shops to look at tables. You’ll find most that appear to have a thick top are really just built up around perimeter. Built daughter’s table that way using 5/4 white oak. I read here somewhere technique to rip a few inches off edge boards and flip under for buildup. If gives a grain match something like book-matched veneer.

View LittleShaver's profile


689 posts in 1473 days

#8 posted 02-15-2017 07:30 PM

The little coffee table I made used the thicken the edges technique of ripping pieces off the edges and ends and flipping them under the top. Not quiet invisible in my execution, but the wife loves it, and that’s all that matters.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Woodknack's profile


13474 posts in 3234 days

#9 posted 02-15-2017 07:35 PM

Sorry, I read edge as end grain. Nevermind.

-- Rick M,

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