Torsion Box Trestle Table

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Forum topic by JMMCanadian posted 09-28-2015 07:27 PM 921 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1476 days

09-28-2015 07:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut joining

I am pretty early in planning a walnut trestle table for my dining room. The table will end up being fairly large. I am not sure about the final dimensions, but I expect it will sit a dozen people. Given the size of the table, it was recommended to me that I build an MDF torsion box for the table top instead of using something like 1.5” thick walnut. I like the idea, but based on the looking around I have done it looks like the standard method would be to veneer the torsion box. Given I already have a lot of walnut, but no way to mill it into a veneer, I was thinking about using a 1/2” walnut glue up as the top skin of the torsion box and then add an apron to cover the sides of the MDF. I am wondering if I will have any issue gluing/screwing the MDF to the walnut? Would I need to be concerned about the joint cracking out due to materials expanding at different rates? Any other issues I may not be thinking about?

Thanks for the help.

1 reply so far

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10862 posts in 1643 days

#1 posted 09-28-2015 08:14 PM

What your planning should work. But 2 things come to mind. First, the walnut will move, the MDF will not. So if you fix them together with glue, the Walnut will not be happy. Second, I’m not sure you need a torsion box if you have an apron. I’ve never built a solid wood table that big, but it seems like as long as the apron is thick enough, it will keep bowing in check. A good glue-up of the top with alternating grain direction will go a long way in that regard as well. With a torsion box with a solid wood top and apron, your basically building 2 tables and stacking them. Of course, either way you decide, a good support system underneath, properly attached to allow wood movement is critical.

Just my .02!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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