Warped table top is causing the frame to wobble

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Forum topic by jonmakesthings posted 06-16-2016 01:24 AM 1783 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 1302 days

06-16-2016 01:24 AM

I’m nearing the end of building a farmhouse style table. The top, which I haven’t attached to the frame yet, has breadboards which are doing a great job keeping it from cupping, but the top did still twist a little, it rocks when on a flat surface. My table frame is pretty solid and almost perfectly flat, it doesn’t rock at all. I’ve heard that if a top is slightly warped, securing it well to the frame will probably straighten it out. However when I attach the top to the frame, it does pull flat against the frame but in doing so slightly twists the frame, causing it to rock.

What would be the best way to go? The warp in the top isn’t really that bad, I can live with it, but it just causes the top to rock. I’m tempted to just secure it and then adjust the length of the legs to stop the rocking. Is there any real reasons why I shouldn’t do that? Or would that be a good way to go?
Thanks for your suggestions

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

7 replies so far

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3108 days

#1 posted 06-16-2016 01:45 AM

Is there an apron? If so shim the bottom of the top so it does not rack your frame.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View bondogaposis's profile


5522 posts in 2835 days

#2 posted 06-16-2016 01:59 AM

Tighten it to the frame and trim your long legs so that it is again flat on the floor.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jonmakesthings's profile


73 posts in 1302 days

#3 posted 06-16-2016 02:45 AM

Yes there are aprons on all 4 sides, attached with bridle joints

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

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1904 days

#4 posted 06-18-2016 08:54 AM

Then do what Bondo said. It’ll be ALOT simpler.

-- Sawdust703

View jdh122's profile


1094 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 06-18-2016 09:47 AM

What Bondo said. With tables and chairs the normal procedure is to level it once everything is assembled.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View pintodeluxe's profile


5975 posts in 3297 days

#6 posted 06-18-2016 05:29 PM

If the discrepancy is modest, I would use leg levelers. If you cut one leg shorter, what happens when the twisted top moves again with seasonal humidity changes?

Another option is to use felt pads under three of the legs. They will act as small shims to level the legs. The nature of felt allows it to compress where needed, and will naturally self level in a week or so.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4131 days

#7 posted 06-18-2016 11:18 PM

You can scoop out material from the bottom using
hand planes to remove twisting stresses. The
solution is a bit exotic. I lay out an assembly
platform using levels and shimmed milk crates.
You can get the legs and skirt nearly perfectly
level this way on 4 corners. Put the top on
top, clamp it down and see if it pulls a corner up.

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