Maple Expansion

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Forum topic by CGJ posted 12-27-2017 02:16 PM 441 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 998 days

12-27-2017 02:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple wood expansion humidity question

I am building an Heirloom Dresser from plans by Marty Schlosser. I am building the dresser from Eastern Maple, in western Washington during the winter. The plans call for 1” deep grooves in the corner legs for the side panels. But my 3.5” roman ogee panel raising bit (the largest I could find) creates a tongue that is only 1/2” wide on each side before the raised profile blocks further insertion into the groove. Thus, the maximum depth of tongue in groove is 1/2”. If the panels are 1/2” wider than the stretchers (the inside distance between the legs), that allows 1/4” of overlap and 1/4” of expansion on each side, for a total of 1/2” of expansion. Is that enough for a 19” wide maple panel?

-- Chris Johnson

3 replies so far

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3978 posts in 2069 days

#1 posted 12-27-2017 03:31 PM

There are a number of online expansion calculators that will give you an answer, but your 1/4” allowance should be plenty. Generally I’d allow for about 1/4” over the full 19”. The trick is to decide if the wood will shrink or expand (or both!) from its current state and plan accordingly.

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3286 posts in 3104 days

#2 posted 12-27-2017 10:32 PM

Chris, the online calculators may over state the actual movement you will experience because the finish slows the wood movement. Here is the Shrinkulator. Good luck!

-- Art

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2 posts in 998 days

#3 posted 12-28-2017 01:12 AM

Thank you for your replies. You gave me confidence that 1/2” is enough expansion space. The 1” deep grooves apparently are excessive. I ripped the panels to width today. Hopefully this heirloom doesn’t come apart in the first year.

-- Chris Johnson

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