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Forum topic by HenryJames posted 11-06-2018 04:50 PM 2093 views 0 times favorited 63 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HenryJames

17 posts in 256 days


11-06-2018 04:50 PM

Hey everyone. I’ve been woodworking for about 8 years now, without pause. However this is my first post here. So, hello.

Over the last few years I’ve been asked and referred to so many people to make farm tables. I’ve mainly been working with 6/4 RQSWO. In an effort to save some money, and my back, I want to switch over to flat sawn 4/4 white oak for the tops. However, now I’m afraid to glue up flat sawn boards this wide!

Lumber info
A lot of the boards are roughly 9 to 10” wide. They are 12’ long. Boards came to me nice and dry, and my shop is 35% humidity and 72 degrees and they’ve been sitting for 3 weeks. Skip planed thus far to 15/16”. The skip plane pretty much took em right down, since they were real flat.

Project info
Table top will be 6’ long by 36” wide. Home made table buttons fixing table top to aprons. Apron to leg is mortise and tenon.

So…Should I cut these boards in half to 4.5” each and flip every other? Or just glue em up at 9”?

Additional side note. Since it’s 4/4, I’m considering making the top extra long and wide, and cutting 1.5” of all sides and flipping the cut off underneath and laminating to the permitter to make it appear as though it’s 1.5” Thick top. Would doing this help stabilize wide boards from cupping? The way I see it, for example, if the top was going to cup up, the 1.5” strip I cut off from the ends and glue underneath it would want to crown (cup down), essentially opposing forces. Or is this crazy talk?

What would you do?


63 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)

AlaskaGuy

5316 posts in 2728 days


#1 posted 11-06-2018 05:20 PM

Well you won’t get a definitive answer. There a lot of people on both sides of the fence. I’ve always went with the best grain and color match. I never rip and flip. I wouldn’t want a table that looked like a zebra stripes. JMHO

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#2 posted 11-06-2018 06:35 PM

Well, first of all, if I’d been woodworking for 8 years without pause, I’d take a break. Grab a bite to eat and get some sleep.

I agree with AlaskaGuy that a bunch of narrow strips might be a bit noisy looking, but it depends on the grain. I’d leave them wide personally. Neither way is right or wrong though.

One thing about a wide panel is that you’ll hear most people say to alternate the growth rings. They read it somewhere or learned it in shop class, and indeed, I still see that in print quite often.

Think about it though, would you rather have one long arc if it bows, or a washboard? I follow Tage Frid’s advice and orient all of the growth rings curving up (assuming it’s flat sawn — ignore this if it’s quarter or rift sawn). The idea is that the panel will bow up in the middle and can be pulled flat easily. It also puts the heartwood up top where you want it.

Here is Tage Frid’s comment from the Spring 1976 issue of Fine Woodworking:

“Another thing most books tell you is to alternate the wood to compensate for the cupping caused by shrinkage. This would be fine if you wanted to design a washboard. But if you want to use your wood, for example, for a tabletop, it will take a lot of screws to hold it down, plus every second board will usually have a lot of sapwood, especially today with the shortage and high cost of wood, where every piece must be used. But, if we don’t alternate the wood, it will work together and form an arch that will be very easy to hold down with a few screws. Also, we will have the center of the wood facing up, meaning less sapwood, better color, harder and usually fewer knots.”

BTW, even with quartersawn wood, there is a right way and a wrong way to orient the boards:

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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AlaskaGuy

5316 posts in 2728 days


#3 posted 11-06-2018 07:41 PM

I forgot to add. It’s perfectly OK to flip you photos. :)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2728 posts in 1641 days


#4 posted 11-06-2018 08:25 PM

My personal experience is WO is very stable once dry. I glue up full sized boards like you have without any further warping. The edging idea seems like it could do no harm.

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Aj2

2321 posts in 2217 days


#5 posted 11-06-2018 08:31 PM

Always arrange the boards for the best look. I think your question about cutting off the ends and edges and flipping them over to beef up the top is a cosmetic move.
I’m my mind it will not add any stiffness or anti warping powers to the top.
It will most like add a small book match edge and possibly a witness line that will catch the eye. The corner where the end grain and long grain meet will be interesting and require skill.
If in fact that’s what your thinking.
Not saying you should try never know where this type of thinking will lead us. Curiosity and unexpected surprises are a big boost for creativity.
Do keep all the grain flow in one direction. No cross grain
Good luck

-- Aj

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msinc

567 posts in 922 days


#6 posted 11-06-2018 08:32 PM

.......So…Should I cut these boards in half to 4.5” each and flip every other? Or just glue em up at 9”?
- HenryJames

Welcome to LJ!!! Yes absolutely cut them and flip every other board. When you say “flip” I think you mean to crown every other board. The people that brag about gluing up panels with wide boards are not going to be around when it warps or bows and the end user is saying “what now??” If the end user is you then ask them what they are going to do for you if it don’t work…....generally the end of the conversation.

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jonah

2075 posts in 3717 days


#7 posted 11-06-2018 08:56 PM

I’d have no problem gluing them up as-is. They sound like they’re very stable, and you’ve done everything right so far in terms of milling them.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#8 posted 11-06-2018 08:56 PM


.......So…Should I cut these boards in half to 4.5” each and flip every other? Or just glue em up at 9”?
- HenryJames

Welcome to LJ!!! Yes absolutely cut them and flip every other board. When you say “flip” I think you mean to crown every other board. The people that brag about gluing up panels with wide boards are not going to be around when it warps or bows and the end user is saying “what now??” If the end user is you then ask them what they are going to do for you if it don t work…....generally the end of the conversation.

- msinc

So you know more than Tage Frid? I’m very impressed, considering he was one of the greatest furniture designers, builders and teachers of the 20th century. Maybe you could use one of your project posts as an example to prove your point. Oh wait, you don’t have any.

Your “what are they going to do for you” comment is real cutesy, but if you get good advice and follow it accurately it’ll never come to that. Of course, if they follow your bad advice, all bets are off. What are you going to do for them then?

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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msinc

567 posts in 922 days


#9 posted 11-06-2018 09:03 PM

Bad advice???? Okay. let me go ahead and amend my post….glue them up. do not cut them down, and make sure you have all the end grain laying the same way so every board is crowned up {or down} just make certain they are all the same way so it’s sure to bow. Forget about gluing them to stay together and not warp…make sure they “look good” and just do it. You will not be long figuring out which is the “Bad” advice. Best of luck…you are going to need it if you do it this way!!!

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#10 posted 11-06-2018 09:22 PM


Bad advice???? Okay. let me go ahead and amend my post….glue them up. do not cut them down, and make sure you have all the end grain laying the same way so every board is crowned up {or down} just make certain they are all the same way so it s sure to bow. Forget about gluing them to stay together and not warp…make sure they “look good” and just do it. You will not be long figuring out which is the “Bad” advice. Best of luck…you are going to need it if you do it this way!!!

- msinc

Did you read post #2? Google Tage Frid and tell me you know more than he does. Frankly, with no projects and no blog posts, I don’t think your credentials hold much water anyway. But I’m sure that won’t stop you from pretending to be an expert, because you just know.

P.S. I do actually build things that way, they look beautiful and sell for a lot of money and my customers love them. Feel free to look at my projects to see a small sampling of my work, then show some of yours. Until then, it’s just all hot air.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2377 days


#11 posted 11-06-2018 09:58 PM

Henry,

Welcome to LJ! Glad you are here. Your material looks great.

I am with Splinter and Jonah. That is tight grain and high-quality material. You should be upset if they move much at all. It is not a deck, so don’t get caught up treating it like redwood or crappy pine. Glue them up and make sure you get the direction and order marked so you do not flip one last minute. Look forward to seeing this finished.

Rich/msinc – can you two please hug and make up now?

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#12 posted 11-06-2018 10:07 PM


Rich/msinc – can you two please hug and make up now?

- BroncoBrian

I like you so I’m going to let that one slide :)

I see you have the Oneway Multi-Gauge in your profile photo. What an awesome tool. I use mine all the time.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

352 posts in 1098 days


#13 posted 11-06-2018 10:10 PM

I’d glue them up wide. Your base is sturdy, and you’re fastening it down to help keep it from warping.

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2377 days


#14 posted 11-07-2018 01:24 AM


Rich/msinc – can you two please hug and make up now?

- BroncoBrian

I like you so I m going to let that one slide :)

I see you have the Oneway Multi-Gauge in your profile photo. What an awesome tool. I use mine all the time.

- Rich

I like you too Rich. Don’t want you passing on us from a heart attack too soon!

That Oneway Multi-gauge is excellent! Setting blades, tables, check the bandsaw split, and other needs are as reliable as it gets.

But you cannot ignore the bottle of Lagavulin in that image!

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1905 days


#15 posted 11-07-2018 01:36 AM

Hugs? And I’m not included?

For shame…

I glue it whichever way is prettier.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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