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Thread: Design Question (wood stability)

  1. #1

    Design Question (wood stability)

    Hi everyone,

    I could use some help with a table I am designing/building.

    So I am designing a Dutch pull-out extension table based on a Tage Frid model from a 1977 issue of Fine Woodworking. In that article he says that "because the table top is loose and the slides for the leaves are glued and screwed to the leaves, the top and the leaves must be made of either plywood or using frame-and-panel construction."

    I am planning on a top something like 54" L x 40" W and leaves something like 40" x 20". Grain orientation for the leaves will be transverse with respect to the top.

    My question is: supposing the table is made out of Cherry, would breadboarding the ends of the top be adequate to resist warping? And would adding solid wood "frame" elements to the long edges of the top with mortise/tenon joints into breadboard ends add enough additional dimensional stability?

    I guess I am asking whether I can make the frame-and-panel construction out of solid wood? Or whether the panel of the frame-and-panel needs to be plywood?

    Thanks in advance for any insight/suggestions.

  2. #2
    Here is a link to an article with several references and links to more information on the Pull Leaf design table
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 02-09-2019 at 7:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the link, Lee. That does shed some light on my questions.

    I guess what I am asking if it is possible (sensible) to make the top of a draw-leaf table out of solid wood --without using plywood. Any thoughts?

  4. #4
    When we lived in government quarters in Spain back in 1960-63 we had a pull leaf table, but it was too long ago to recall how the table top and leaves were constructed.

    A lot will depend on your choice of wood, how it was cut and how it was cured. Quarter sawed wood is generally more stable that rift or plain sawed. Properly kiln dried wood is generally more stable than air dried. What wood are you thinking of using?

    Wood expands across the grain and you must allow for seasonal moisture changes by allowing these dimensional changes in your design. Finishing all sides of an assembly will decrease the amount and rate of seasonal wood movement.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 02-10-2019 at 4:13 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  5. #5
    I am planning on using Cherry, from a reliable supplier that has its own kiln. It looks like the table from the custom-maker in the link you sent may be made of solid wood, but I can tell from the photo, not can i track down an original source for that image.

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