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Thread: Problems with Edging Around Tabletop

  1. #1

    Problems with Edging Around Tabletop

    I made this table for a customer about 8 months ago. Sorry for the sideways pic.
    Rachel's table.jpg

    She told me this happened on the corner. The top is 3/4" thick but I put an 2" wide edge around the whole edge..I assume this happened because the wood contracted.
    corner.jpg

    She wanted a thick top like this.
    X table.jpeg

    How do I go about making her table to look thick like this one? I can't find 2" thick wood around here to make a complete top. And if this pic has a false wider edge, is it not moving because the slats in the table don't appear to be glued together like the one I made? I see lines in this top where the boards might be butted together but obviously in my table, the whole top is glued.
    Closeup.jpg

    I need some advice because I've made several tables like this and I'm worried I might need to make them over. Nobody else has called me yet.

    Thanks

    Eddie

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Mix up some stain bring a artist brush to touch up the spot. Hopefully the table hasnít cracked,bowed or lifted up on one corner.
    You can find thicker kiln dried wood at any decent lumber yard. Not so much at the borg.
    Aj

  3. #3
    Solid wood expands and contracts across the grain with changes in relative humidity. You seem to have attached the end cap in a way that allows the field to move, and that is good and natural. Explain this to the client, touch up the bald spot and move on. If you had attached the cap so that the field could not move you would have had splits, probably at the glue joints, impossible to fix permanently.

    If you want a solid top that remains flush with the end cap you will have to use unglued tongue and groove joints on the central boards. Otherwise. wrap a veneered top or source thicker lumber and dispense with the end cap.

    This would be a good, dare I say essential, investment.

    https://www.tauntonstore.com/underst...d-edition.html

  4. #4
    I told her I will make her a new top. I noticed the whole top had a bow across the width.
    I used glue and brads to attach the false edge.
    I'm just worried this is going to happen to other tables I make.
    And I do like the tongue and groove idea.

  5. #5
    Yes, the other tops will probably show the same behavior. If you go with t&g planks and an end cap I would suggest using a stopped spline glued at the center of the plank ends, dominos, biscuits or similar.

  6. #6
    Agree with all. Only thing I can add to educate her is "Mam , ALL the railroad trestles are like that" I don't understand
    how some of the people who want rustic stuff can be so picky.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Ormerod View Post
    I told her I will make her a new top. I noticed the whole top had a bow across the width.
    I used glue and brads to attach the false edge.
    I'm just worried this is going to happen to other tables I make.
    And I do like the tongue and groove idea.
    Youve unfortunately broken the most basic rules of wood construction and yes, you will likely lose any other furniture you have built this way. Time to start reading, learning, before you start selling.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  8. #8
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    Besides Hoadley's excellent book you also should study a couple of furniture construction books. There's no need to painfully relearn what furniture makers before you already figured out. Go to school on them and save yourself from more failures. And there are lots of knowledgeable folks here who will gladly offer help, too, before you build something you're not sure about.


    John

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Ormerod View Post
    I told her I will make her a new top. I noticed the whole top had a bow across the width.
    I used glue and brads to attach the false edge.
    I'm just worried this is going to happen to other tables I make.
    And I do like the tongue and groove idea.
    Eddie,
    I think your question is hard to explain briefly. I agree that some of the books recommended would be a good idea for anyone to read over and that they will help you too. But short term, why not google "how to make a flat wood table top"? I did and saw several videos come up.

    (Like anything else, some videos appeared to be made by knowledgeable people and some appeared to be made by hacks. So look at several for common tips and methods - dont just grab what looks easiest or fastest.)

    Good luck man.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  10. #10
    In making a top like that, I make it extra long, cut both ends off, and fold under and glue. Grain will match perfectly. On outer two boards, rip length wise, fold under and glue. Then glue outters to field boards. To help make top sound thicker, in area where it single thickness, use a sheet of 3/4" MDF. Use screws to attach MDF to bottom of top. Be sure and elongate the holes. Attach legs and rails to MDF with pocket screws. DAMHIK, but I did learn after only one try.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    In making a top like that, I make it extra long, cut both ends off, and fold under and glue. Grain will match perfectly. On outer two boards, rip length wise, fold under and glue. Then glue outters to field boards. To help make top sound thicker, in area where it single thickness, use a sheet of 3/4" MDF. Use screws to attach MDF to bottom of top. Be sure and elongate the holes. Attach legs and rails to MDF with pocket screws. DAMHIK, but I did learn after only one try.
    What does 3/4 mdf do? It would do nothing to save the top as made. The top as made is doomed from the start for flatness l and expansion. The frame around the perimeter is an HGTV/Pinterest recipe for failure that the poor OP had no idea about and has now possibly sold a bunch of work that will self destruct.

    This story has been playing out for years since the pallet wood movement and pinterest hit hard.

    There are endlessly posts on numerous forums of individuals and husbands and wives thinking they are going to make some side money with home center lumber furniture and in short order they are being threatened to be sued because they cant afford to make replacements after their unprofitable initial sales and the work is falling apart.

    Bummer. But is what it is.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Youve unfortunately broken the most basic rules of wood construction and yes, you will likely lose any other furniture you have built this way. Time to start reading, learning, before you start selling.
    I agree 100% with this. Why someone would want construction lumber furniture is beyond me.

    2x4ís are all at different MC, all too high for furniture unless it has sat in your shop for 6-12 months. Take a caliper with you next time to the home center and measure the varying widths of the 2x8ís. Itíll vary 3/8Ē.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    I agree 100% with this. Why someone would want construction lumber furniture is beyond me.

    2x4’s are all at different MC, all too high for furniture unless it has sat in your shop for 6-12 months. Take a caliper with you next time to the home center and measure the varying widths of the 2x8’s. It’ll vary 3/8”.
    I think it's fine if its constructed with the movement in mind and the customer is fine with the movement and the fact that it may not look all pretty and smooth and flat and shiny over time.

    At that point it's up to the maker to inform the customer that framing a top is not possible, balanced finish top and bottom. May cup may twist mat check whatever. If everyone is aware and on board with all that have at it. Green fresh sawn material off the mill is fine.

    The hard part is the punterwat and hgtv world have snowed consumers into thinking that's the same level of furniture coming from commercial furniture stores at 1/4 the price.

    No dice. And sadly poor guys like Eddie make a mistake and get in a bind.

    Making things twice is a bear when you may not have make much on the first one.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    What does 3/4 mdf do? It would do nothing to save the top as made. The top as made is doomed from the start for flatness l and expansion.
    Go back and READ my post. It says NOTHING about saving this top. A true case of hoof and mouth disease.

  15. #15
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    I did read it the first time. I still would have no idea what MDF would add to the folded edge or otherwise. No matter. Is what it is at this point.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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