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Thread: Wood movement ?

  1. #1

    Wood movement ?

    I built this table using white oak, acclimated it, milled it from 5/4 to 1 1/16" planing both sides equal. Glued it up it came out surprisingly flat checked with a 7' straight edge I don't believe it could have been any better. Did bread board ends with draw bore tenons gluing only center tenon. The ends came out flat & maybe a 1/32" proud of table I sanded them flush. Table sat in garage for about 4 days while waiting for finish materials. Prior to applying finish the bread board ends were still perfectly flush everywhere. I applied transtint dye water based bottom & top let dry for a day. Bread board ends still flush. Than used 2 coats of Osmo after 1st coat I noticed one bread board end had grown just slightly proud of the table you can barely feel it but it's there. Let Osmo dry & moved the table inside 10 days later both bread board ends have grown now there all just hair proud of the table. All wood was at aprx. 5-8% MC some less. I thought the RH in the garage would be higher than in the house & was surprised to see the ends grow instead of shrink. I also thought that any movement would show up after using the water based dye.
    Anyway is there any thing I could have done to keep the ends flush ? Other question is, is there a more stable wood than W. oak maybe cherry or maple would have been better ?
    Thanks
    Table.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    If you are saying the breadboards are longer than the width of the top that is normal and why I don’t like them. The top will expand and contract across its width which is why you only glue the breadboard ends in the middle. That allows the top do do it’s thing without splitting.
    Last edited by Steve Jenkins; 11-29-2022 at 4:39 PM.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #3
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    The ends didn't grow, the center field shrank. Breadboard ends will only be flush with the center field when you build it, if you make them flush, and when the humidity is the same as when you built it. If the humidity changes, and it always does, the center field will expand or contract while the ends stay almost constant. There is nothing you can do about it unless you use plywood for the center field.

    When I built a table with breadboard ends, I intentionally made the ends longer than the width of the center field so that when the field expanded during the summer it would just be shy of flush with the ends.

    Also, it's a good thing you used something like Osmo as a finish. If you use a film finish after the breadboard ends are installed, it will crack at that joint when the RH changes. For that reason, I finish the parts separately, and reinstall the ends afterwards.

    The only thing you can do know would be to route away the edges of the field enough that it won't exceed the length of the ends next summer, or whenever the season of high humidity is in your area. You can calculate how much needs to be removed but it's usually about 1/8"/ft of width.

    John

  4. #4
    After I posted I started thinking that the bread board ends probably didn't grow but the table shrunk, funny thing is it's exactly the same shrinkage at each end so it almost seems intentional. At this point I'm just going to leave it alone & see if it moves any more, I'd be afraid to take away any materiel and than have the center part expand and be proud of bread board.
    Thanks

  5. #5
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    7 board top looks nice.
    I also agree with the wood movement being normal.
    Imagine if it were plywood boring and dead nothing to take about
    Good Luck
    Aj

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    7 board top looks nice.
    I also agree with the wood movement being normal.
    Imagine if it were plywood boring and dead nothing to take about
    Good Luck
    Thanks, it came out nice I've already had a request to build another one and that's reason I posted the question. if built for a client I'd have to make them aware that the wood moves & they have to live with it or choose another style.

  7. #7
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    I've made a couple tables with breadboard ends. The best thing is to make the end board proud of the main table for all conditions. When the main table top swells and gets wider than the end board, the entire table looks bad in my opinion. When the end board is always longer, folks don't notice the movement of the main table top.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lou Brava View Post
    After I posted I started thinking that the bread board ends probably didn't grow but the table shrunk, funny thing is it's exactly the same shrinkage at each end so it almost seems intentional. At this point I'm just going to leave it alone & see if it moves any more, I'd be afraid to take away any materiel and than have the center part expand and be proud of bread board.
    Thanks
    Of course it's going to move more. It will change width as the RH changes, getting narrower or wider depending upon which way the RH swings.

    I think you misunderstood what I said. Cutting away some of the field will prevent it from being proud of the breadboard ends. I didn't say to trim off the breadboard ends to match the field. I would wait until next Summer, or whenever your time of year is where you have the highest RH. The field will likely be quite a bit wider than the ends then, and that's the time to trim it flush, or less, than the ends.

    John

  9. #9
    I agree with Dwayne but that decision, like the decision to use bread board ends, is a matter of how you want it to look. My dining room table is 42 inches wide without breadboard ends and is flat. I also have coffee tables in the house built that way, mostly in cherry. The only table with a breadboard end is a hall table with the breadboard end purposely wider than the field of the table. I built it based upon plans in Fine Woodworking. The breadboard ends have decorative chamfers. There are screws helping to hold the breadboard end on which are covered by walnut plugs (the table is oak) which also are chamfered on the top. If you can't hide it, celebrate it...

  10. #10
    Quartersawn moves seasonally less than flat sawn, but other than that wood moves.

  11. #11
    I have never made a breadboard that stayed flush. I agree with the comments to make it slightly oversized and live with it.

    Most people never notice. I've had a few people notice, but both of them were impressed with the phenomenon after I explained it to them, and how the breadboard is designed to keep it flat and attached despite that movement. It's fascinating evidence of nature's nature.

    Let it do what it do.
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 12-02-2022 at 10:47 AM.

  12. #12
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    If you think about it, the majority of the reason for a breadboard end is to permit seasonal wood movement while making for a nicer look at the end of a panel glue up with solid stock. The structure is going to change in width seasonally and the breadboard end is also going to change but in the perpendicular direction...that's why how it's fastened on is so critical. There "should" be less variation in thickness, but wood is wood and a breadboard end does indeed sometimes feel a little proud...or not, depending on the season and humidity conditions.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    If you want the field and breadboard ends to always have the same length/width, then make the field from shop sawn veneer over plywood, with solid wood edges. With shop sawn veneer it will look like your solid wood and you can make it 1/16" or more thick, so it will stand up to hard wear. No one will know it's veneer, except maybe a woodworker when he/she sees that the ends and field are exactly the same length/width.

    John

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    If you want the field and breadboard ends to always have the same length/width, then make the field from shop sawn veneer over plywood, with solid wood edges. With shop sawn veneer it will look like your solid wood and you can make it 1/16" or more thick, so it will stand up to hard wear. No one will know it's veneer, except maybe a woodworker when he/she sees that the ends and field are exactly the same length/width.

    John
    Lesson learned ! The ends being proud doesn't bother me at all. At this time it's very slight, just hope the field doesn't end up proud of the ends that will look funny. Table was based on this look obviously veneered but people reviewing this table complained about them damaging the veneer.
    BL Table.jpg

    So I built one using solid wood, next bread board ends will be left slightly proud !

  15. #15
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    Commercial veneer is easily damaged. Shop sawn veneer at 1/16 (0.065) up to 0.100" thick is very durable because it is thicker AND because it is sawn, not damaged from slicing like with commercial veneer.

    FWIW, the field will be wider than the breadboard ends if the RH goes above what it was when you built the table and stays there a little while. Solid wood moves. Veneered plywood does not.

    John

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