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Ash extending table top

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Tim C

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I'm planning an expanding table for our kitchen, seating 6 without central leaf and 8 with leaf in place.
Most designs plank the top crossways but I want to use ash with a strong grain which I think will look better with the grain longways. Any reason NOT to do this? Apart from the obvious difficulty of making good fits between tops and leaf when they're endgrain rather than sidegrain. Breadboard ends will need to allow expansion/contraction. All advice gratefully received!
 

That would work

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No, assuming it's made up of boards not that wide. BUT I would say definitely use breadboard ends. You would be very lucky to not get any movement across the grain over time, which wouldn't look good when the table was extended. And the usual thing arranging the heart alternate up and down.
 

Jacob

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You don't need breadboard ends as long as the wood is dry enough to start with. Very few old tables have them, they are for demanding environments - wet, hot and cold etc. or required very flat surfaces such as drawing boards.
 

That would work

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True, I have a scrub top pine kitchen table with no ends and that's all good.
However if the ends need to marry up to the adjacent leaf then I would strongly suggest clamped ends.
 

Mrs C

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I have found that trying to keep lengths of ash straight, especially with anything thinner than 25mm has been my biggest challenge. I bring my billets inside the house for about a fortnight before I machine them up and continue to store them inside while the project is in build, and it will still move!

While alternating grain direction as per previous response works, getting something that looks ok can be a challenge due to colour and grain variation. You might want to get a bit extra and be prepared to discard bits that don’t aesthetically fit.

Having said all that, it will look amazing!
 
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