Single piece of oak for side table top - cupping a worry?

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Rorton

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Hi, looking to make 2 side tables, and the tops will be 500mm x 300mm

I was thinking of using a single piece of oak for the top, and have found some that it 30mm thick.

Would I need to worry about making a top from a single piece in regards to cupping or should it be ok at this thickness? Its sold as kiln dried.
 

deema

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If it’s not quarter sawn, then yes. The degree depends on how close to slab sawn it is and the distance from the centre of the tree. It also depends on how long you’ve had it in the same environment it will live in. I try to keep oak 3~6 months in the environment it will experience depending on thickness.
 
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TheTiddles

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Depends on the cut and if it’s uniformly dry throughout and you can keep it that way.

Personally, I’d never use solid for a top of anything unless it was pre-manufactured kitchen worktop. Opting for veneer every time with a solid edge.

It could be fine, especially as you are not making something very large.
 

Rorton

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Thanks. I wasn’t sure. Previous ones I’ve done I ripped planks down to 70mm wide and glued together, alternating the growth rings, never used a solid piece. I’ll carry on the same route then
 

doctor Bob

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I'd just put a few deep scores into the bottom of it, if it's seen on the edges just stop them short. Assuming it's not really seen underneath.
 

Jameshow

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Bring into the house for a month then plane down to size.

That way any major movement will be taken care of and any further movement will be modest.
 

Rorton

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It’s a bit of a time sensitive job. Mrs ordered some sofas for the conservatory, and wanted some side tables. I got the bases ready, some tops glued up, planed down, then messed up the underbevel, so need new tops. I was thinking one piece may save a bit of time. I’ve trawled through the half boards I have left and got enough to make 2 more, so got them gluing up now, will save the others for something else.
 

baldkev

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Interestingly though, if it was properly coated up in epoxy all the way round, that would most likely lock the moisture in permanently?
 

spanner48

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I agree with deema: look out a piece that is accurately quarter-sawn. Then:

1: It won't move and cup
2: You'll get the 'blaze' figuring from oak's medullary rays
 

recipio

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I try at all costs to flatten boards but sometimes you don't want to lose even a mm. Using cauls will work but its tricky. I invested in some long reach 24" welders clamps which will reach into the centre of most slabs and align the edges. Another tip is to use hard plastic - preferably polyethylene - scraps as clamping pads as they won't stick to any glue ooze out. Otherwise using a biscuit jointer referenced off the top face of the planks will work . Patience and plenty of clamps are the key.
 

JBaz

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I always make a couple of angle iron brackets that sit within the frame of the table/cupboard so they can't be seen and mounted 90 degrees to the grain.

I drill a round hole for the fixings nearest the front and elongate the rest of the holes, so the wood can shrink a bit if it needs to.

I use short stainless steel coach screws to fix the top to the brackets (pilot the holes first) and only torque the front ones up tightly. The others need to be able to slide in the elongated holes if the top shrinks. I use the other leg of the angle iron to fix the top to the frame. I paint the angle iron with red lead or Hammerite to stop any corrosion that might discolour the wood and seal the wood with pre-cat lacquer both sides to minimise shrinkage.

I have made a number of pieces this way using Oak, Ash, Cherry and Maple tops. To date I have seen no warping and if there has been any shrinkage, I haven't noticed it.
 

Cabinetman

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As others have said re quartersawn timber, it’s the fact that it’s going to be in a conservatory that would worry me. Is veneer out of the question? Then the whole thing needs to be looked at with a view to its movement- you no doubt already do this but the movement could be extreme. Ian
 

Rorton

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Well I’ve cracked on and glued up some oak I had left, 65mm strips, 500mm long, 5 of them making the top.

I guess it will be a test now when finished to see what the heat and weather does! I’m securing the top with wooden buttons, so if it goes south in the heat, I can remove the top easily and remake, probably a veneer would be the option.
 
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