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Stabilising thin (1") tabletop slab

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LancsRick

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Right, context.

I've got a lovely slab of live edge oak with some pipping etc. Currently approx 2m x 60cm x 1inch (got to love mixing units).

The target product is a coffee table approx 1m x 60cm.

Now this piece is thinner than I'd usually think of (2") so I just wanted to check if I needed to change any approach from standard. My proposed construction will be a rectangular frame underneath, butt jointed and glued with blind pegs/dowels. I may well put in a cross-member widthways too. Not decided on legs yet.

Will this work, or am I making a rookie mistake?

Cheers.
 

MikeG.

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The key factor is how you attach the table top to the frame, and, what sort of cut the table top is made from. If this is a through-and-through board rather than quarter sawn, it is going to try to cup if there is any change in the moisture content of the board (and therefore, by implication, of the room it stands in). Lots of buttons is my best advice, but if you have a board which is going to cup, you might consider relieving cuts to the underside, starting and stopping inside your aprons.

You don't need a cross member, and you don't need dowels etc.
 

LancsRick

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I'd never even considered cutting grooves, thanks Mike. It's a through and through board, live edge both sides. Now I just need to decide on how I want the legs!
 

Jacob

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1" is not a "thin" table top. Sawn 1" finishing at 20mm or so is about standard for typical solid wood tables.
(Quick check around the house and several very different tables show 20/21/22mm i.e. all from 1" sawn, or perhaps 1 1/4" in one case with wider boards)
Your problem is in doing it with one unjointed wide board - so any movement will be in the same direction. And unless it's the middle board quarter sawn it's definitely going to move.
The solution is to make sure it's dry before planing and to fix in the normal way with buttons. The thinner you go the easier it will be to hold down and resist any future movement, so thinness is an advantage not a problem.
At 600mm wide you'd expect quite a lot of movement so you will be hard pressed to get even 20mm thickness, in which case perhaps you'd have to split it lengthwise once or twice and rejoin the pieces.
 

custard

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Sounds like a nice piece of Oak.

If you want to do a traditional, quality job then attach the top with buttons.

You can use really simple buttons like these that I generally use on the inside of cabinets where the client will never see them,
Buttons-&-Pull-02.jpg


Or you can use fancier buttons like these that I generally use if there's a small chance that the client may occasionally see them,
Tiger-Oak-Table-3.jpg
 

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custard

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LancsRick":1llhzpx7 said:
Picture of the live edge attached.
The market prices pippy Oak as if every pippy board is the same as every other pippy board. But that's nonsense, and it's why I never buy figured boards unseen, you need to pick through them and find the ones with the very best figure.

I'd give your pippy board high marks because the pippy figure is well balanced, however I wouldn't cut it down to 1000mm because then you'll lose the pippy figure from one end and it would no longer have that harmonious, balanced appearance.

Just my opinion of course, and as you're the one who has to live with it your opinion is the only one that counts! But I spend hundreds of hours each year scrutinising boards for just this kind of issue, so it might be worth a second thought before you start cross cutting.
 

LancsRick

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Hmmm, good point. It's definitely too long in its current guise but your comment has made me wonder if actually I use that second (machined) board as I could cut the top part off without impacting the figuring (and if anything it would be more consistent across the length of the board then).

I got really lucky on my last trip, lots of nicely figured timber there, and some that I've picked up rough sawn and machined up have revealed a few hidden gems :).
 

Inspector

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With that piece instead of putting it on legs and a skirt I would cut each end and "fold" it down. Then you have the much sought after waterfall effect at both ends. Carefully cut 45º bevels glued with splines, dominoes, or biscuits, along with a stretcher in the middle just under the top to hide it as much as possible would look good. The figuring wouldn't be lost, it would be on the ends.

Pete
 

LancsRick

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Which piece? Love the idea, I've seen that before, don't know why it didn't spring to mind. I'll do some reading up on how best to reinforce/brace the lower section.

After months of building the workshop I'm really excited to finally be ready to start making bits for the house!

Thank you :).
 

Inspector

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The live edge was the one I was talking about since that's the one you started with in the first post. If you prefer the other, do it. Or do both. :D

Pete
 

Inspector

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No! #-o

Use the second board to make a shelf under the top so you have a place to stash magazines and books or the remotes for your electronics.

Pete
 
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