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Thread: table top dilemma

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt

    Question table top dilemma

    I think I know the answer to this, but here goes anyhow...

    I'm making a top for a dining table that will be about 68 inches long. Thought I had enough boards that long, but I came up a little short when I laid them all out. Making the table narrower is not a option.

    So, do I head out to the lumberyard or have at least one section made up of two pieces butting each other? Other than aesthetics, is there a problem with this? Any special technique to use or just glue it up? The top is 5/4 walnut, which should mill out at about an inch.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    That's a tough one Jesse, I was almost faced with that problem on the desk I am working on when I needed some 10 foot 5/4 white oak. Fortunately my hardwood supplier came through. I think it would look a little funny with on one or two of the pieces in the glue up done like that. I'd probably just go get some longer boards.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    I have made several "Non important" shop tables and tables for the fishing camp by joining shorts (using Biscuits) endgrain and laminating full length pieces either side. worked well and is as strong as any other. In rough work it works fine as well as utility pieces but I think that sense you have already invested a considerable amount in Walnut and the additional investment of time and effort as well, I would not allow the cost of another piece of wood to get in the way. Although it will look fine and be fine, you will always know it is there and wish otherwise.

    As an example; 20+ years ago I had a fireplace bricked for a room addition I was building. After the job was finished the mason pointed out an error where he had lain a brick with the face turned in (bricks have one good face and one good end, the others are off on the texture and color) I see that darn brick everytime I sit and watch TV in front of the fire. No one else in the house has ever noticed it or care but I know it is there and I can't help but see it.

    My humble $0.02 worth of slanted opinion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    Ditto Bill's brick. I have one or two things in my house I see everyday.

    Head to the lumber yard!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    Thanks Bill and Jeff - you're right - that would bug the bejeebers out of me and spoil supper to boot

    Off to the lumber yard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    I'd get another board of right length...IMHO

  7. #7
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Just to play devils advocate, think about the opposite side of the coin.

    You go out and buy a board to add the extra piece, and the color is slightly different.

    Same thing, you will always see it, and know it's there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Buy two boards
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New Zealand
    Structually.. it's no problem.

    As long as the butt join is in the middle of the table the only issue will be cosmetic.

    Personally I would look for some longer boards, but that just for aesthetic reasons



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Hi Jesse,
    Is there the chance that you could cap the end grain on each end with a board running perpendicular to the main boards, spline it in and get the total length that way? It may also help maintain a flat surface being locked in that way.
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