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Thread: Tabletop advise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Tabletop advise

    I have a table I am working on, the top is beyond repair, so I plan to make a new top. I want to use 1/2 mdf faced with Mahogany veneer and use a one inch Cherry border, had a piece of 2x2 stock I ripped into four sticks, that I can install around the top, then separate the cherry and Mahogany top with a 1/2 inch decorative inlay strip. I plan to use tongue and groove to attach the cherry border to the top, but I am not real sure which way the grain needs to run for strength and or expand/contraction or do I not need to worry since I am using mdf. Thanks in advance for any advice, suggestions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    The field of the table is to be MDF surrounded by solid wood. There is not expansion/contraction consideration for MDF. Wood expands/contracts across the width (grain) on a board. A fair rule of thumb is 1/4" fer foot. Since your border pieces are nowhere near that, you are golden without considering wood movement.

    As for grain direction, long grain is harder to break than end grain. However, the strength of your tabletop is in the accumulative effect of drain and joinery. Therefore, it is entirely fair to simply consider esthetics. Long grain banding a field is pleasing to the eye. And what we mostly see in this configuration.

    Summation, don't worry about wood movement in this application, and go with long grain that pleases the eye. You will not have compromised anything.

    Keep us posted with pictures. We love them and everyone can learn from them, no matter how experienced you are. We all started someplace and there are those who are just starting now, so all learning is good!

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