Which wood for tabletop?

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  • #7699
    Florian
    Participant

    Happy Sunday everybody 😉

    My girlfriend is a taylor and she wants a new table for cutting and layout in her atelier. The budget is very limited but she and her partner would like to have a representative tabletop since clients are able to see it as well.

    I will probably adapt the H-Frame of the workbench design without aprons as support and there will be a large board connecting the two legframes as storage for cloth etc. The wood for the understructure will be as little expensive as possible.

    The dimension of the tabletop is around 80×40″. Therefor I would like to use the main part of the little budget.

    I have never made a tabletop out of one or as little as possible pieces. My tabletop experience is limited to laminating like many of us did it for the workbench.

    Which woods would you recommend for the tabletop?  I can buy ash, oak, pine, birch, larch, maple, spruce, elm, beech, poplar from my local lumberyard. I am aiming for an interesting texture on one hand and as little wood movement as possible on the other hand.

    Are turnbuttons the best way to allow wood movement for such a big tabletop, too?

    I’m looking forward to your ideas!

    Florian

     

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #7700
    Ken Dart
    Participant

    Hi Florian.

    How do you feel about plywood for the top and shelf??Oak finished ply is relatively inexpensive you can put on a solid oak edge  to finish it,and its very stable.The frame can be made from oak.

    #7707
    Florian
    Participant

    Hi Ken,

    thanks but I don’t like plywood too much. 😉

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #7708
    Ken Dart
    Participant

    how did I know you were going to say that!

    #7709
    Florian
    Participant

    Some things seem predictable, Ken 🙂

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #7712
    Dave
    Participant

    Florian, it really depends on the use it is expected to see and how much wear and tear is anticipated. Hardwood is probably a good choice but as far as species goes thats entirely up to you. I was reading an article on laminating tabletops and the person recommended gluing up board by board. Glue two boards together then allow glue to set and cure overnight then glue on another etc. It would take awhile to get it all done but apparently it avoids the twisting and cupping when laminating a wide piece all at once. I’ve never done a big top like this so there may be better ways to do it. Turnbuttons are traditionally used but I don’t know about such a big tabletop. Maybe ask Paul for some tips.

    I’m trying to find a video I saw on making your own parallel clamps for big jobs like this. Basically it was a stick wide enough for the tabletop with wedges made on each end. Put the glue on the lay the clamp on the top and set the wedges with a hammer to tighten up. He used wax paper to keep the glue from the clamp. Saves some money on buying alot of clamps and was simple enough that even I could do it.

    I found it!

    -Canada

    #7713
    Florian
    Participant

    Hi Dave, thanks for the link! Those clamps are really easy to make. I haven’t decided on the wood yet. I think this project is going to be a challenge 😉

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

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