Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Tale of Two Tables: 3. A Twist in the Tale

Wood is a living thing. Even after it has been felled, dried, and cut it will continue to move. It will expand and contract, crack and generally warp. This is particularly noticeable across the grain on wider planks. Subsequently the attachment of the table top is designed to allow the whole sheet to expand and contract. All the best laid plans however can be thrown by the timber.

Many of our planks have knots in them. The dark swirls add interest to the pattern of the grain and can be a delightful feature of the wood. They are however a pain to work as they are tougher than the surrounding wood.

We got our planks planed and thicknessed by the timber yard as the equipment to do so is beyond the means of most amateur wood workers. When we started to try and clamp the table top together we discovered that one plank was not square. It appeared to have hit a knot when having the edges planed and twisted slightly (you can see the gap between the square and the wood in the top photograph). This wasn't the wood moving for the top remained flat. We therefore had to re-straighten the edges. Without the proper machinery the most accurate we could do was use a router to re-cut the 90 degree edge. Several sessions of carefully measuring, clamping a guide, cutting into the edge of the wood millimetre at a time and remeasuring later we had a square plank again.


  1. Is thicknessed a word? If not, it should be! I'm looking forward to seeing this finished article. Any guess on the due date of your wooden baby?

    1. The smaller twin is out in the world and in regular use, the larger still has a couple of weeks work to do on it (lots and lots and lots of sanding!).


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