Getting back to my end table project--stumped for top edge treatment

I was going to use 3/4" oak ply for a 26 x 16 end table but decided that I prefer the look of solid oak lumber, so I'll do a glue-up. I'm guessing that I CAN'T merely glue on 4 pieces of trim, because the trim at the end grain ends of the top would be a no-no. Wouldn't it look unfinished to leave the ends of the boards exposed and just rout a decorative edge profile into the boards? What's the usual method of edging a table top that is solid? (The style of this table will be informal. aprons, a drawer, a lower shelf, and square legs with a bottom taper.)
dave
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Dave,
I have several end tables where the tops have exposed end grain, it's no big deal. They were made of cherry, so I suppose that's slightly different than oak, but if you sand the end grain with a much higher grit sandpaper (320 or 400) then you effectively seal the wood against higher stain absorption (so it doesn't appear darker than the rest of the wood) and then they were routed with a simple bullnose.
I suppose it's personal preference, but I've always been partial to having the endgrain show rather than wrapping it with edging (makes it look like you used plywood even if you didn't). But, that's just taste rather than a rule.
Mike

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I agree, wrapping the end grain, isn't necessarily good. And, thicker wood (like 1-1/2" ) can result in very interesting patterns. George in Boise.
Mike in Idaho wrote:

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Hi George,
What part of boise are you from? I live near Cloverdale & Victory :)
Mike
[snip]

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Hi Dave,
You can do several things included breadboard edges, a mitered frame, etc. The breadboard edge will work to keep the top flat, but I have had a few instances where I didn't account for wood movement properly and ended up with the breadboards moving enough to protrude past the main top (from front to back). Pretty annoying. I live near the coast and experience pretty big humidity swings, so my mileage might not be the same as you get in CA.
The mitered top can look nice, but you have to again be careful about wood movement.
Honestly, routing a decorative edge on a top without any other added treatments is very common and there's nothing wrong with it, IMO. You can bevel the underside of the top to create a thin cross section when viewed from the side if you like, or just put a nice roundover or bead, ogee, etc. etc. I've also seen plenty of tables with just square tops with no embellishments at all. Anything under the sun is possible and you'll find plenty of examples of them all.
As you often say to everyone, do what YOU like and then you'll be sure to be happy. In things like this I don't feel there is a "wrong" way to do it.
Mike

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Hi, Mike. I may go with no edging if wood movement will cause me more grief than it's worth to "beef" up the edge. I had thought to add an edge would give the top a heftier look. I could go with 1" thick solid glue-up instead. and I have a few edge treatment bits to jazz it up a little.
dave
Mike in Mystic wrote:

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Dave,
Personally, I like the look of endgrain and wherever possible, I leave the endrain on a panel showing. I sand the endgrain to a finer grit so if staining, it doesn't darken more than the rest of the panel.
I did a couple of 20" deep solid oak tops for the side pieces to a couple of entertainment centers sometime back. Because of the design, I wanted 1 1/2" wide trim pieces that ran down the sides and front. It would cover the endgrain. The edge profile would be applied to the trim pieces. To accomplish this, I first glued up the main panels. I then made up 1 1/2 stock for the trim. I routed the profile before I cut the trim stock to length ( I was concerned about chip out on the mitered corners if I routed after they were in place. Also, I pin nail the corners and didn't want the router bit to hit that ). I then cut the front piece of trim with mitered edges at both ends. It helps to sneak up on that length using two scrap mitered pieces to check against the front miters. I then biscuited and glued the front piece to panel (grain runs in same direction left to right). Make sure you use the scrap pieces to make sure your mitered ends line up correctly as you clamp it. Then I cut the side pieces a little long and fine tune the miter until it fits perfectly. Then I cut the side pieces to length. To attach, I use a bicuit at the front of the side trim piece and use pocket holes at a few places along the rest of edge toward the back. I elongate the pocket holes for expansion. Also, I only glue the miter, the biscuit and the edge just to the back of the biscuit. There is no glue along the rest of the edge to allow for expansion/contraction. Since it is a top, the pocket holes are hidden. Works great.
Preston

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Preston Andreas wrote:

<snip>
You can also seal the end grain by applying one or more coats of a 1 lb cut of dewaxed shellac. As always test on scrap until you get the desired effect.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com says...

Here is a traditional way to treat such ends, Dave:
http://home.mminternet.com/~donryu/images/breadboard_end.jpg
And here is the finished table, with the "breadboards" installed. The only point of attachment, other than the mortises and tenons themselves, is an ebony peg that goes thru the middle tenon from the bottom. This allows the top to expand and contract freely.
http://home.mminternet.com/~donryu/images/sideview2.jpg
Kim
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"Bay Area Dave" wrote in message

Leave the end grain ... it look natural.
You can do a variation of two bevel techniques to make your table top 'appear' thinner or thicker:
A bevel thusly: ......... ..........\
... will make the top appear thicker.
........... .........../
... will make the top appear thinner.
Edge profile bits, using the same philosophy, or a combination of bevels and profiles, can take you just about anywhere you want to go.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/31/04
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interesting. thanks; I want it to appear thicker so I'll go with the first profile or something similar.
dave
Swingman wrote:

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ANother varitoion on the above is a small chamfer on both top and bottom edge also makes edge look beefier and provides some interesting detail. Can provide a photo of table in abpw if anyone wants.
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"jev" wrote in message

I like that look a lot. The last table top I did I put a 45 degree, 1/4" chamfer, on both the top and bottom edge of a 1" thick top ... makes the top look much less clunky on the relatively small, but tall, table.
I also like a bevel on the bottom edge, leaving about 3/8" of the original end grain at the top. It gives an elegant appearance to a low table, like a coffee table.
And another "bevel" design tip that I failed to implement on a recent project, but wish to hell I had: A simple, appropriate sized, 45 degree bevel on the inside edge of a table leg can really make the legs look less bulky when viewed from an angle where you see two planes of the same leg.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/31/04
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End grain is fine to see.
Take a look at a.b.p.w. I have a walnut end table with the end grain exposed.
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I looked. I'm drooling. I posted a reply over there.
dave
Leon wrote:

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I put 3 more pics under your post on abpw.

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just saw them. thanks, Leon.
dave
Leon wrote:

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Not really a suggestion but something I pondered on in the past is something of a breadboard treatment incorporating a sliding dovetail with a single center pin. Never tried it though...
Oh and around this neck 'o the woods the critics would not refer to that look as unfinished it would be "rustic".. how nice 'eh?
EJ

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I glue on end peices all the time. Just remember to finish it completly (both sides) real quick before it explodes :-)
mark

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