Has anyone ever glued up a 6' x 6' 4/4 curly maple table top and what am I
in for. Any tips? I pleaded with the client to let me laminate two sheets
of 1/2" baltic birch for the table top but he may want the curly maple. I
will have to use a trestle base.
It can certainly be done. You might want to consider saw
kerfing the back (stopping the kerfs in from the edges of
course/don't run them all the way through). You'll need
some way of stiffening it again (aprons set in from the
edges with elongated holes/z-clips for movement).
It is also recommended that you rip your material into
2 1/2" to 3" wide strips, flip end for end every other piece
and re-glue them. This could/would greatly change the
And as others have already busted your nuts for, check your
And lastly, have the customer sign a waiver/disclose to them
fully what could/might happen.
I would go with 3 sections 2' and use glue joints not biscuts. Do
everything but final sanding then glue the three sections together. If
you use glue joints you can plane/sand each of the sections until they
are _very_ close to the same thickness and you know how they will line
up because you can trial fit them repeatably. 2' is handy for large
planers/sanders but the process works down to single boards. I use a
shaper for the glue joints and 12" planer and 18" drum sander for
..it sometimes turns into an unsightly mess. It's difficult to match up
your grain and figure when dealing with solid curly material. It will
highlight where your joints are, reflect light differently when the boards
are flipped etc etc.
Buying curly veneer sheets in sequence (from the same tree, in the order
they were cut) makes life easier. Buying the widest, thickest curly maple
material your shop equipment will handle, and resawing, and book matching
will work nice. There is a premium attatched to these 2 methods, that
should be passed on.
If you're using, off the shelf, unmatched curly maple, meet your client at
your supplier, and show them what to expect. Or run the chance of not
getting your final progress payment for the project.
Cheers and good luck!!
The prospect of working with the boards available at my local lumberyard
kind of got me wondering. They have 4/4 curly maple on "sale" for 2.50 a
bf. I think it's to thin for a table top. That's why I mentioned
laminating the 1/2" baltic birch. I failed to mention that I was thinking
of using curly maple veneer (which I could get bookmatched) on top of the 1"
laminated birch ply. It's just the size of the thing. I'll have to rethink
the deminsions and demonstrate to the client just how big 56" x 56" is. I
don't think anybody will be able to reach the middle of the table without
standing up out of their seat.
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