I have an opportunity to take on a contract job to build a kitchen
work center from really old oak.
My customer recently bought a house originally constructed in 1910.
During an extensive remodeling project the lumber was found in the
attic (probably left over from the original construction). The oak
lumber is rough finished and a full 3+" thick, 12+" wide and lengths
vary from 6' to 14'. I'm told there are no knots anywhere.
The lady wants a kitchen work center 3" thick 4' wide and 8' long with
a sink and stovetop cut outs. She wants an oil finish.
What is the best way to join the boards for the top??? I can think of
1) Use cleats under the top.
2) Use 3/4" oak splines.
3) Use threaded rod (1/2") diameter. Drilling the holes accurately
would probably be a problem???
Glue or no glue??? As big as these boards are if they take a notion to
move due to humidity they are going to move. My guess is no glue
should be used.
My take would be an edge to edge glue-up for the top, with the exception
that, if possible per design, it would be a perfect opportunity to do the
glue-up with the "cutout's" already in place and taken into account. That
will save a lot of work, and maybe your back. Have some help handy, that is
going to be one heavy piece.
If you do good edge prep with a great blade on a great table saw or a
good jointer, then you can just glue them up. Use a water proof glue
Titebnd II or III. No need for splines. You could use biscuits just to
aid in alignment. If you do, think about placement to be sure you
won't have any biscuits exposed after you do any cut down.
3" thickness will require some good clamps, but if the edges are good,
you souldn't need to pull the wood in much, just something with a wide
face like a Bessy to make sure you get a good clamp.
Keep in mind that clamping pressure radiates out at 45 degrees from
the clamp location, so if you want bullet proof clamping, place your
clamps so you don't leave more than a few inches gap between the
radiated pressure at the nearest joint to the edge. I hope that makes
sense. If not, I could doa quick drawing to explain.
If I read this right, you want to join pieces 8' long and 3" thick along the
long grain. You can just glue them, that is a lot of surface area. You
could use a long spline if you want. Most wood movement is across the
grain. So don't glue end grain to long grain.
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