There are so many reasons a panel can cup it is almost impossible to diagnose without seeing what the guy did in person. Yes, a wider, thicker board is more likely experience problems (not because it is wide, but because of changing grain direction). However, to assume that was the problem is over simplifying the situation.
Here are some risk factors:
Were the edges perfectly jointed? The wider and heavier the stock, the more difficult it is to get perfect 90 degree (or at least complementary) joints. A half degree out of square really adds up and you get a barrell rather than a table. A lot of these big, thick rustic/industrial/farmhouse style table tops I see are cut with a track saw and a prayer.
Was it properly clamped? If your clamping pressure is uneven (again, easy to do on a wide table) you can introduce cup into a panel - especially if the edges aren't perfect.
How was the panel stored before it was fastened? Did he let ample air circulation to both sides? Uneven air, and therefore unevern ambient moisture circulation will cause cupping. Guaranteed.
How were to boards sawn? Perfectly quartersawn boards are the ideal because they pick up moisture uniformly and expand little across the width. But I guarantee he wasn't using 10/4, 10" wide QS stock because it basically doesn't exist in domestic species. The wider and thicker a board, the more likely you have changing grain type, with some rift, some quartered and some plain sawn grain all in the same board. That results in a giant game of tug of war, were so parts of the board wants to move horizontally, some wants to move vertically, and some wants to move on an angle.
How stable is the EMC environment? In my house, winter EMC is 5%, summer is 12%. Double the moisture content of a board and all of the factors above become a bigger problem.
How was the top fastened? I can't tell you how many times I see "professionally" made solid tops that are screwed to a base with no room for movement. Keep in mind, this solid plank top look is a relatively new trend. I know plenty of professional cabinet makers/furniture makers who spend 95% of their world in sheet goods. A wide, 10/4 panel can easily overwhelm any structure it is fastened to. When the EMC changes, unless something is holding it flat (with room to expand), it might cup. But if that something isn't strong enough to hold it flat then it will cup.
Was the board properly dried? Who knows, but the thicker the board, the less likely it was. 10/4 stock is far more difficult to dry properly than 8/4 or 4/4. If he bought from a large, reputable mill he might be ok. The small mill I deal with only dries up to 8/4 because of the lengthy kiln time 10/4+ requires. Larger mills can dry 10/4 just fine, but you will pay $$$ for it.
My guess is this guy had a combination of problems. The wider the panel, the thicker the stock, the more room there is for error, full stop. With a narrow 4/4 panel used in a frame and panel door, you can get away with a lot of sins.
Are the wood web guys right that 8" wide boards are a recipe for disaster? Not really. If used carefully and thoughtfully they can be just fine. But in the real world folks don't work carefully or thoughtfully. There is a reason old bowling alleys are narrow strips of maple (with QS grain for the surface). Same reason people build Roubo's with similar construction. Building that way mitigates a lot of risks.
Hello All, I am very new to the woodworking world and found this site recently. I read a post where someone said always check Craigslist for good deals so I did. I've been looking for a router and I actually came accross a DeWalt planer. However in the description the man mentioned he had a lot of other tools including a router so I emailed him. This is what he is offering and I want to know if this is a good deal or not. This is was his reponse " the router is a "frued" 3-1/4 horsepower high quality super heavy duty 1/2 inch shank 300 $ for freud router table and three bits that are new that total 125$ a tongue and groove bit costs 70$ and two cabinet joining bits cost 89$ new in box." So he is asking $300 for all of this. I tried to find out more info on the Freud router and table online but seems like they don't make it anymore. Thoughts? Thanks
Looking great so far Shane. As a fellow carpenter i really enjoy following your builds. Seeing the blend of meticulous woodworker and git'r'done carpenter is inspiring. I think it makes for a deadly combination!
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Look at it this way. One of the ways to get the maximum benefit from product lines like Festool is to go all-in. You are already wayyyy in so don't fight it. Your recent purchase is not a personal failing. It is a well thought out, logical, next step in your perfect master plan
I have a finite amount of space for scraps. If I have something I think I should keep I go look at the other scrap of that type I already have. If what I am holding is better than one of the pieces I am already saving the good one stays and the lesser one goes. This keeps me in plenty of scrap without invoking the "Tribble effect".