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Deek18

oak plank movement

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I have some oak planks that are used for truck beds and semi trailers flooring. My wife wants a table made from them. I have used sketch to see what breadboard ends style would look like and we both agree that a frame around it would look better. My question is will this act like solid boards and expand and contract with changes in humidity ( I live in Wi. ) I have made a countertop with it before for someone else and have not heard anything bad from them about cracks 

Thank you for any input 

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dining room table no frame ~.jpg

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the last sketch pic is one that I raised the Fram and widen it to make a small overlap to accommodate the movement but we don't like this option for cleaning purposes 

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A mitered frame is a very bad idea. A 30" wide red oak tabletop can move about 5/8 (widest to narrowest ) across the grain over a year as the humidity changes.  Length changes so little it doesn't really matter. Winter heat can dry out the air. Spring & fall rains can raise the humidity.  Breadboard ends are just an attempt to hide end grain and prevent the top from cupping/ bowing. If you have an apron between the table legs and use furniture buttons, z clips or figure eights to attach the top and allow the movement you could skip the breadboard.  If your building a pedestal table a breadboard makes much more sense. 

Usually the breadboard is only about 3-4" wide. It's attached with  tenons in over width mortices and only a dowel from below in a slot holds it in place, not glued on !

You should have 3-4" tall aprons between the table legs to make a sturdy base . 

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You could also add batten strips from below with screws. Center screw in a regular round hole, holes on either side are slots so the top can expand & contract.  I remove the batten strip, finish the top on both sides and after the finish has cured I wax the top of the batten strip & install it with washers under round head screws. 

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Skip the frame. Been there done that, It's a BAD idea. If you want to frame it you'd better look at a plywood top with solid wood frame. I wouldn't do plywood because the veneer is too thin and i'd be concerned about repairing it in an unlikely event that something bad happens. Even then the frame could loosen and have gaps form if not glued and joined perfectly.

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You can frame it, but not with a traditional mitered frame. Let's say you want it to look like it has a walnut frame, just add 2 walnut boards to the sides of the oak, and a walnut breadboard. Looks like a frame, but acts as a structural support that won't be damaged by wood movement.

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I kinda knew that the answers would be along this line , I am going to skip the frame or do like Kyokahn suggested cause she also likes walnut and that might just be the solution if she is set on the frame look. Thank you all for all your input it is very helpful 

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