freedhardwoods

Glue-Up Advice

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I am long on book learning and short on experience in some areas of woodworking.

A shop that I install for is planning to glue up 8/4 walnut into a 3' wide top, plane it down to 1 1/4" thick, and immediately finish and install it with the end against a granite countertop.

Shouldn't it be allowed to acclimate for a couple weeks at 1 3/8" (or more) before taking it on down to final thickness?

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Depends on the dryness of the wood and the conditions in the shop. Kiln dried walnut at 7% moisture that's been stored in a heated dry shop should behave fairly well. Air dried walnut stored in a unheated shed then taken into a heated shop will move a lot more.

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I agree with Steve. A nice touch would be to add a bread board end especially where it meets the granite. Water will get down there and end grain will wick. Add extra finish to the ends if no breadboard. A potential long term problem...And I like the look of breadboard.

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I would consider planing the boards to about 1 1/2" and letting them sit for a few days, then glue, wait a day and plane to 1 1 4". This exposes more surface area for equalizing the moisture content.

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A breadboard end on a thick glued up counter which will be mounted on a cabinet isn't that necessary. Mounting the counter to allow for expansion & contraction is very necessary. 

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I've beeen in a similar position before.  Someone is planning to do something and they seem unaware of the risks. Warn them, offer a better safer path then sit back and watch it unfold. As just the installer your risk ends with allowing for the wood to move .

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I stumbled onto my old Delmhorst R2000 moisture tester that I used 10 years ago while running my lumber kiln. I had put it on a shelf and forgot about it.

I tested the 8/4 lumber this am and it is showing 6.5 - 7% on the outside and 10% at the core. I told them I would plane 1/4" off each side and let it sit in the shop a while.

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Even if the material is uniformly dry, planing can release some internal stresses in the material, it isn't a bad idea to do the removal in two steps as you've suggested. 

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