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bholland

How do I make a table top with trim

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Hello everyone,

 

I want to build a table top with a miter trim but I want to use two different woods. Basically, I want a panel of birdseye maple with a trim of walnut. How can I do this while account for wood movement?

It doesn't have to be a miter trim. I could use breadboard ends too. The point is, I want to basically have an 8in square piece of birdseye maple framed with 1 inch of walnut. I know that wood will move that I need to account for. How do I it?

Thanks!

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Lots of work tables are built with that trim acting as a bump guard. The tables are typically plywood, wich is generally more stable, and the “trim” helps keep edge bumps from delaminating the ply. You could likely veneer some ply with the maple of your choice and miter a trim as you like. 

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For solid wood you could make it as if it's a frame and panel which would require a gap around the panel to allow movement of the maple. This gap can be rather decorative.

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Lots of good info will follow but, as already stated; resaw the birdseye and veneer that to a stable substrate like MDF or plywood and frame it directly.  Alternate for an 8" piece of hardwood is to do it frame and panel-wise with room for movement.

 

 

Frame and panel table top.JPG

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A couple years ago I made a large desk with a similar style top. The main desk surface was a good quality plywood, laminated on top of another piece of plywood (slightly less expensive) for added thickness. Then a solid wood trim was added around the edges. The trim is about 3/4" thick and about 2" wide (tall). I figured that any movement in the 2" dimension would be small, but to be sure I only glued it to the top sheet of ply (and used biscuits for alignment). The idea was to keep the top edges aligned, but allow the other 1.25" to move as needed. I haven't seen any noticeable movement on the trim through the seasons.

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Thanks all! I was hoping to avoid a veneer but that might be the way to go. 

I was actually also thinking about having a small lip on the table, in which case that would basically be a frame and panel configuration but I wanted to avoid having it look like a door. It is also a side table and I was a bit worried about keeping it clean. It sounds like I do have some great options!

thanks! 

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I'd make some shop veneer and attach it to ply. 8" square is pretty small and should be rather easy. Doing things this way allows you to make better use of your expensive wood. For a table top like this i'd cut some veneer out of a similar cheap wood for the back side to balance things out. 1/2" mdf or baltic birch with 2 1/8" veneers would make for a 3/4" top.

I did drawer fronts similar to this twice very recently. If you do this for multiple items it allows for better grain matching and a lot of options for panel matching on future projects.

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