Coyote Jim

Table Top Board Selection

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I'm going to be doing my first ever large table top. The final dimensions will be around 40" x 96", maybe 40" x 108". 

I'm going to use 8/4 white oak. Assuming there are no fires to put out at work I will be purchasing all the lumber I need tomorrow (Friday).

This being my first big table top my question for you experts is:

When picking out my boards what should I be looking out for? What are the red flags? 

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If your making a table this big the thing I'd be most interested in is being able to joint them strait and not loose all of the board. a 96 or 108" table is massive....

Not really too much else to be concerned with other than surface checking or end checks. Don't want cracks to propogate through a top that big.

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Other than being free of cracks, splits, checks, as Chestnut pointed out, your choices would be a matter of appearance. If you don't already know, do some research on white oak flat sawn vs. rift sawn vs. quarter sawn. Each will give you a completely different look.

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Amen to @Robby W's last statement. That is a massive table top.

What construction method are you planning? If the heavy appearance is what you need, but not so much the weight, consider using 4/4 and blocking up the sides and ends. Might save you a hernia surgery.

At those dimensions, I assume some type of trestle or double pedestal base. In that case, the blocked edges let you hide the pedestal tops and any battens you want in the recess created by the inverted 'box' structure of the top.

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8 hours ago, Coyote Jim said:

So....this is embarrassing.

You know the old saying "Measure twice cut once."?

There's a reason that it's a well know and old saying.  

Not gonna say "been there done that", but I may have a couple of the T-shirts.

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9 hours ago, Coyote Jim said:

So....this is embarrassing.

You know the old saying "Measure twice cut once."?

I re-measured the kitchen and....well....I have absolutely no idea where I got 108" from. Honestly I'm baffled. The kitchen will only accommodate a 6' table.

I do believe all of the above advice is still sound though.

I say build the table to original dimensions and remodel the kitchen!  :)

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