Solid Wood Table Top in Mitered Frame


TomInNC
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I have read on several occasions  that surrounding a solid wood panel table top with a frame is a recipe for disaster (e.g., https://thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/solid-top-mitered-frame/). Last night I realized that the bar in my basement is effectively... a solid wood panel in a mitered frame (first picture). The bar has been in the house for about 5 years, and I've never noticed any problems. I can't tell from the underside (second picture) if they somehow let the table float in this frame. Any guesses as to what is going on here? Should I expect the bar to blow itself apart at some point?

 

 

 FrameBar2.thumb.jpg.55a89dfb6091e4c6afa407be8c90c973.jpgFrameBar1.thumb.jpg.83c8f9b7cb69d60598898e0a6b25d433.jpg 

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I think I understand the photo now. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. 
 

When I did my bar John Bridges  tile forum told me you couldn’t use PB as a substrate for a tile top. I did. 15+ years later still looking good. The substrate around the outside is PB layered with 1/4 oak and plywood framing. I also beaded the panels. 
 

Can and can’t just depends on if you get caught:P

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I will assume that what you say about it being a solid wood top is true. The explanation for there not having been any problems is because, as you also say, it has been in the same place for 5 years. Cross grain expansion and contraction is usually referred to as seasonal movement. This is because problems occur as temperature and humidity changes causing the wood to expand and contract. As long as the wood is in a climate controled atmosphere, you won't have any problems.

Assume for a moment, however, that this piece was a table with similar construction. If you had to move cross country and all of your posessions had to be temporaily stored in a non-climate controled storage unit, it might destroy itself. Or the same might happen if there was a natural disaster in your area that cut power for a prolonged period. Your bar may hold up for a lifetime as long as you pay your power bills.

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I would doubt it’s veneer. I’m surprised it was was ran in one direction, but this gives me the impression it was cut and wrapped and sent on., I’m sure other parts from that cutout were used elsewhere. 
 

Most times or atleast the shops  I’ve worked for would have seamed it on a 45 degree angle and two pieces it. 
 

To save time on joints, glueing, sanding, etc I’m sure it was just cut out and banded and sent on..

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We had the bar installed before I got into woodworking, and I didn't ask many questions about how it was constructed. I do remember, however, that a very small knot fell out of the top when they were installing it, and they had to take it back to the shop to fix it. Would that make it more likely to be solid wood?

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Couldn't tell you. I've done knotty Alder cabinets and had not pieces fall out of veneered MDF.

 

Everything here is guess work. Like I said. I wouldn't build a top like that solid and add wood edging around it like that. That's a no no in the cabinet shopunless it's specified by the customer..

 

I will say this to be clear on this. I've done things  on jobs specified by the shop owners/ builders/home owners because I work for them, not because I have a choice. I've not always agreed with what I've been asked to do, but do the best job at whatever it was so it didn't come back on me. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Transitional styles vary greatly, but typically favor table top thicknesses in the mid-range, from 1" to 1 ¾". Not excessively thick or thin, but well-proportioned to the interior space. Larger, more rustic pieces may work well with a thicker top.

Regards: woodworking contractors

Edited by wtnhighlander
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On 12/6/2022 at 9:23 AM, focoyi7 said:

Transitional styles vary greatly, but typically favor table top thicknesses in the mid-range, from 1" to 1 ¾". Not excessively thick or thin, but well-proportioned to the interior space. Larger, more rustic pieces may work well with a thicker top.

Regards: woodworking contractors

???????

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On 12/6/2022 at 7:48 AM, BillyJack said:

???????

Kinda like listening to a politician speak, eh?  Not sure what that meant.  I'm in the 'veneered substrate' group for my first guess.  I'm basing this on my interpretation of the second pic where the underside grain seems to be running in a different direction that the top.  We repeatedly see things that look like they ignore wood movement rules shown.  Do as you will; I try to account for movement.  Of course, I am a hobbyist and get to do what I like :D

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It’s rare for a shop to veneer a raised bar top. So rare I’ve never seen it done.  I’ve probably got 50 pieces of veneer in the shop and I never veneer unless I have to. Unless the bar , cabinet, etc is of an odd grade of lumber it’s going to be less man hours to cut it out of a 4x8. Now if it was done at a hobby shop, who knows…

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On 12/8/2022 at 3:31 PM, BillyJack said:

We don’t call it veneer plywood, etc in the shop unless it has been applied. You’ll have a lot of heads scratching on things like that.lol

My dictionary would beg to differ LOL

"Plywood is an “engineered” wood that comes from thin layers of wood veneer combined to form sheets of various thicknesses. We arrange the veneer sheets so that the grain is at 90° to successive layers."

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