The kitchen I'm working on right now gets a nook and a trestle table. I've got 8/4 soft maple lumber to work with and the top will measure 27" wide by 80" long. I've built a few tables but not from this thick of lumber. I was wondering if reinforcing the joints is really necessary? If it is, I've only got biscuits and dowels, or maybe could make some splines. Also what finished thickness would be best, I was thinking about 1 3/4" thick. Thanks
I don't think you need a spline. Also, 1 3/4" thickness sounds good. Do you know you can order a 30" x 96" blank from Michigan Maple Butch Block for about what you will pay for materials, maybe less? You can order it unfinished if you like.
In my experience, it is best to let all countertops remain in clamps overnite(even if everything fits great). If your going to do that, you might as well epoxy the boards together. I have never had, nor heard of epoxy failing. On a side note, I used to live down the street from Michigan Maple Block. I have a few friends that work there. The tops they make in my opinion do not look good. Lots of short pieces finger jointed on the ends( looks more like IKEA to me). They have changed the way they make and finish tops to complete with Asian competition, and in my opinion, ruined there reputation.
There is no good reason to spline, biscuit, dowel, or do anything other than edge glue the boards for the panel you're describing. If everything is milled flat, straight, and square you should have no problem producing a nice table top.
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