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Bird's Eye Maple top9/7
Am planning on making a hall table and when looking for a top for the table I found a 14” wide plank ½” thick plank of Bird’s Eye Maple. Would want to use the plank as it is, so what would be the best way to mount the plank as the top without any bowing and such
We'd have to know what your base parameters are to answer that. If it was a completely inclosed box base, the solution would be far different than if it is to be an airy design with little or no apron for example.
The top would be more of a airy design so would not have any apron.
1/2" is a little thin for a table top, especially without an apron but I am going to answer your question anyway.
Screw the top on. Use washers, and oversized screw holes. Slot the screw holes perpendicular to the grain for wider tops.
Back off the screws slightly when snug so that they are secure, but not tight.
This will keep the top flat relative to the frame while allowing for expansion and contraction.
There are certainly fancier ways to achieve this, but I will leave you to discover those. Hint: You need to achieve two things. Allow for expansion contraction, while keeping the top flat relative to the frame. You meet these criteria you are in good shape.
Remember, you can't stop wood movement, but you can guide it. Make sure your table base is designed to be stout enough to keep the top flat. This is one of the functions of a traditional table base with aprons, other than supporting the top.
You might not want to hear this, but a 1/2" thick piece of Birdseye maple 14" wide is not going to want to stay particularly flat on its own.
Also. It is important to understand what is going on, with wood movement. That is the key to learning how to deal with it. Do a search on wood web. Learn everything about moisture content, drying, and wood movement in general that you can.
It is also a good idea to Use a wood movement calculator such as this.
I would suggest a rule of thumb for movement but it would be better if you learn for yourself, what percentage of moisture change you will likely see in your region, plug in what species you actually work with, and come up with your own numbers.
I really appreciate the advice, this is the first time I've tried to have the airy look. So I'll take your advice and see what happen. Thanks again
Actually I was able to keep the plank at 5/8" thickness
Much better, but still pretty thin.