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---Walnut Countertop growth rings orientation ???---11/13
I am making a walnut countertop that will be attached to a knee wall . I bought kiln dried 8/4 flat sawn material, since the customer wants that exact look. The planks have now been jointed and milled down to 96'' x 18'' (4-5'' widths] x 1.5''. Of course the grain pattern looks the best with all the growth rings going in the same direction. Do you think its crazy to disregard the alternating growth rings pattern, for the sake of the look ? The top will be installed here in San Diego, which is dry to begin with, and I plan on finishing the whole top evenly coated. Since its on a knee wall, as a breakfast bar, it will be supported with brackets and elongated holes to allow for movement. How would you glue up this countertop ?
2nd from the left looks not so good to me. I always arrange primarily for looks, which is usually the same thing as arranging for proper machining on the joiner: the grain runout of the face approximates a book matched look.
Glue it up as you would any table top of solid. I don't think it matters one bit which way the growth rings are oriented. Which ever way is prettiest is fine. I've glued up at least 100 tops this way. Some have cupped, others crowned up while others (alternating growth rings from board to board) have created a wave cup/crown/cup/crown etc. from board to board. I can't say I have for that matter EVER seen a truly flat solid wood table top.
I agree with Chris on growth rings and biscuits. I would add that any movement you see is due entirely to moisture change, so get the MC prior to fabrication and installation as close as possible to the MC it will have in use...probably 6.5% or maybe 7.0% MC.