Combining Solid Wood and MDF in a Table Top

      Here's an interesting table top design with a ring of solid Oak around a veneered disc of MDF. Will it crack?July 16, 2012

This is a slightly exploded view of half a table top. The semi-lunar center is to be 3/4" MDF veneered on both sides; it is 24" in radius. The outer ring is to be quarter-sawn oak 3" wide (24" inner radius to mesh with MDF to 27" outer radius) with a 1" inner shelf for the MDF to rest on. My plan is to glue the ring solidly to the MDF. I have used this technique on many smaller tables without any evidence of splitting or separation. Is this technique viable on a tabletop this large?

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Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor P:
Don't bother with the shelf. Just biscuit the edge to the panel. Works fine in these dimensions - we do it all the time.

From contributor B:
If you are going with segmented curves, keep your segment blank widths within a couple inches of the final curved parts. That is, if it is a 3" band, use 5" to 5 1/2" wide boards. This makes for more joints around the circle, but also makes for a much more stable band. Wood movement over a 5" wide segment is significantly less than that over a 12" wide segment. If laminated construction is your plan, you should be fine as well.

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