Oak table

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Maattttt, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Maattttt

    Maattttt New Member

    The table is within my conservatory but it's always heated as it an extension of my front room, I've got an oil filled rad in there keeping it warm throughout the night, if it was put together correctly would I still see this amount of movement just because it's within a conservatory?
  2. Hi Matt.

    All timber moves. Some more than others. And in certain locations more than others.

    Ironically, the problem with your connie could be that it was too warm and dry.

    Yes, this can be fixed, but it'll need a chippie with proper clamps and tools, using dowels or biscuits to join each plank to stop them moving independently of eachother. What will then happen is that the whole top will expand and contract, so whatever fixes it to the table leg frame will need to allow for that movement.

    I agree with you - that's a nice table, so I understand you wanting to keep it.

    So, your approach to the sellers will be on the basis that it was not constructed to a high enough standard to prevent the twisting that's occurred. And, really, it's up to them to come up with the solution for this.

    I think I see small gaps opening up between each plank too? That suggests the timber has dried out and shrunk since you bought it, and not that a potentially cold connie has made the timber swell (which is what you would expect from timber in a normal connie, especially over winter).

    Soooooo, I don't think I'd tell them that it was located in a connie as they might jump on this as an escape clause; just say it's your dining room or summat.

    There's a good chance that the table was stored at their premises in a not very warm/dry place, so the timber got to you with a higher than normal moisture content. Once placed in a normal C-Heated home, it shrank far too quickly.

    So approach them just saying you love the table but are disappointed it warped and twisted the way it has. You've had advice from joiners and they all suggest that biscuit joints should have been used as a minimum.

    Also, if you have a local chippie working from home or with a small factory unit (the sort of guy who makes staircases, etc.), then pop in with a photo showing the problem and also the current underside shot to show how it was put together, and ask him how much he'd charge for redoing it properly. Then you can always you that sum to negotiate a discount from the sellers if they are unwilling to actually fix it themselves.

    The local chippie will almost certainly do a proper job...
  3. Maattttt

    Maattttt New Member

    Thank you for your sound advice really appreciate it, I will let you all know how I get on thank again Matt
  4. Maattttt

    Maattttt New Member

    Ps yeah there are large gaps appearing between the planks, when I collected the table, they was in the middle of refurbishing the work shop and some benches had been erected under a make shift car port out the back, so I guess they may have got the wood a little wet before the table was made like you said.
  5. A few points: it's "they were in the middle of..."

    Secondly, the table being stored in an unheated building - or outside as you say - would likely have led to the timber containing more moisture than is ideal. Then it dried out too quickly in your home, and didn't have a chance to settle gently which may have helped. A bit. But really it needs a better construction method.

    Thirdly, you are still punching above yer weight, matey :)

    (In jest, of course - 'cos you look a bit tough... :oops:)

    (But - blimey - she can certainly hold her drink...)
  6. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    It would have helped massively if the top planks has been fitted properly, with screws on the edges of them as opposed to just the middle.

    Maattttt likes this.
  7. True, Phil, tho' with the the direction of 'cupping' I can see why they thought one in t'middle should be ok.

    Large washers too - perhaps they'd anticipated some movement and the hole in the frame post is nicely 'clearance'.

    If they'd chust dowelled/biscuited the ends of the planks together, it might have been enough - tho' it would need mighty biscuits.

    It'll take some force to persuade them planks back into shape for fixing together, tho'. If they don't have the equipment, it might be a lost cause - unless there's a proper joiner that can do it for them.
    Maattttt likes this.
  8. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    You take them out and lay them in the sun upside down for an hour or two. That'll take the cupping out.

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
    Maattttt likes this.
  9. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Agreed. And even the dumbest woodworker would know that!

    (no funny comments from anyone thankyou)

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  10. chippie244

    chippie244 Super Member


    Edited due to unsuitable language
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2015
  11. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select


    Edited due to unsuitable language
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2015
    Maattttt likes this.
  12. The 'cupping' isn't the problem here, it's the twisting.

    These planks will cup to a certain degree over time anyway, and provided it ain't too ridiculous an amount, is a nice feature - just like you get on old floorboards.

    And if it ever becomes an issue, you get a floor sander and flatten them...

    But, the twisting of the planks is an unacceptable issue.

    Likely the table was stored in an unheated room possibly over winter, and Matt himself says it was probably kept outside as well for some time. The timber then adopted the moisture content reflecting the air around it = high.

    Then it was taken into a warm dry room.
    Maattttt likes this.
  13. Maattttt

    Maattttt New Member

    They are going to make me a brand new table, I'll send pics when it arrives
  14. Gatt

    Gatt Active Member

    Glad you got it sorted mate
    Maattttt likes this.
  15. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    That's good of them to admit the problem, not many do these days. :)
  16. Good point, Phil - nice they didn't try the body-swerve too much.

    Good result, Matt. Any ideas if they're going to use a different construction method...?
  17. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Just looked at the photo's, a badly made table.
    Looking at the 2nd photo showing end view of table, you usually lay planks opposite way of each other,flat grain up, flat grain down (happy smile, sad smile), to stop the wood twisting or cupping.

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
    Maattttt and Gatt like this.

    Or should I say 'yes' - if you want a flat timber board panel for making shelves and sh*.

    But, this is a thick, rustic timber plank table which will slightly cup further over time, and there is nothing on this planet more hellish than 'concave' cups.

    Except UKIP.
    Maattttt likes this.
  19. Phil the Paver

    Phil the Paver Screwfix Select

    you saying my mate Nige, is a thick rustic timber plank. :p:p:p
    Maattttt likes this.
  20. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    How much do you want for the old table!

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