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Author Topic: rough sawn green pine table question...  (Read 9432 times)

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Offline zelpatsmot

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rough sawn green pine table question...
« on: January 10, 2013, 04:44:49 PM »
Hi Everyone

My friend insisted I built him a harvest table. He told me he wanted it rustic looking, the dimensions, and that he wanted to be able to see the joinery from the top of the table.

He also insisted I used wood from one large pine tree of his. I explained to him all about green wood and its tendencies...

Eventually I said okay... Standing pine to table in less than 7 days.

Table top planks are 16" wide, biscuit joined with foaming poly glue. Legs are draw-bored. Hickory wedges were pounded from top down.  4-5 coats of spar urethane, top only. Bread board ends also biscuit-ed.


So, how long until the top cracks, twists, warps, bends, breaks, splits, flips, blows up ect?

 



 

Offline Stagerig

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 05:37:02 PM »
Cool table, this should be interesting!
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Offline clww

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 05:39:53 PM »
Great looking table! 8) I think it's going to distort and wobble as the wood dries and therefore shrinks. :-\
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 05:59:22 PM »
Hey Zelpa,

Beautiful job on the table.  8)  It's not that you can't build green, even furniture, it's knowing how.  Building with green wood, be it timber frames or furniture is what we do.  Now that you have given us a guinea pig, I could make some observations/predictions.

1.  If your are going to build green, quarter sawn is best and/or predict movement direction and place joinery, (type and fashion) to compensate.

2.  No "miters" or serious planing for them, especially in hardwoods.

3.  If you have large "fields," (slabe, table tops, chair seats,) plan for the movement and don't "freeze," into position.

Now that you have built it, we can see where some of these factors will come into play.  Because it is pine, I don't think any thing catastrophic will take place.  You should be able to deal with the checking that is most likely going to happen. Your mitered 'bread board," end will most likely be the first place to see some gaping.  Then your top, because you used joinery that "froze," it and does not allow for drying and seasonal expansion/contraction.  Thanks for doing this and the great photos, this will be very educational for all.  Again, I don't think, because it is pine, there will be anything to terrible to happen.  I would have used a natural oil finish and not a urethane.  What did you use?

Regards,  jay

 
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline beenthere

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 06:03:12 PM »
Good experiment, and the splitting will be interesting to watch. Will you be able to get pictures on a periodic basis? Maybe weekly at least? 

Sure looks great to start out with. Where are you located, and what is your winter weather like?
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Offline Ianab

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 06:08:03 PM »
That's a real pity to see all that work go down the drain as the table tears itself apart...

Reason is you can expect pine to shrink my maybe 5% as it dries down to 6% moisture, which it's going to do over time. If the top is 30" wide, that's 1.5 inches in width it's doing to loose. The force it exerts as it shrinks will rip the actual wood apart of the joinery and structure doesn't let go first.

The mitre corner is going to show the problem first, as the breadboard end wont change in length in any significant way.

Now you might have gotten away with this if the ends had been left as end grain, and the top affixed to the base with some sort of sliding fastening, so it could move. Then the table would simply have shrunk, but at least had a chance of staying in one piece, and somewhat flat. But trying to fix drying wood in place is pretty much doomed.

Like I said, it's a pity as I like the table, and it would all work OK if the wood was dry enough....

How long? The varnish slows the drying, but it wont be looking good in 6 months.

Ian
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 06:14:02 PM »
Ian,

It will be interesting to see which of our predictions come true.  I have had students do tables very similar to this, just to watch what happens when you break certain, "green woodworking rules," but I do not believe they will loose the table at all. There maybe some serious checking in a few spots, but those can all be artfully dealt with.  Bowing of the top is my only caveat.  We will see.

Regards,  jay
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline isawlogs

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 06:20:50 PM »
 I am with IAn on this one, pine will shrink over an inch width wise, with those tenons locking it together and the mitered corners somethings gonna give.  :-\
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline Ianab

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 06:34:16 PM »
Jay

It's the mortises through the top that I would be most worried about. They look solid, and the base they are attached to isn't going to move much. But between the two outer holes the top is going to lose an inch of wood. Something's got to give?

I do agree that it should be possible to build a table from green wood, and not have it destroy itself, but that's not an example of how to do it.

I also re-read, and the top is only finished on the top side? That's going to make things even more interesting as the underside dries faster and causes the cupping your are concerned about, and that might be the first thing to be noticeable.

But it will be interesting to see what goes wrong first...

Ian
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Offline zelpatsmot

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 06:59:11 PM »
No doubt it will change, just a matter of how much.  I gave him all the warnings and he kept responding by saying "I want that, I want it to look really old".  I said, "It will get old real fast when your beer bottle wont stand straight up ha"

I'm from central ontario, it has been a mild winter so far.

The table belongs to a couple with 2 young girls and a third on the way, so I imagine the thermostat goes up and down according to her heat flashes, and or his panic attacks.

The table has been in place for a little over 2 weeks now, and has shrunk a heavy 1/16th in thickness, so far the tenons are tight, and if necessary we can always pound the wedges down a bit further. Besides that nothing has changed yet.

I wanted to use an oil finish but it was a rush to get it done for Christmas*.  An oil finish would take forever to set in my cool, damp shop. I tested a new water-based stain made by SamaN, it went on like paint, didn't care for it much.  So I quickly went back to the tried tested and true thinner-linseed-rooftar.  I know.... roofing tar in a dining room?!!? you would never know, its odorless and it was left over from an old job.

I just started building another similar table with a matching coffee table for his father in law.  This one I purchased kiln dried pine for the table top, It should be finished within a week so I can also compare it over time.

I agree with the mitered bread board ends going first, but only time will tell..... I'll keep you posted....

I don't mind building these tables but nothing can replace the feeling on a raising day.

Tom

Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 08:57:06 PM »
Hey Zelpatsmot,

Your post is really exciting. I want to thank you again for it.  My green woodworking buddies might actually start posting  instead of lurking in the shadow because of it. 

Hi Ian,

This is going to be interesting, you got that dead on.  If this was Ash or Oak, all bets off, it would blow apart quick.  Pine has shocked me more time than once with how incredibly for forgiving it can be.  The photos of the Korean Style floor in my gallery, are all out of one massive pine.  From tree to beam work and flooring recessed into them in less than 7 days. Center beam is over 1075 mm (43") wide and 150 mm (6") thick.  The floor boards average 450mm (18") and some are 750 mm (30") wide.  The floor area is 3.6 meters by 4.8 meters (12'x16') and the biggest gap we go was less than 20mm (3/4").  Nothing is "froze," all free tenon joinery or tusk tenons, so things can bee "tightened up," as they dry. 

The next six months will be very interesting.  As soon as I hear he did use an oil mixture, I became even more relieved.

Regards,  jay
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Offline WDH

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 10:10:05 PM »
If the breadboard ends were glued on, something has to give if the wood was green.  I fear the worst, but I hope that Jay is right.
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Offline stumpy

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 08:49:13 AM »
When finishing a top, I make sure to apply equal finish to the bottom side.  If you don't, the bottom will dry faster and cause the top to bow or distort due to the uneven drying.  Don't ask me how I know :(
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Online Hilltop366

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 09:03:07 AM »
If the breadboard ends were glued on, something has to give if the wood was green.  I fear the worst, but I hope that Jay is right.

My guess is if the breadboard ends were were glued on and the wood was dry it would still give you trouble, this will be interesting.

Offline markd

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 10:14:40 AM »
Beautiful table, even if it does change in some way it'll just add character nice job wish I had it in my house. Markd
markd

Offline zelpatsmot

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 09:59:54 AM »
 Hi again

The green table has been in the warm dry house for almost 5 weeks now and so far it hasn't changed, it looks identical as day one. There is one small hairline crack on the tabletop where the tenon comes through. That's it.

Last week I completed another table, similar in design, but I used kiln dried pine for the table top, same stain, but with a water based poly instead....

The one built with dry pine is in a cottage that will only be heated when the homeowners are present. So I'm guessing, every other weekend until may.

Let the comparison begin!



 

 

Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 11:04:49 AM »
Hey Zelpa,

 8)  I was get'n really excited waiting for your next post...Your a Green Woodworker now, welcome to the club!  8)

It really can get a hold on you and by what you learn it makes any woodworking you do better.  Pines are the most surprising, it may not happen, but I'v seen little project like this one of yours do thing that boarder of miraculous, breaking every tenant of "what green wood does badly,"  I think you may have one! The fact that the bread boards are hang'n in there tell's me you got a good one.  In a few years, other than tool marks and a dendrochronoloic check, you will be hard pressed to tell if this isn't a 100 year old table.  You should try making one with nothing but hand tools, it looks like you have the talent.

Great Job...welcome to green woodworking.  Can't wait for more good news!!

Regards, Jay
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Offline zelpatsmot

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2013, 01:20:16 PM »
I'm certainly not in the clear yet, the time bomb is still ticking....

From this Caribbean island I'm on right now, the table looks fine  8)  ;)

Offline Tullivor

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 08:48:18 PM »
Dude, you make some insanely nice tables! 

Offline tburch

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2014, 11:07:37 AM »
It will be a mighty loud CRACK when that green table finally gives.   
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Offline woodsteach

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2014, 02:07:44 PM »
It has been over a year ... any update?
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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2014, 07:06:03 AM »
I don't know how I missed this thread last year.
Haven't heard from JC on here in a long time, you good ?
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Offline zelpatsmot

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2014, 06:13:04 PM »
my gosh sorry guys its been awhile I forgot I started this thread!

Here we go.... I will try to get pictures sometime soon..

The green table exploded ha. The glue lines have now become wide cracks.  I say anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2".  The bread board ends still look like they did day one.  The table is till very functional and sturdy as hell though.  The owner (anticipating this) filled the cracks with black epoxy. It actually looks okay. I thought it was be awful and distracting but its not bad really. But yea shocked that the bread board ends remained stable.
I think he told me it started to split around 6 months or so.  (likely when the finish dissipated maybe?).

The second table with the seasoned table top is perfect. Glue lines still intact. It developed a small crack it the top near one of the wedged joints.  But only 2 inches or so long he didn't bother hiding it.

Those were the first and last two tables I ever built.

Sorry for the long delay
 

Offline Ianab

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2014, 07:07:32 PM »
Quote
Those were the first and last two tables I ever built.

That's a pity, because with dry wood or a different design you have some nice solid stuff there.

But drying wood shrinks. The varnish would slow it down, maybe by 90%, which is why it took 6 months to dry and crack. If the green table had been allowed to float and shrink, it should have stayed intact, and just been an inch narrower now   ;)

Thanks for reporting back, it's a good demonstration of physics at work :)

Ian
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Offline beenthere

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2014, 07:15:01 PM »
Not surprised the breadboard ends continue to look fine. They won't shrink in length so stay intact, just the top boards abutting the end boards will shrink across their width and open up cracks that you tell about.
Look forward to the pics if you can get them posted.
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Offline WDH

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2014, 08:43:14 PM »
Thanks for the update.  It is amazing how much wood can move and the power that it can generate. 
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Offline reswire

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2014, 11:54:25 PM »
I just wish I had half the talent and experience to build such a good looking table.  Even if it did crack, I'd still be proud of the way it did look....
LT 40HDG 35, JD 5205, some Stihl saws, 15 goats, 10 chickens, 3 Chessies and a Weiner dog...

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: rough sawn green pine table question...
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2019, 09:01:32 PM »
I came accross this thread today.  How has the project turned out? any Pics after 4 years?
I love the desigh plan on building with Birch. And it will be dry. :D
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