Barbara Gill's Sycamore Table

WOOD MOVES...
IT DOES?
Restless sycamore table top proves the point.

SHOP OWNER: Barbara Gill
LOCATION: Remlik, VA

    This American Sycamore (buttonwood) table was made for us by a very talented woodworker, Bob Joyce, who is now working for Frank Klausz. It illustrates the old adage that wood moves according the the moisture level in its environment, expanding and contracting in width, but not in length.

      The sycamore was sawed by me shortly after we purchased our first Wood-Mizer sawmill more than twelve years ago. For six years the planks sat air drying in a barn, then the wood was kiln dried and resawn to make the table, a project that was put on hold while Bob acted as our housewright. During the fall of 1997 the partially constructed top and all the rest of the wood was put back into the finish kiln and brought down to 6% moisture content. The finished table was put into our kitchen in July of 1998. I did not think to take a moisture reading at that time. Because our house is very dry, the table top started shrinking within a month. It is now 7/16" narrower than it started. If Bob had not followed all the rules for allowing the wood top to move after the table was finished, the top would have split by now. Each breadboard end is secured by only one fixed point, the other points are slotted to allow for movement. The tabs which hold the top to the frame are allowed to move in slots cut into the apron. You can see more furniture, wood samples, and barbecue talk at The Gill Web Pages

... Barbara Gill


 

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