Keeping Tabletops Flat
Three ways to keep a top from cupping while letting it move with the seasons
Synopsis: Any well-made solid table will have a flat top when new. But how do you keep that top from warping with seasonal changes in humidity? Contributing editor Christian Becksvoort explains why the properties of wood make it liable to warp and how your choice of lumber has a lot to do with whether a table will cup or twist. Then, Becksvoort shares three ways to keep a top stable and flat for years to come—using aprons, cleats, or breadboard ends.
Any well-made solid-wood table has a dead-flat top when new. And you expect that top to stay flat for years to come. But unless the maker follows some basic rules, the top is likely to warp down the road, courtesy of the humidity in the air. That said, if you understand how to assemble, finish, and restrain these wide panels, they will be flat when the next millennium…