Table Stretcbers and Allowing for Wood Movement
I would appreciate any advice and/or comments on how to best allow for wood movement in a 5″ table stretcher.
The table stretcher is planned to be mortised in the centre of the two (2) wood slab legs tight up against the bottom of the table top. I intend on mortising the stretchers fully (no tenon’s) in the legs by 1/4″ and securing them with two (2) – 3/8″ bed bolts through each of the table slab legs. The 1/4 mortise is a positioning mortise only but should I make them a bit larger to allow for the 5″ flat sawn stretchers to move with expansion? I would like to avoid having the stretcher expand and push up the table top seasonally.
The little information I have been able to find on this issue has indicated you don’t really have to concern yourself with wood movement in aprons or stretchers up to 5″ wide. But, I have experienced wood expansion (however slight) in the rails of the cabinet doors of a country hutch I recent built. So if a 2″ rail has moved I’m pretty certain a 5″ stretcher will.
Any thoughts and comments/guidance would be much appreciated.