Stabilization or keeping the slabs flat

This is the second part of a two part post reviewing some videos posted by Blacktail Studios. The first post can be found here and deals with laying out odd shaped slabs

Most of us chase after character in our pieces but character is often caused by defects in the wood. While a defect can often cause interest due to color, grain patterns, bark inclusions or voids, they also create stress and weak points in the wood. There are ways to minimize the effects of this stress or weakness, for example filling a void with epoxy or adding a bow-tie to a crack but wood will continue to move in a piece as long as the seasons change. Wood that is dry (vs green or fresh cut) will move less but even wood kiln dried still moves.

I always recommend people using some sort of cross bracing between corners. One common way to do this is to have legs that connect to each other with some sort of stable and strong material to resist cupping or twisting of the piece. But one of the current trends are the hairpin legs, these legs (and ones like them) have two issues

1) They are light weight and don’t provide much resistance if the slab wants to cup or twistt
2) Each leg is typically independent of the other and are not connected at all

The video below shows one method that Blacktail Studios uses to help support his slabs

How to Keep Slab Tables Flat

6 months ago

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