Water and Wood

I have a small table that I built to put on my porch. I use it mostly to put my feet up on in the summertime. It does a good job of that. I made it out of cedar for the legs and apron which I also painted. I used some thin pallet wood for the top. After I made the piece and it sat on my porch in the sun, the top cupped and stayed cupped. Then one winter we had a good snow storm. About 3 or 4 inches fell and when I went out in the morning I saw my table covered in a thick white blanket. It was very pretty. I thought nothing of it.

Later that day, since snow doesn’t stick around for long at our elevation, I looked at the table again and like magic the top boards were dead flat. All the snow had melted on top of them and they had expanded and gone flat. It was stunning the transformation from misshapen and curved to flat.

Water and wood were made for each other. In fact wood loves water. A standing tree is made up mostly of water. Which is why it’s so danged heavy. Cupping is simply caused by one face of a board being wetter or drier than the other. It moves more than the other face and movement occurs. It was fun to see this in action on my front porch. Of course by spring, the boards were cupped again but still usable as a Imagefootrest.

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3 Responses to Water and Wood

  1. Bruce says:

    Hi, Gary. Of course, you know that cedar throughout will minimize the pleasure of cupping.

    What are those tacks, or nails for at the base of the legs?


  2. Ed Oliver says:

    Great little table here, I think the weathered look suits it. I am a beginner at woodwork and probably wouldn’t even be able to make something like that!
    Although I could just go for the simple look rather than perfectly polished.


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