I am contemplating a design for a tabletop which would be made up of a series of oak strips, bolted from end to end using long threaded rod. It might be approx 10' (3 m) long. Using several rods, perhaps about 1' (30 cm) apart.

The wood strips would run perpendicular to the long direction of the table.

My concern is that with seasonal expansion & contraction, would this be stable? It would be OK if the top changed size somewhat (like many) but are the steel rods likely to cause cupping or splitting etc.?


  • Maybe a drawing of what you are planning would help. But take a look at other designs. You'll see hybrid designs often use slotted fasteners along the axis where movement is expected. – jdv Nov 24 '18 at 14:54
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    You're right to be concerned, this is not a good idea because either A) the steel wins or B) the wood wins. There's no equilibrium point where there's a tie. As a rule the only way you can incorporate steel rods into a design primarily made from wood is when they run parallel to the grain, since movement in that axis is very small. – Graphus Nov 24 '18 at 16:40

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