I was discussing my teak/holly dining room table project with a friend. We were both concerned about telegraphing through the finish. The table is supposed to be a copy of a yacht sole. 2" strips of teak alternating with 3/16" holly (hard maple is more typical now).
Will the difference in hardness/expansion be a problem between the teak and maple? Another friend mentioned using Alaskan yellow cedar because it's similar to the teak in hardness. He seemed to think that it is white enough to pass. I'm skeptical. I'll be topcoating with Eurobild.
From contributor C:
I am familiar with Alaskan yellow cedar. It is more of a very light yellow than white. It is most certainly not similar to teak in hardness. Yellow cedar is a softwood species. It has a very different set of working properties from teak. It does finish to a very silky surface and I used to love the way that it stained with my burgundy water stains. The stains would blotch and streak in a most delightful manner, giving it the look of an exotic timber. Those properties combined with that silky finished surface made it a bestseller when I was making picture frame moldings.
I am thinking that you will have difficulty with variations in expansion and contraction in any scenario where you mix wood species in alternating bands. It will be hard to prevent some joint reveals (whether cracks or lifted edges, etc.). It might be best to treat it as they do with pre-finished flooring... They use a micro-bevel on the edges to obscure any unevenness.
The tongue and groove type construction is also useful in controlling such variable wood movement and utilized in flooring installations. Traditional yacht decks are more likely to utilize screw and plug systems (sometimes with splines in place of tongues and grooves).
The moisture content must be consistent along the length of each board - so a board doesn't expand or contract more in, let's say, the middle than the ends.
The way that you attach the top to the base should allow for the whole top to expand and contract unimpeded - use elongated screw holes or sliding dovetails, etc.
Seal the underside of the top - you don't want to have a moisture imbalance between the top and bottom surface.
Once you have glued the piece up, it will expand and contract like an accordion. You won't have a problem unless you interfere with its movement or let one area take on or give off more moisture than another. This type of construction has been around for centuries.
Use plain sliced teak and quarter sawn sugar maple or holly. Then everything should move the same.
Contributor R, your second post was exactly the info I was looking for. I lent my copy of 'Understanding Wood' to some friend awhile ago. Those numbers reflect teak's renown stability. The soles and decks are typically done with quatersawn teak for skid resistance and economy. The typical method is to run 8/4 through a wide belt and then slice edges. You can end up at -1 7/8.
I'm familiar with soft and hard maple. Is sugar maple as white as hard? Will it be easy to grab a board from my lumber distributor?