In my nearly 20 years of woodworking, I have never used C-channel for anything. That’s primarily due to the fact that I rarely work with live edge slabs, which are really one of the few instances where I think C-channel makes sense. In the last few years I’ve noticed a lot of people using C-channel in situations that don’t call for it, such as when making standard table tops from a series of glued-up boards. I’m guessing folks have seen so many live edge projects being made with C-channel that they assume the extra reinforcement is also necessary when making regular table tops. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to use c-channel as something of an insurance policy, all the power to you, but don’t do it under the illusion that it’s actually necessary. In this video I’ll show you just a few of the many examples of table tops I’ve made that are still flat, but without any more reinforcement than what’s provided by the base structure.
Now before anyone starts sending finger farts in my direction, I understand that wood is a natural product and there’s always a chance a table top will misbehave. It happens. But if the wood is properly dried, stored, milled, constructed, and attached to a solid base structure, there’s an incredibly high probability that the top will remain flat for generations. So think long and hard before you plunk down the cash and invest the extra trim involved in assaulting your table top with C-channel.