apron/table top connection - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-28-2008, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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apron/table top connection

Hi all, I've got a simple question. Is it not smart to use pocket screws to attach an apron to a table top. In the past I've use blocks with brads and screws but I've had some problems with that method (2 cracked tops). Will the top be able to expand/contract if pocket screws are used? If not, what's the proper method?
Thanks,
-Casey
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-28-2008, 06:40 PM
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Pocket screws will cause splitting of the top too. Anything that doesn't allow the top to move could cause splitting.

These Z clips are one method. They're design to slide in a groove cut into the insides of the aprons. You can get them at any woodworking store.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/i...OD&ProdID=5514

If the aprons are already connected into the leg assembly, you can also use elongated holes in the end rails. Drill 2-3 holes big enough to accomodate the screw without binding, and the cut out the area between the holes with a chisel. The pocket screws with the flange on the bottom of the head will work as long as you keep the drill holes smaller than the flange. On the side rails just drill the holes perpendicular to the actual apron. You don't need to allow for much movement, depending on the species of the top.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-28-2008, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Boardman, thanks alot for the reply. How many "z" clips would you use on a small table with 14" apron pieces between the legs? and how close to the legs would you use them? Also, do you have any advice that about what to do with a previous tablw I built. I built a maple coffee table a few months ago and didn't attach the top correctly. I used 7 1"x3" blocks that I nailed to the apron with brads. I then coutersunk some pocket screws from the blocks into the table top. Is there anything I can go back and fix, or do I just hope it doesn't crack. *EDIT* Nearly every piece of furniture in my house has the block connection method. How come factory manufactured furniture is always done this way, but hardly ever cracks at the top?
Thanks,
-Casey

Last edited by lvlacgyver; 03-28-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-28-2008, 10:32 PM
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Factory furniture is almost always a thin veneer on particle board. I built a table top with 1/4 bookmatched maple on top and it hasn't seperated because the maple's so thin there isn't much expansion/contraction.

On aprons that short I'd think 1 Z clip per side would be enough. Tabletops don't really have to be all that tightly connected to the leg/apron assembly because they just sorta sit there. Just enough to be snug. On the block set-up I'd try just drilling a hole smaller than the flange on the pocket screw and then putting the screw on. There isn't usually huge movement in wood thru the seasons, but a top hard srewed onto the aprons can split.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-29-2008, 01:00 AM
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I mostly agree with Boardman, except that I would put 2 Z clips in a 14" span, not to hold it to the apron so much as to help prevent cupping. The better it is held to the apron, the less opportunity it seems to have to cup. In my experience, anyway.

If the furniture in your house is made by you, and it's real wood and you want to change the way you did it, just remove the blocks and replace with the Z clips. If it's store-bought, then likely it is as Cabinetman described.
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