Joining Wood Table Top to Glass Sides - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-20-2019, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
Jim in VA
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Joining Wood Table Top to Glass Sides

Hi, all. Long time listener, first time caller.

I'd appreciate suggestions re: affixing two oak panels, as table top and shelf, to glass sides.

The Mrs. recently purchased a couple of end tables with glass sides, like this, actually exactly those. We'd now like to replace the particle board top and shelf with red oak panels.

What (very) little I know about woodworking and joinery suggests 1. screws into end grain isn't going to make for a very secure joint; and 2. two fixed screws across the end grains of a panel, on each side, will tear out after a couple of seasons of expanding and contracting.

I plan to tackle the first issue with a wooden plug glued into a blind hole for a longer screw to gain purchase. I believe I can fix one screw to each of the two glass sides. The second one, probably the front one, I believe I have to let float or slide, to allow for expansion and contraction, while still giving vertical support. I'm thinking of some sort of soft metal fitting, brass or aluminum, with a 90 degree bend that will affix to the glass and provide a short surface for the side of the panel to rest, and slide, on. I don't know what the name of such a fitting might be, so I'm having no luck finding if there's any such fitting already available.

Suggestions on fitting these panels to the glass sides?

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-20-2019, 09:12 PM
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The picture, somebody just drilled holes through the glass and screwed the glass to the shelves with decorative washers or pan head screws. I wouldn't do that with solid wood shelves because the wood expands and contracts and you wouldn't be able to elongate the screw holes in the glass for that. If you didn't like the screws you could use thicker shelves and glue them to the glass with epoxy. In order to get the epoxy to adhere to glass it would be necessary to mask off the glass and roughen the surface a little with a sand blaster. If you do this go easy with it. You can quickly burn a hole through glass with a sand blaster. Also use a few layers of duct tape for the masking so you don't go through that.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-20-2019, 10:29 PM
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Joining Wood Table Top to Glass Sides

You could use a cross dowel and bolt like one of these.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-21-2019, 09:31 AM
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Welcome to the forum! Add your location to your profile so it shows in the side panel. Add your first name to your signature line so we'll know what to call you (unless it's Jim from VA).

Running screws into end grain of Red Oak is probably just as secure as running screws into particle board. So except for the wood movement that you and Steve mentioned you could probably replace the existing boards with Red Oak and not really have any issues. If I was doing this I would use wood that is dry, build and finish the boards in a dry environment, and then bring them into the house to set for a few weeks before mounting in the glass. I would also use nylon washers on either side of the glass because they will easily slide along the glass and still allow you to snug up the screws, as long as you don't crank down on them too hard.

Keep us posted on what you do on this project.



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post #5 of 6 Old 03-21-2019, 03:36 PM
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wood expands/contracts a lot more across the grain than with the grain.
if you run the red oak grain 'front-to-back' both the top and shelf will expand / contract side-to-side equally and it will not be a problem. you may want to add an edge band to the end grain for pretty.

the front to back movement over - what 12" - 14"? is in the couple thousandths of an inch. the holes in the glass are large enough to accommodate that. still, using thin plastic washers on each side of the glass is a good precaution.

I would use sheet metal screws and not wood screws. sheet metal screws have the same diameter along their length and are less likely to pull out/loosen than the tapered wood screw design. pilot holes required.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-21-2019, 03:54 PM
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Do not try to modify the glass in any way, it is tempered...
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