Table top to base - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-05-2017, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Table top to base

Hi everyone,

Im in the designing phase of building a pretty simple dining table. The top will be made of boards likely jointed with pocket screws. The base (aprons and legs) are also wood. I was originally planning on joining the table top to the base with more pocket screws along the apron as this is what is recommended in many build plans online, but after further research, I learned that you have to allow for expansion as wood naturally changes in size due to humidity. Because of this, pocket screws will eventually cause the top to buckle or crack. I've found that more experienced wood workers recommend z clips or figure 8 fastener clips. But my question is, would it be ok to simply use an L bracket that has a slot on one side instead? One side of the bracket will go into the apron, will the side of the bracket that has a slot will go up against the bottom of the table top. This will allow the table to move because the screw will have some wiggle room within the slot. Hope this question made sense. Any help is greatly appreciated.



This link is a picture of the type of bracket I am referring to.

https://www.google.com/search?q=slot...Uuv5GyeASsGGM:
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-05-2017, 07:38 AM
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That type clip would work alright but the screws going into the top need to be slightly loose. If the screws were torqued down tight it would defeat the purpose of the elongated slot on the bracket.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-05-2017, 08:13 AM
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You could still use pocket holes IMO.

Just run a bit larger than the screw all the way through the pocket hole, then don't tighten the screws all the way when you install them.

I would also space them pretty "wide", perhaps 2 on each end, and only 3-4 on the long side.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-06-2017, 11:51 AM
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I prefer the z cllps, just don't install them tight to the back of the slot so you have adequate movement both ways whether they are on the sides or ends.

http://www.rockler.com/table-top-fasteners?sid=AF078

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-06-2017, 01:55 PM
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The bracket you link looks like it would not allow enough room for movement unless the screws were left loose, which would allow for the whole top to move when it's bumped (and no, this isn't the kind of movement you want to allow for). Also, keep in mind orientation, wood expands across the grain, the bracket you showed would limit movement to one direction. Is there a reason you're avoiding Z-clips or figure-8's?
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-06-2017, 03:50 PM
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If you don't want to order clips I've seen people make clips out of wood. I just looked on YouTube and found an example.
His clip is bigger then most I've seen and I didn't watch more then a few seconds worth, but you'll get the idea.



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post #7 of 10 Old 03-07-2017, 11:06 AM
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that bracket should work fine. make sure to place the slot on the table surface, and the (loose) screw in the center of the slot. the top/boards can be glued together with out pocket screws if you want.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-07-2017, 12:16 PM
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I often wonder how much money, time and material has been wasted reinventing the wheel, the proper tried and true fasteners are cheap, easy to obtain or make and best of all they work. :smile3:

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-07-2017, 12:18 PM
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The wood clips work fine. just remember to allow for expansion/contraction across the grain. That means there should be allowance for the clips to move deeper into the slots and also to move out from the slots. The clips on the end of the top where there Won't be any in & out movement can fit snug end wise. The center clip on the end of the top should be made fixed, no movement allowed. That will keep the top centered. It's a very simple concept. Wood moves a lot across the grain, very little with the grain. There is a professional web site that has a "shinkolator" calculator on it where you can get an estimate of the motion of different kinds of wood at different moisture contents. Please don't post amateur questions on the site.
woodweb.com
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-08-2017, 01:57 PM
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While I agree that z clips are better for this, what you show should work well.

A few things to keep in mind.

-Orient so expansion and contraction can happen across the grain. It's not going to expand or contract the other way.
-People keep saying leave the screw loose. This is what washers are for. Use a washer with a proper screw (washer head), and you can make it tight, just not super torqued down.
-The table should have a fixed point in the middle of the ends to expand and contract from, this way the whole top won't move one way or the other due to washers. This would be done by using the L brackets with slots down both sides, then one L bracket without a slot in the center of each end.
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