Best way to attach table top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-21-2015, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to attach table top

I'm trying to attach a table top to a trestle style base and I'm trying to figure out the best way to attach it. The table is made from Kiln Dried Doug Fir, so the top is 1.5" thick and the base is made up of 4x4's. Here's what it looks like... http://ana-white.com/2013/09/plans/4x4-truss-beam-table It has 2 35" pieces at the top of each leg that run the width of the table (table is slightly wider) and a 4x4 stretcher along the top and bottom connecting the 2 legs. I also put two 2x4's running right below the top (inset off the edges so you can't see it) that connects the legs and adds a little more support. Previously I would just screw through the bottom of the 2x4's into the top to secure it on both the left and right sides. Now I'm wondering if I should be doing it a different way to allow for wood movement. The table will be in the house where the temperature is controlled so I don't think the humidity level will change drastically, but I know some movement is possible. I've heard of many methods like table clips or figure 8 clips, but not sure what the best method would be. I know if this was a simple style table with turned legs and aprons on all edges I would probably use table clips, but this style is a bit different. Just trying to figure out if the way I've been doing it is ok, or if I should be doing it differently. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-21-2015, 04:46 PM
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Since you used Fir to build your table, you can use screws to attach the top. I would drill the holes up to 1/4" larger than the shank of the screws and use a washer under the head. This will allow for some movement with humidity change. Since all weight of the top is downward, I would snug everything down with the screws, but not overall-tighten. It's plenty secure and going nowhere.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-21-2015, 04:49 PM
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The wood on the top will expand and contract. That much is certain and you have to plan for that. To mount the top you can screw from the underside through your cross pieces however you have to elongate the screw holes to allow for the wood to move. Also don't overly tighten the screws preventing this movement.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-21-2015, 05:17 PM
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I wouldn't use larger holes.....

The wood will move across it's width, so it's best to allow for that. These clips screw to the bottom of the table top and fit into a groove cut on the back side of the apron.

http://www.rockler.com/table-top-fasteners


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Last edited by woodnthings; 04-21-2015 at 05:20 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-21-2015, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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For this project I will just make a bigger hole for the screws. However in the future I would like to use the table clips. But I'm not sure if I can use them for this style table (exactly like the one pictured in the link above). I've only seen examples used in the traditional 4 legged table with aprons all around the outer edges. Can the clips be used on this other style?
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-21-2015, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The wood on the top will expand and contract. That much is certain and you have to plan for that. To mount the top you can screw from the underside through your cross pieces however you have to elongate the screw holes to allow for the wood to move. Also don't overly tighten the screws preventing this movement.
Steve
You and I are so n the same path on this.
Jim
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-21-2015, 08:12 PM
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The table top clips are a great product but I wouldn't like them on this project. The reason I didn't recommend them on this project is because there was no skirt to hide them. Also normally they are used on four sides of a table on the skirt and in this case would allow the top to slide from side to side if they became the least little bit loose.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-23-2015, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The wood will move across it's width, so it's best to allow for that. These clips screw to the bottom of the table top and fit into a groove cut on the back side of the apron.

http://www.rockler.com/table-top-fasteners

If you have biscuit joiner you can use it to cut the grooves for the clips.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-23-2015, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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I do have a biscuit joiner, next time I build a table that has the long and short aprons along the outside edges I will do it this way. However for this type of table it won't really work. I'm just going to drill wider holes in the 2x4's and use washers under the screw head so it'll allow for movement.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-25-2017, 05:18 PM
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Results??

I will be doing this project (with a variation with a herringbone pattern on the top) within the next few months and I am curious on how yours held up with the expansion.

JON
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-21-2017, 08:49 AM
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Figure 8's work well for this...
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-14-2018, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
If you have biscuit joiner you can use it to cut the grooves for the clips.
How might you change this if your table top is made up of an end-grain, butcher-block (a square about 33" on a side and about 1 and 3/4" thick)? My table base does have a skirt. It is also square - about 19+" on each side.

The expansion/contraction causes some "cupping" (but then we just had the table top laid directly on an existing, although smaller, top on that base so that it wasn't "breathing" uniformly).

Thanks for any tips.

Gary
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