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Hi all,

To preface, I have zero woodworking experience (or tools) whatsoever and my knowledge about building tables is limited to a couple Google searches over the last week about stability and wood movement/warping. I have since gathered that aprons are important here. Got it.

Thing is, my table idea doesn't include an apron. So I want to be sure the top and metal base can work together and last awhile without presenting issues. The top will be 30x44", 1.25" thick -- cherry, maple, or possibly reclaimed pine or chestnut, purchased from a local tablemakin company.

Here are the rectangular steel stock legs I want to use: http://www.etsy.com/listing/151783293/table-legs-rect-stock-black-satin-pair?ref=related-0

They are 28.5" high, 24.375" W and 1" thick. They have a 6" mounting bar that runs the width of the top of the legs. I was planning on just.... Attaching them? Will this work? Am I wasting my money on a table that will get all bendy eventually?

Any advice would be appreciated :) thanks :smile:
 

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I am by no means an expert, like you, I'm new to this... Maybe a year+ into it.

I imagine if you have oversize holes where you screw the legs to the top, you should be ok as far as expansion and contraction. But I'll defer to someone who actually might know. ;)
 

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Also, I am to understand that expansion happens perpendicular to the grain, so if you install the leg assemblies parallel, you might be ok? But definitely confirm this with a pro first.
 

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My take, with the caveat that I, too, have very little practical experience:

Most expansion does, in fact, happen across the grain, as you said. I would recommend setting up the tabletop with the grain running along the length, which means the mounting screws on each side will be fine. Part of the reason for that is aesthetic; I just like the way it looks better. Part of the reason, though, is that wood breaks more evenly with the grain. If the grain goes across the table, and the supports are near the ends, there's a higher (though still small) chance of the table breaking in half.

However, the table may expand or contract across its width, which means you'll need to allow for that. If the screw holes are slightly elongated across the width of the table, that should be fine.
 

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Table top

As noted, if the boards are glued long edge to long edge, as are most furniture tops, the most expansion will happen across the grain, with much, much less lengthwise.

What can be done, I believe, with your mounting bar is to use a strong fixed screw in the middle of the bar up into the centerline of the table top and then using a drill, elongate the screw holes that are further out towards both sides in your bar.

You're forming a small oval hole for your outside screws. Then lightly tighten those screws up into the bottom of the tabletop - enough to keep the top from being lifted up from the legs yet light enough to be able to allow the screws to slide outward, towards the sides, during the winter when expansion usually happens (higher moisture) and then return back during the summer.

With that width you might get 1/4" to 3/8" total expansion, so the elongated oval expansion holes really only need to be maybe 3/8", tops 1/2", net wider than the screw shanks.

After doing all that, for goodness sake, don't fret over it much. Enjoy your table. :)
 

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Exactly

I would elongate the 2 pair of holes on the right and left sides to allow for expansion across the width. You could drill a hole next to the existing one and use a rattail file to make them about 1/4" each longer. :yes:
 
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