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Discussion Starter #1
At first I was pretty excited about posting pictures of what I've done and pretty proud of myself, but after looking around at what you guys do, I'm a bit skeptical of posting this as I feel way out of my league here. It's all for fun and for improving, though, right?

So I've built a few things like my workbench, a headboard (That I'm not that proud of), my miter saw bench, etc. But this is my first project that I intended to take my time on and make nice (or as nice as I could).

Wood: Vertical Douglas Fir 2x4 and 4x4
Stain: Varathane American Walnut water-based
Finish: Varathane Polyurethane Satin water-based

It's all joined with pocket holes (don't hate me).

Here's the top put together:
Top.jpg

The Legs and Aprons:
Supports.jpg

Fully Assembled:
Assembled.jpg

Stained and Varnish drying:
Stained and Varnishing.jpg

Like I said, I'm pretty new to this so any questions, comments, criticisms, tips, are all appreciated.

Cheers,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looks nice! You may have problems with expansion/contraction of the top. I can't see where you have allowed for wood movement. :smile:
That's due to me not knowing/accounting for it. Time to go do my reading. Are you referring to thermal expansion/contraction? Or due to moisture? Or something else? I'm guessing soft woods like this are more prone to fluctuation?

For a project like this, how would someone account for that? Or is it just inherent in the design of this?

+1. :yes: You may also find the legs working loose because of the pocket screws.
I wondered that as I was building it. It feels sturdy now, but with the legs sticking out that far with no support I can see how it could be an issue as it starts to wear.

Hopefully by the time I start seeing issues with that, I'll be in position to build a much better one.

Thank you very much for the tips, I really appreciate it!
 

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Scotty D
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Are you referring to thermal expansion/contraction? Or due to moisture? Or something else? I'm guessing soft woods like this are more prone to fluctuation?

For a project like this, how would someone account for that?
The top will expand/contract seasonally with moisture changes. Adding 1-1/2" horizontal pieces to the insides of the long aprons, would allow you to attatch the top through elongated holes, which will allow for movement. You may get lucky, time will tell. :smile:
 

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Cabinet Maker
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The table looks great! I love the color choice and the simple design :)

The top will expand/contract seasonally with moisture changes. Adding 1-1/2" horizontal pieces to the insides of the long aprons, would allow you to attatch the top through elongated holes, which will allow for movement. You may get lucky, time will tell. :smile:
I'm also interested in how you can go about factoring in the expansion and contraction of wood.... could you dumb down what you were saying here... I'm having a problem following. where would the strips go on the "inside"? Also what are elongated holes?

Thanks for the insight!
 

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Scotty D
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The table looks great! I love the color choice and the simple design :)



I'm also interested in how you can go about factoring in the expansion and contraction of wood.... could you dumb down what you were saying here... I'm having a problem following. where would the strips go on the "inside"? Also what are elongated holes?

Thanks for the insight!
Solid wood table tops need to be fastened in a way that allows for seasonal movement. Horizontal strips can be fastened to the inside of the aprons up against the top. These can be drilled with elongated holes. Then use a pan head screw with a washer to attach the top. There are other ways of attaching solid wood tops also. This would be the simplest. I really don't know how to explain it any simpler than that.

e·lon·gate

[ih-lawng-geyt, ih-long-, ee-lawng-geyt, ee-long-] Show IPA verb, e·lon·gat·ed, e·lon·gat·ing, adjective
verb (used with object) 1. to draw out to greater length; lengthen; extend.


verb (used without object) 2. to increase in length.


adjective Also, e·lon·gat·ed. 3. extended; lengthened.

4. long and thin.




:smile:
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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here's an example of one of several ways to attach a table top
that will allow for expansion.

Here's some that Rockler sells
http://www.rockler.com/table-top-fasteners

As for your table, I liked it until you stained it. But that's just me.
I use VG fir in a lot of my millwork in my home and I just love the way it turns a golden honey color after some simple Danish oil is applied.
I would have looked for some clear wood for the legs as I feel those knots take away from it, again this is just me.
Your table would be perfect for some simple mortise&tenon jonery.
Correctly done that table would last for ages. Screws on table legs are just not going to last very long.
Throw that Kreg thing away! I'm just joking, really I am. maybe:blink:
I keep going back to the first picture of the top before it was stained and that is just beautiful in my eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The table looks great! I love the color choice and the simple design :)
Thank you very much! I loved that cabinet you posted a bit ago. Then I looked through a lot of your Facebook page. I really like your style

here's an example of one of several ways to attach a table top
that will allow for expansion.

Here's some that Rockler sells
http://www.rockler.com/table-top-fasteners

As for your table, I liked it until you stained it. But that's just me.
I use VG fir in a lot of my millwork in my home and I just love the way it turns a golden honey color after some simple Danish oil is applied.
I would have looked for some clear wood for the legs as I feel those knots take away from it, again this is just me.
Your table would be perfect for some simple mortise&tenon jonery.
Correctly done that table would last for ages. Screws on table legs are just not going to last very long.
Throw that Kreg thing away! I'm just joking, really I am. maybe:blink:
I keep going back to the first picture of the top before it was stained and that is just beautiful in my eyes.
Thank you very much for the kind words and advice. I think I liked it better before I stained it as well (May be partly due to the fact that I wasn't ecstatic about the quality of my staining and finishing). The Kreg seemed like such a great thing when I bought it, now I'm realizing it just deters me from learning proper wood joining techniques. Maybe I can sell it and put that money towards a router.
 

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Hey, I think it is a great first project, :thumbsup:. I always say, if my wife likes it then I have success.

As far as the pocket hole jig, I wouldn't turf it too quick. While the legs might not be the best place to use it, (although they are likely stronger than you think), you will find many other places to use it. I've used mine to make connections where super strength isn't needed but convenience is very much needed. It depends on what you are doing and how you want to do it.

Let the table prove itself and if the top gives you trouble there are some good ideas offered here to overcome that. I live in a relatively dry area and I made a desk/file cabinet out of solid pine and fastened everything solid without floating, five years later it's solid as can be. So it depends on other factors too on what details are needed.

Keep it going....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey everyone, thank you very much for the compliments and tips. I really appreciate all the feedback.

We live in a coastal area where the temperature only changes from about 55°F in the winter to about 85° in the summer, so maybe I'll get lucky and not see too much movement in the wood. If not, then I'll learn my lesson. Still something I plan to read up on and consider in future designs.

As for the joining, I want to start learning how to do mortise and tenon joints. I'll most likely start with YouTube tutorials, but if anyone has any good resources on how to create a proper M&T joint, I'm all ears.

Thanks again, everyone.
 

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I built a similar table about a year ago. It's actually weird how identical it looks. It was also my first project. I too used pocket hole screws. I also used wood glue pretty much everywhere. Would the glue help alleviate the movement at all or would it not make a difference?
 

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Scotty D
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I built a similar table about a year ago. It's actually weird how identical it looks. It was also my first project. I too used pocket hole screws. I also used wood glue pretty much everywhere. Would the glue help alleviate the movement at all or would it not make a difference?
Gluing solid wood end grain allows for zero movement, and increases the possibility of failure. :smile:
 

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here's an example of one of several ways to attach a table top
that will allow for expansion.

Here's some that Rockler sells
http://www.rockler.com/table-top-fasteners

As for your table, I liked it until you stained it. But that's just me.
I use VG fir in a lot of my millwork in my home and I just love the way it turns a golden honey color after some simple Danish oil is applied.
I would have looked for some clear wood for the legs as I feel those knots take away from it, again this is just me.
Your table would be perfect for some simple mortise&tenon jonery.
Correctly done that table would last for ages. Screws on table legs are just not going to last very long.
Throw that Kreg thing away! I'm just joking, really I am. maybe:blink:
I keep going back to the first picture of the top before it was stained and that is just beautiful in my eyes.
I use the method pictured as well. Works very well!
 

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Table looks great. Who cares if you get cracks in the future? In the end you're out making something and learning things. The reality is that unless you get extreme humidity changes you probably won't have any catastrophic issues.

All my first projects were very fastener heavy, including pocket screws. Here lately I've been diving into the mortise and tenon world.. All attempts at dovetails have so far failed LOL
 

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Just wanted to sat thanks for posting this thread I'm in the middle of my first dining room table build. And was looking for a way to attach the top to the frame. Was thinking the kreg jig myself . Anyone have tips when doing a drop leaf table. We have a very small dining area. Any help in this matter would be greatly apperciated. Great table .
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Table looks great. Who cares if you get cracks in the future? In the end you're out making something and learning things. The reality is that unless you get extreme humidity changes you probably won't have any catastrophic issues.

All my first projects were very fastener heavy, including pocket screws. Here lately I've been diving into the mortise and tenon world.. All attempts at dovetails have so far failed LOL
Thanks for the encouragement. I've been looking to start doing mortise and tenons myself. Looks like I'm in the market for a decent set of chisels.

Just wanted to sat thanks for posting this thread I'm in the middle of my first dining room table build. And was looking for a way to attach the top to the frame. Was thinking the kreg jig myself . Anyone have tips when doing a drop leaf table. We have a very small dining area. Any help in this matter would be greatly apperciated. Great table .
I'm glad this post could help you! From what I've learned, the Kreg could work for assembling the top, but when you attach the top to the frame, you'll want to allow for movement in the wood with something like mdntrdr explained and Crusader showed (Post #8). Cancel that. You drop leaf table. I'll leave that for someone who knows much more than me.
 

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Hey, I think it is a great first project, :thumbsup:. I always say, if my wife likes it then I have success.

As far as the pocket hole jig, I wouldn't turf it too quick. While the legs might not be the best place to use it, (although they are likely stronger than you think), you will find many other places to use it. I've used mine to make connections where super strength isn't needed but convenience is very much needed. It depends on what you are doing and how you want to do it.

Let the table prove itself and if the top gives you trouble there are some good ideas offered here to overcome that. I live in a relatively dry area and I made a desk/file cabinet out of solid pine and fastened everything solid without floating, five years later it's solid as can be. So it depends on other factors too on what details are needed.

Keep it going....
I agree whole heartedly. A lot of factors to consider but I think you will be fine. With a moisture content compatible with surrounding conditions, Douglas Fir will stay in place well and undergo a minimum of shrinkage and swelling. So being that your house temp will be pretty consistent you should be ok. Doug fir is ranked in the middle for nail holding ability so with screws they should hold fine. If they slip you can always tighten them up, it's a table not a stage. The breadboard looks great and I think for a first project or a twentieth that is nice work.
 
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