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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow posters. I have been lurking on this forum for a few weeks but this is my first post. I'm new to woodworking (and by new, I mean I'm currently working on my very first project), so please bear with me. I have limited knowledge and limited tools.

I am making a solid oak coffee table. I'm pretty much done with the base and soon to finish the tabletop. The table top is 55.5"x27.5" solid oak and 5/4 thick (exactly 1").

I have read that it is not wise to glue the tabletop to the base, because there has to be freedom for natural movement as time goes by. I don't want anything to split!

I don't have the tools or the know-how really required to attach the tabletop with such sophisticated techniques as I've seen online. I decide to use scrap poplar 1x1's, glued to the inside of the apron, as locations in which to screw from the inside to the underside of the oak tabletop, using 1 5/8" fine drywall screws, countersinked. The pilot hole in the poplar will be pre-drilled to be slightly larger than the screw, to give room for movement. So basically only a small amount of the tip of the drywall screw will enter the table top.

When I practiced this with scrap pieces. I had a few problems. 1) I felt like I couldn't get the drywall screw to really "catch" in the oak piece at all. I was drilling a 7/64" pilot hole, which seems to be the right size for such a hard wood. Part of my problem may be I think the tip of the drywall screw is really only going in 1/2" or so. Maybe it needs to go deeper?

All in all, does my plan seem feasible? Any advice is welcomed! I really don't want to complete the project and then go to pick it up and the tabletop lifts right up!
 

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I do not feel drywall screws have any place in a piece of furniture. Too brittle.

Just use the normal connectors to attach the top to the apron.

One example, figure 8 clips. Drill flat bottom hole in the apron.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/hardware/page.aspx?p=50311&cat=3,41306,41312&ap=1

Another style is Z clips. Attach to the top and rout groove in the apron. Not finding a link, but you can see in this article.

http://eberhardt.bz/GME_Wood_Land/G...ation/Joinery/7_Tabletop_Attachment_Joint.pdf
 

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You may try something like I used to attach the top of my coffee table. I post the link but I can't from my phone. Search the project showcase forums for my coffee table thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do not feel drywall screws have any place in a piece of furniture. Too brittle.

Just use the normal connectors to attach the top to the apron.

One example, figure 8 clips. Drill flat bottom hole in the apron.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/hardware/page.aspx?p=50311&cat=3,41306,41312&ap=1

Another style is Z clips. Attach to the top and rout groove in the apron. Not finding a link, but you can see in this article.

http://eberhardt.bz/GME_Wood_Land/G...ation/Joinery/7_Tabletop_Attachment_Joint.pdf
Thank you for you response. The figure 8 clips look like an easy approach. What type of screws would you recommend?

I don't have a router or any real means to make a groove for the second option.
 

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Thank you for you response. The figure 8 clips look like an easy approach. What type of screws would you recommend?
Once you get the clips, take one to a local hardware store and find a countersink headed wood screw whose head fits in the hole and flush to the top. I expect this will be a #6 or #8. Length about 3/4in should suffice.

You do not say the thickness of the apron. I like to drill pilot holes to minimize splitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Once you get the clips, take one to a local hardware store and find a countersink headed wood screw whose head fits in the hole and flush to the top. I expect this will be a #6 or #8. Length about 3/4in should suffice.

You do not say the thickness of the apron. I like to drill pilot holes to minimize splitting.
I would definitely pre-drill. My apron is 1x4" (so 3/4" thick). The link you sent me to says predrill with a 11/16" hole on the apron, I'm assuming just enough to countersink the Figure 8. Then I would pre-drill as normal into the apron. Does 3/4" into the apron sound reasonable as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You may try something like I used to attach the top of my coffee table. I post the link but I can't from my phone. Search the project showcase forums for my coffee table thread.
I found the thread; very nice table you made. It appears your skill level is far beyond mine.
 

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OakTableN00b said:
I found the thread; very nice table you made. It appears your skill level is far beyond mine.
Thanks, but mine started at nothing a while back as well...build the successes from one project into another and in no time you'll be knocking out high quality pieces.

Something I did when new was to make sure every project had a new, more advanced technique than the last one.
 

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Then I would pre-drill as normal into the apron. Does 3/4" into the apron sound reasonable as well?
These are not really structural clips. For example, you do NOT want to be lifting the table by the top.

You can go deeper in the apron, but a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, hence the top will still be weaker holding than the apron.
 
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