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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, my wife is in love with the Ana-White site. Please keep in mind I'm a hobby guy, so I do my 50 hour work week elsewhere and this is my fun time - building a table for my wife would take quite awhile if I was using traditional joinery.

That being said - do you guys think this will hold up well?

http://ana-white.com/2012/11/plans/farmhouse-table-updated-pocket-hole-plans

Normally I wouldn't think that pocket holes would be ok for a table top (for movement), but it seems like they've secured it pretty well. I don't see movement being too radical of an issue (we live in western washington), so we don't get humid summers. It'll be relatively dry inside all year round)

What are your thoughts?
 

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Do you mean the pocket holes that are holding together the table top together or the pocket holes that are attaching the aprons/stretchers between the legs? I am certainly no expert woodworker/designer (the designs I look at are for bridges, a little bit different engineering involved LOL), but I am not quite sure why they messed with pocket holes to attach hold the table top together. Everything I have ever read or experienced is that this top would be just as strong if you simply glued the edges of the planks of the table top together, this would seem quicker/easier than all of those pocket holes. I can understand the pocket holes for the breadboard ends as these would be endgrainjoints and not as strong as the edge joints in the center of the table, so reinforcing them with pockets makes sense. As far as the pockets attaching the strethcers/aprons to the legs I think I would add a corner brace here just for added stability/peace of mind. Again, far from an expert but those are just my thoughts, hopefully some of the more experienced/knowledgeable pros on here will throw-in as well.
 

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At the risk of uttering woodworking hearsey, I say go for it. I like pocket screws. For those of us that don't have the time to mess with mortise and tennon joinnery, it's a great way to bust out a project quickly and start using it quickly. For me M&T joinner is complicated and difficult. That's because I'm a novice. I'm sure as I get better my opinion might change but I find it hard to believe I would ever be so good that I couldn't do it quicker with pocket screws.

For me the choice depends on a few factors. How visable will the pocket be? I don't want to see them anywhere that is easily visable. How strong does it need to be? I think pocket screws and glue are pretty damm strong but M&T done right is likely stronger. What kind of furniture is this? And heirloom I hope to pass down through the family I'm likely to want to use traditional joinnery. And finally what kind of time do I have? If I have the time and want to challendge my skill I'll work on the M&T. If I just need to build something because I need it and want to move on to the next project, I will use pocket screws.

If you're looking for a nice table you can knock out in a couple of weekends, then I'd say go with the pocket screws. If you want an heirloom and are going to use top flight hardwood to make it, I would take the time to do the M&T. Either way, enjoy!
 

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Pocket hole joinery for anything but the top would be O.K. but I would also use glue.
I believe that if you use pocket hole joinery for the top and no glue soon you will have a roller coaster in your kitchen instead of a table. If glue is used you should be fine. But, with that being said, you may want to only use glue for the top - it will hold just fine and you won't have to use the screws.
Now, regarding the breadboard ends: if you glue, glue and screw, or screw them to the top soon you will have separation. The only way you can overcome wood movement at that phase of construction is by using M&T joinery. You are looking at approximately 1 hour per end of added time to do the job correctly using a router and the proper bits.
Hope this helps.
 

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I dont see how you can think pocket screws wouldn't work for a table like that. Space them out every 6 inches and you could sit your whole family on that tabletop with no problems.

If you glue the joint in addition to pocket screws you wont have any problems. The slab isn't that thick or long.

Oh and I love Ana White as well...Her website is okay too :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DLB - where would you put the M/T on the breadboard ends? I've always been a little confused by them.

I like the idea of glue only on the top

Thanks all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I dont see how you can think pocket screws wouldn't work for a table like that. Space them out every 6 inches and you could sit your whole family on that tabletop with no problems.

If you glue the joint in addition to pocket screws you wont have any problems. The slab isn't that thick or long.
My concern isn't strength - I think a table made out of framing lumber should be plenty strong.

My main concern would be a huge separation that starts over the next few months with movement if I screw it up.
 

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My concern isn't strength - I think a table made out of framing lumber should be plenty strong.

My main concern would be a huge separation that starts over the next few months with movement if I screw it up.
Then dont screw it up :)

Kidding, There is a HUGE amount of leeway when it comes to gluing boards with pocket screws. Alternate your growth rings, put a nice coat of glue on the boards and if possible, clamp the ends up. Then screw those pocket screws until you got no mo to screw :icon_smile:

When I say clamping the ends, I mean using 4 boards to make sure the glue boards are straight (also called a Caul or a Batten)

Like this
 

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Granted, this is the complicated phase of making the table but if you do it right the first time you won't have to go back an rework it. Watch the YouTube video - the techniques may not be how you will construct your top but the principles are the same.

The article will also explain how to do it.
http://www.beautifulwood.net/html/breadboard_ends.html

The idea behind what is being shown and said is that wood will move and you must account for it.

Lastly, if you are going to glue (& not use screws) the boards for the top do not try to glue them all at one time - just do 2 to start out then add either one or two more at the next stage allowinf 24 hours between adding more boards.
 

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DLB - where would you put the M/T on the breadboard ends? I've always been a little confused by them.

I like the idea of glue only on the top

Thanks all!
Since I have paintbrush open I might as well explain :)

You would thin out the end of each board creating a tenon about half the thickness of the board (centered)

Then you would rout a channel inside the breadboard to use as a mortis, you could even just Dado the end all the way through if you want to see the mortis on the ends (I like that look) or if you wanna get fancy you could do a sliding dovetail.

Then you clamp em and glue

 

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Granted, this is the complicated phase of making the table but if you do it right the first time you won't have to go back an rework it. Watch the YouTube video - the techniques may not be how you will construct your top but the principles are the same.
Joining Breadboard End with Mortise and Tenon - YouTube

The article will also explain how to do it.
http://www.beautifulwood.net/html/breadboard_ends.html

The idea behind what is being shown and said is that wood will move and you must account for it.

Lastly, if you are going to glue (& not use screws) the boards for the top do not try to glue them all at one time - just do 2 to start out then add either one or two more at the next stage allowinf 24 hours between adding more boards.
Damn you and your fancy youtube embedding.

I agree however, glue up 2 boards then go to 3-4-5 etc etc its much easier that way.



I have to warn you though, by doing this project you WILL become addicted to building this stuff and you will have a garage full of advance tools before you know it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LOL - I've got the Bosch router (the EVSPK345y92345yu8979872135487892345 - or whatever that long part number is)

This looks relatively easy. I just need to make sure I'm more or less perfect in the routing ;-). Since all the top boards will be 1.5", I can do a quick dado on the router 3/8" all around to create the tenon and then route/chisel a 3/4" mortise on the breadboards. I looks like I should be able to do a pretty deep mortise- maybe do a couple passes and shoot for a 2" mortise? What do you guys think?

Thanks for all your help!
 

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Damn you and your fancy youtube embedding.

I agree however, glue up 2 boards then go to 3-4-5 etc etc its much easier that way.


I have to warn you though, by doing this project you WILL become addicted to building this stuff and you will have a garage full of advance tools before you know it.
All you have to do is insert the link :yes:
 

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LOL - I've got the Bosch router (the EVSPK345y92345yu8979872135487892345 - or whatever that long part number is)

This looks relatively easy. I just need to make sure I'm more or less perfect in the routing ;-). Since all the top boards will be 1.5", I can do a quick dado on the router 3/8" all around to create the tenon and then route/chisel a 3/4" mortise on the breadboards. I looks like I should be able to do a pretty deep mortise- maybe do a couple passes and shoot for a 2" mortise? What do you guys think?

Thanks for all your help!
Please keep in mind I'm a hobby guy, ...
Sounds like you have more experience than you are letting on.

Anyway, from the info provided you should be able to construct your table, satisfy your wife, and gain some valuable experience.

... maybe do a couple passes ...
Plan on making your cuts no deeper than 1/8" to 3/16" per pass. There is a tremendous amout of flex occurring while routing and you don't want to end up w/ a broken bit.

... for a 2" mortise?
A 2" deep mortise, IMHO, would not be deep enough. I personally would make it 3" - 3 1/2" deep and don't forget to allow a little more for errors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
wow - I'll be buying more lumber than planned for the breadboard ends. Something tells me I won't be getting it right on first attempt! ;-)

I've never actually done M&T, but I read every woodworking book, magazine, and online article I can find. In the Army I couldn't stand those guys - you know - the type that read all the guns and ammo mags and talk the talk but aren't actually doing it. Unfortunately that's what I've become with woodworking. Hopefully I can start the change on that one! I'll keep you all posted!
 

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As a fellow Solider who has never picked up a geardo magazine I understand your pain! I also spend many hours reading woodworking magazines, web forums, and watching youtube videos and the list of tips, tricks, and techniques that I have found and want to try/employ some day will keep me busy past my useful days on this earth!
 

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While M&T is the traditional (and best) method for securing the bread board ends, you'll need to be judicious in placement of the glue. Just a dab in the center top and bottom of the tenons would be best.
That being said, pocket screws, placed in the center bottom of each board that makes up the top, should work just fine.
 
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