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Of all of the things in woodworking, and the list is rather large, that I need to improve on, joining methods that allow for movement is on the very top of the list. There are so many situations where I wonder what I should be doing to allow for movement. And I really don't ever know. I wonder, "does it even matter in this particular situation". My parents bought a kitchen table from Ethan Allen furniture store about 15 years ago and it has held up very well. Its about a 4' by 6' table and the top is built from solid wood glued up strips that are about 4" wide. About a month ago i barged into their house and flipped the table over to see exactly how it was joined to the skirting. The skirting is about 5" wide and it appears that they drilled and counter sunk screws through the skirting and into the table top. Wouldn't this method not allow for any movement at all?? But something has to give. Perhaps the skirting gets pushed out and pulled in...has a little flex?? Wouldn't that eventually weaken the mortise and tenon joints where the skirting joins to the legs? So, I flipped the table back over and headed for the door noticing that my mother was looking at me with a confused look that I often get from my wife, my father understood what was going on though.:laughing:
What they did worked though. This table is fairly old, straight and solid! Maybe there is a book that I should buy that addresses these issues. But, I read enough at work so maybe i'll wait for the movie version of that book.:laughing:
 

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Old School
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Movement issues are always a possibility. Proper acclimation of the wood and fabrication methods can help in preventing that dilemma.

What could be problematic is if the furniture goes through diverse environmental existences. Lets say it made its home in a cool low humidity environment. Then some time later it got moved to a very hot humid situation, the possibilities are greater for expansion and contraction.

The final word comes from Mother Nature, as she has the last say.






 

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First off, Ethan Allen makes quality furniture.

The mere fact it is still holding up well attests to this.

OK, back to the apron to top attachment.

Is it a solid 1 piece top? or is this a 2 piece top with a leaf?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm sure its solid wood

There is no dought that it is solid wood. It is a really nice table and the fact that it is not plywood or veneer is strong.

TonyB; It is one piece. No dropleaf or anything else.

I studied it pretty hard, the whole time knowing that I am missing something. The first determination I made was that the top was solid wood, otherwise I would have had zero interest in how it was attached.
 

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where's my table saw?
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To help solve this dilema:

Tip the table over again and remove at least one screw from each side. See if the holes or oversize or enlongated. See how tightly the screws are seated. This might explain how "movement" is being accounted for. It could be that simple. If the wood was kiln dried and then moved into a relatively dry surrounding that would also limit the movement. :yes: bill
 
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