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ideas on joining counter/bar top 'slabs'

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Forum topic by rhybeka posted 09-08-2015 02:26 PM 971 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rhybeka

2668 posts in 2582 days


09-08-2015 02:26 PM

Hi All!

What was supposed to be a quick/easy project has turned into something a bit more. Just looking to get some opinions on joining two 2×10 x 6ft pieces of fir that are being turned into a fake live edge counter/bar top. The back edge of the ‘counter’ is resting/screwed to a 2×4 mounted on the wall, and the front board will be supported by iron pipe legs that go to the floor. The only thing it will be holding is legos. :)

Originally I was going to joint the inside edges, glue, and kreg jig them together so it looked like one large board. Still an option. I went looking at a few slab pics and saw one that was interesting but I don’t know how it was joined. the two pieces were close enough together to have no gap but you could tell there were two separate pieces ( I didn’t save the pic and I should’ve since I can’t seem to find it again. urgh). I was thinking I could cut an angled edge on both pieces along the top edge and leave the bottom edge original so they could still meet/be joined on that bottom edge. Another option is to have a small space between them which is what I’m mulling over how to do. I’m seeing from pics it’s usually done with butterfly inlays which – would be fun but I don’t have a template nor mad router skills…or really time to learn/practice. Unless of course it’s easier than I’m giving it credit for looking. I was thinking maybe dowels but I wasn’t sure if they would be strong enough over the length?

as always the original idea may be the best but I thought something different may be fun :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.


17 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

15656 posts in 2466 days


#1 posted 09-08-2015 02:36 PM

Rhybeka – these work really well for joining slabs.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/hardware/page.aspx?p=71046&cat=3,43586,43588

Drill out with a forstener bit then a chisel or small handsaw to cut out the little nub that’s left. Tighten em up with an allen key and youre good to go.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Monte Pittman

21986 posts in 1798 days


#2 posted 09-08-2015 02:38 PM

I use biscuits on the larger slabs for alignment. With glue and clamps of course.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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rwe2156

2190 posts in 941 days


#3 posted 09-08-2015 03:21 PM

Keep in mind glue is stronger than the wood so no matter what mechanical method you use, this is what ultimately is holding it together. I would use a waterproof glue.

If you want a gap, my only question is why?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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rhybeka

2668 posts in 2582 days


#4 posted 09-08-2015 04:37 PM

Thanks Chris! Wish I would’ve seen those when I ordered from them a few weeks ago!

@Monte I thought about that as well – but I don’t have a biscuit joiner or a router bit for that. :|

@rwe I think more for artistic flair – and I could contour those edges instead of having to square them. I’ll have to grab my new to me jointer plane.

I marked six inches in on both ends to do fun stuff at the ends

just the beginning of the front edge as an idea.

not the best of pics but it was a bit warm in the shop and I was trying to get back into the A/C :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 674 days


#5 posted 09-08-2015 07:37 PM

Rhybeka, those butterfly inlays are a cinch to do if you have a marking knife and a good wide chisel, Design the butterfly so that your widest chisel is the thinnest part of the design and it goes like a song, seriously. Using a contrasting wood gives it such a “pop” and of course a good strong joint to boot. I cut them using only hand saws and chisels quite a bit. If you have handtool basics, you’ll be making them in no time (Yes getting the bottoms flat is a little tough but a router (plane) or regular router set to take a tiny bite is easy to control, just stay off the walls, set up a good solid reference surface with the router, then close with the chisel, easy-peasy.)

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 09-08-2015 08:04 PM

If you have a plunge router you can use a template bushing to easily churn out butterfly keys. You use one pattern (purchased or shop made) for both the recess and the butterfly key.
It’s one of those things in woodworking that you have to try to believe how great it is.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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rhybeka

2668 posts in 2582 days


#7 posted 09-08-2015 09:53 PM

Hm. Ya’ll may’ve convinced me. How do you cut the butterflies/bowties? I have a router plane, and a few other planes, and a few handsaw’s. I also have a plunge router. Just a Skil but it’s decent enough for as little as I use it. In a pinch I could prolly use my dremel as a router. :) might feel safer doing it that way any way!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#8 posted 09-09-2015 12:28 AM

Beka, I use that Whiteside kit that Pinto showed to do all my bowtie inlays. Your plunge router should work but you may have to but a “universal router base” as that brass insert is made for a PC and not a Craftsman router. And you will need the bowtie template as well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1037 days


#9 posted 09-09-2015 02:33 AM

Just get on youtube and look at all the different ways people do them, a lot easier to learn by seeing it done, at least for me that is.

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rhybeka

2668 posts in 2582 days


#10 posted 09-09-2015 11:20 AM

Hmmm – thanks Joe! I did just that last night :D

@Andy I was going to ask you about it on the Stumpy thread but I’d not bought into it.

If I can get back into the shop I’ll see if I can make a template. There’s a Woodcraft up the road from work as well so at least one thing is going for me. I’ve got some wenge and cherry and spalted oak I believe. Not quite certain how big to make them though. some more thought may be required.

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#11 posted 09-09-2015 01:24 PM

I got my template, base plate, and inlay kit at Woodcraft. Probably a lot cheaper on Amazon but I was in a rush.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2190 posts in 941 days


#12 posted 09-09-2015 01:35 PM

If you have a router plane and a couple sharp chisels you don’t need anything else.

Make the butterflies first, then trace outlines don’t use a pencil use a knife.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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bandit571

14538 posts in 2143 days


#13 posted 09-09-2015 03:01 PM

One small table I made a while back. I used a half lap joint. Actually, the cuts were already done, I just cleaned them up, and added glue.

Your’s? Thinking maybe a 1” to 1-1/2” wide half lap. Then add screws from underneath, after the glue up. They could even help with the glue ups.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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rhybeka

2668 posts in 2582 days


#14 posted 09-09-2015 03:23 PM

Huh. You guys are just full of great ideas! Thanks :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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rhybeka

2668 posts in 2582 days


#15 posted 09-11-2015 11:54 AM

Just for my reference later – found a great article on MAKE!

http://makezine.com/2011/02/28/skill-set-making-a-butterfly-spline-or-arikata/

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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