securing metal "legs" to glue up table top

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Forum topic by Bugzy posted 02-23-2016 01:44 AM 395 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bugzy's profile


10 posts in 828 days

02-23-2016 01:44 AM

Hey everyone,

Looking for a little help with mounting a glue up to metal legs.

I have made a firewood rack using 3/4” steel pipe and flanges mounted to a base made of framing lumber faced with maple veneered ply. Which I’m confident I do not need to worry about movement.

The top on the other hand is a glue up 18.5” x 48” made of (1) 7.5” and (2) 5.5” wide pieces of wormy maple planed to 7/4. The top will be secured to the 6 flanges, 3 to each 5.5” board with the middle 7.5” piece not having any mechanical support o then the glue up (seamless)

The question I have is do I need to worry about movement if I simply put one screw in each flange? I only want to stop the top from being able to be knocked off by children or the dog. As firewood will be put in this, the legs will likely be knocked so securing them is necessary.

Am I Overthinking this?
Is it as Simple as Pilot holes and appropriate wood screws?

4 replies so far

View MadMark's profile


965 posts in 870 days

#1 posted 02-23-2016 02:41 AM

Yes you’re over thinking it. Yes its that simple. Movement should be minimal if you finish the top. If you’re that worried about movement use 2 screws each and don’t cinch them down tight,.


-- Madmark -

View JBrow's profile


741 posts in 337 days

#2 posted 02-23-2016 04:26 AM


I do not think one can overthink any wood project. Wood movement will occur no matter what you do. Therefore it must be allowed to move or the wood will do something you do not want it to do.

I assume the top will be near the fireplace or stove. Intense heat plus low humidity in the winter will cause the maple to shrink. Humidity will go up in the summer, whether the wood rack is kept in the house or put in storage and cause the wood to expand. Therefore, worrying about wood movement is appropriate. The maple top will move.

Follow MadMark’s advice and apply a finish to the maple, and ensure the end grain is well sealed. A film finish is better than a penetrating finish. Doing this will minimize wood movement, but the maple will still move. You may already know, the wood will move across it width and thickness far more than along its length. Movement in width in your application is of most concern.

I can think of three of strategies for fastening the maple to accommodate wood movement. One strategy is to fasten the maple to the rack near the center of the maple. These fasteners can be tight and movement is of no concern. Any expansion or contraction across the width of the wood is free to take place. The second strategy is to fasten the maple along one edge of the maple only. As with the center fastening method, the wood is free to expand and contract across its width. The last method is to fasten the maple along its two edges. This method requires allowance for expansion across the width that could otherwise be restrained by fasteners on one edge. Movement can be accommodated by ensuring the mounting holes are oversized and the maple secured so that it can expand and contract. If using this last method, keeping an eye on the maple during the first year is a good idea. If it appears movement is restrained, enlarge the mounting holes a bit more.

In my experience, no amount of fastening will restrain cupping of the maple. The only insurance against this type of wood movement is to apply several coats of a film finish.

View Bugzy's profile


10 posts in 828 days

#3 posted 02-29-2016 07:36 PM

Thanks for the information.

In the end i put the 6 flanges onto the drill press and enlarged the a pair of holes on each.
secured with a washer and #8 flat head which allows about a 3/8” (total) of movement which i doubt will happen.
First glue up of something this size, and pleasantly surprised.
Rack/table looks great and we’ll wait and see how it handles a season.

Thanks again,

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1442 days

#4 posted 02-29-2016 11:57 PM

I had a similar issue with a coffee table recently. The top was beech, edge glued. After I installed the pipe legs, within 24 hrs. a hairline crack started at one end. So I filed and ground the flange holes into slots, and put in the screws with washers until they were just barely touching. Within a couple of days, the incipient crack closed back up, and I’ve had no problems since.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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