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Forum topic by FrenchPhil posted 05-29-2016 03:54 AM 396 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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FrenchPhil

2 posts in 195 days


05-29-2016 03:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood liveedge

Hi guys,
I’m another complete amateur in need of some suggestions.
I did my first wood project, a live edge walnut desk with metal legs. Everything went pretty fine, but because the top wasn’t that thick, I was told I should avoid screwing the metal legs directly into it, to avoid cracking and make the desk not wobbly.
So I put 3 little board, on both sides and in the middle (I was afraid my glued live edge would hold the weight of the computer screen).
It did the work but it is aesthetically not very nice, you can see them as the top isn’t thick enough to hide them.
For the middle one I’m thinking of sanding the edge to hide it (it is glued, no way of removing it). But for the side ones where the legs are screwed, any suggestion on how to improve it? Maybe with some metal plates hiding the wood to make it look like it is part of the legs?
Thanks so much for the help,
Philippe


5 replies so far

View wuddoc's profile

wuddoc

93 posts in 3184 days


#1 posted 05-29-2016 04:46 AM

Installing an apron allows you to attach the top to the apron. The apron also allows you to attach the legs to it. There is mechanical hardware sold by various woodworking supply companies to attach legs and tops to an apron.

-- Wuddoc

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JBrow

819 posts in 386 days


#2 posted 05-29-2016 02:17 PM

FrenchPhil,

I can think of two options, in addition to your thought of adding a metal plate around the legs where they meet the battens to which the legs are attached.

If possible, re-position the legs toward the back edge of the desk and thus maximize the set-back of the legs and the front. Remove the battens and cut a bevel on the front ends of each batten. The bevel would have thin appearance when looking at the desk from the front and run to full thickness where the legs meet the bevel. If the battens are wide enough, the bevel could also run the length of the battens.

The second option is to install a sub-top made of walnut. The sub-top would be attached to the underside of the top with grain direction running parallel to the top. The edges of the sub-top could be recessed from the front and side edges of the top by ¾” or more. The sub-top would have to be scribed so that its edge and end profiles would follow the profile of the live edge and the ends. After the sub-top is installed, the added thickness would permit longer and heavier screws for anchoring the legs and eliminate the need for battens. Profiling the edge and ends of the sub-top with a round-over, cove, or bevel could dress up the sub-top.

It appears the top is finished. The problem with this option is the finish would have to be removed from the bottom side of the top in order for standard wood glue to secure the sub-top. Perhaps an alternative glue is available that would work without removing the finish; but I have no suggestions. I suppose the sub-top could simply be screwed to the top. With enough screws, the sub-top would probably stay in place.

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FrenchPhil

2 posts in 195 days


#3 posted 05-29-2016 03:01 PM

Thank you both the suggestion Wuddoc and JBrow.
Reposition + bevel might do the trick. I forgot to specify I titebonded II glued the battens to the table top, but maybe a heat gun could help separate them. That or I’ll sand of the battens edge to thin it out maybe.
Oh well at least I’ve learned how to do a good table top from book matched slabs, planed, joined, really happy how it came together from that rough looking walnut that arrived through the mail.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2325 days


#4 posted 05-29-2016 03:09 PM

If you painted the battens the same color as the legs that would make them less obtrusive.

I hope you don’t have a problem with the top cracking because the battens are glued across the grain…

Very good looking top, nice job joining the two thin slabs.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 386 days


#5 posted 05-29-2016 11:37 PM

FrenchPhil,

I share HerbC’s concern that battens glued cross grain to the top could eventually lead to the top cracking or cupping.

I would be concerned that using a heat gun to soften the glue might damage the surrounding finish or the wood itself. Sanding, even just the edges of the battens is a lot of work and the sanded surface could inadvertently extend to the top itself and the battens would remained glued to the top.

Given the concern of glued battens potentially leading to a cracked top, my approach would be to remove the battens entirely. It will be quite a job, but is fairly straightforward. Driving a chisel into the end grain of the battens will cause the battens to split across their width and down the length. This process could be continued until splinters of wood from the batten are left glued to the top. A hand plane, a cabinet scrapper, and perhaps some sand paper could remove the remaining splinters from the batten and any residual glue.

If battens are re-installed, ensuring wood movement of the top is accommodated would keep the top from cracking or cupping.

By the way, I do not particularly like the look of live edges on furniture. This is just my personal preference. However, in this case, the live edge combined with the minimalist design of the desk make it very attractive. Nice job!

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