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Attaching a solid wood top

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Forum topic by Jonathan Szczepanski posted 04-20-2010 02:25 AM 3511 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jonathan Szczepanski

25 posts in 2498 days


04-20-2010 02:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: solid wood top furniture expansion contraction

I have a conundrum. On the piece I am making (see attached image), I was originally going to have a plywood top with solid wood edging. I was going to attach the top to the case with glue and biscuits. After I assembled the case, I changed my mind and used solid wood (poplar, because it is going to be painted) for the top instead of plywood. After I flattened and cut the top to size, I realized that I don’t think I should glue and biscuit the top to the case, because of expansion/contraction of the top. Now I’m not sure how to attache the top. I can’t pocket screw from the inside, or use clips, because the case has a shelf that is blocking access. I was thinking I might be able to pocket screw from the outside, and cover it up with the moulding. I did a mock-up, and I the moulding doesn’t cover up the pockets.

Does anyone have any other ideas as to how to attach it? Otherwise I will scrap the work that I did and go with the plywood top.

BTW, the top is 60” x 15 3/4” x 1”.

entry sideboard

-- Jonathan


7 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5173 posts in 2655 days


#1 posted 04-20-2010 03:04 AM

Grteetings Jonathan:..... If it were me, I’d use “figure 8” to attach the top. I use them all the time to attach tops to tables and cases. They work great, and allow wood movement in all seasons, because they are not glued in. You countersink a 3/4” hole on the edge of the case about the depth of a quarter, place the figure 8’s in with a screw on the case edge. If you can, place the top on a table upside down (bottom of the top showing). turn the case upside down also, and center the top on the case, exposing any overhang you want, if any. If not, make it flush all the way around the case, and screw the figure 8’s to the top…. if you are going longgrain to longgrain, you might put just a little glue on the edge of the case, but probably not necessary with the figure 8”s. I made a Shaker hall table and mounted the top this way. If you need a pixs of the 8’s and how to mount them, I’ll post a couple on here for you….. just PM me, or reply here….. keep on keeping on..

edit: I almost forgot… if you need to see a pixs of how I attached the top, go to my project page, and you’ll see how it’s done…....look under the “comments” the guys posted, and I put 3 links on showing the top.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Jonathan Szczepanski's profile

Jonathan Szczepanski

25 posts in 2498 days


#2 posted 04-20-2010 03:11 AM

Rick – figure 8’s might work. I will see if I have the clearance. Like a dummy, I already put the shelf inside the case, so I only have about 4” of space to work in. That’s why I was originally going to use the biscuits – I could just drop the top on.

-- Jonathan

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5173 posts in 2655 days


#3 posted 04-20-2010 03:26 AM

Jonathan—- I really think the 8’s will work for your needs. I almost forgot——you’ll make the holes for the figure 8’s using a 3/4” Forstner bit. If you don’t have the 8’s, you’ll have to order them from a supply store like Woodworkers Supply. Rockler and some others don’t carry them, and H.D. and Lowes sure don’t… they don’t even know what they are…... dummies…... lol. Also like I said,,, glueing longgrain to longgrain would work, but I wouldn’t chance it too much….... did you look at the Shaker table to see how to attach them? Remember….. shelves and such go in LAST….... lol.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1429 posts in 3019 days


#4 posted 04-20-2010 05:57 PM

I’ve found figure 8’s at both of my local woodworking stores. One store’s are stamped, cheap looking things, but the other store carries a very hefty solid figure 8. Sorry, I can’t remember which because I got to both of them often. If you’re limited in access, you can drill enough clearance for the figure 8 into the bottom of the top using the proper Forstner bit, then you’ll only have to use a stuffy screwdriver, or one that’s bent/angled to screw it in. Regardless, you’ve learned a valuable lesson along the way, which is what this journey is all about.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

452 posts in 2466 days


#5 posted 04-20-2010 06:41 PM

If you are painting the top anyway, as you said, can’t you just counter sink some screws through the top and plug or putty the holes?

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Jonathan Szczepanski's profile

Jonathan Szczepanski

25 posts in 2498 days


#6 posted 04-20-2010 06:49 PM

I think I am going to try the figure 8s and see if I have clearance. If not, I can always go with the screws and plugs.

Thanks guys.

-- Jonathan

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 3588 days


#7 posted 04-20-2010 07:18 PM

I buy my Figure Eight Connectors from Lee Valley.

-- 温故知新

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