Wood in a metal frame

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Forum topic by ShaneS posted 06-05-2010 06:50 PM 3118 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35 posts in 3956 days

06-05-2010 06:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dining room table

I have a project that a neighbor has asked me to build for him and I am starting to run into some challenges that I would like to ask your advise on. The project is a 8’ x 3’ dining room table for his ranch house. He wants it to attach to the wall and fold up when not in use. The frame is made of angle iron and my part is to build the boards inside of the frame. The boards will run across the 3’ part of the table and not the 8’ part. They will be various widths to help with the rustic look of the table. I have the table top built and here is where my question comes in. The wood is spalted pecan and I know it is going to move across it’s width (which in this case will be across the 8’ part) How would be the best way to attach the wood to the frame and allow for the wood to move? As mentioned before, the metal is angle iron so I dimensioned the boards for the table top to be flush with the top of the angle iron on the eating surface side. On the underside (which you will see when the table is folded and against the wall) is the flat part of the angle iron and I could attach screws there but I am afraid the wood is going to move too much and split the wood out. I am trying to make the top to where there won’t be too many places to catch crumbs but I don’t see any way around leaving about a 1/2” at each end to allow for the wood to move. This will cause a pretty big crumb catching area at each end not to mention how it will look. I have thought about asking the metal artist to add a small strip of metal at each end to create kind of a breadboard end so that it will at least cover the gaps but I will still have the problem of how to attach it.

I hope I have explained well enough for you guys to get the picture but if I have not then please feel free to ask me questions. This is my second question to post and my first real project so I am certainly not a veteran at this. Any help would be greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for any replies.


-- We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. C.S. Lewis

6 replies so far

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3370 days

#1 posted 06-05-2010 07:23 PM

I would still put the mounting screws in from the bottom, but elongate the holes in the same direction of the expansionin the angle iron. Center the screws to the holes, so you have equal distance on each side. However, make a recess to hold a flat washer just proud of the wood top so they can move on the angle iron as the top expands and contracts. If the angle iron is painted or plated, apply car wax to the washers. I might even be tempted to epoxy some threaded inserts and use allen head bolts with locktite thread fastener. Just some thoughts.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View ShaneS's profile


35 posts in 3956 days

#2 posted 06-05-2010 07:31 PM

Like your idea. I had not thought of slotting the metal. I have plenty of bee stingers and button head bolts so would certainly be set up for that of thinking. The metal is painted black so your idea of wax on the washers is a good idea too. Thanks for lending a hand and sharing your thoughts. Do you happen to have an idea of covering the 1/2” gaps on each end?

Thanks again,

-- We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. C.S. Lewis

View a1Jim's profile


117265 posts in 3746 days

#3 posted 06-05-2010 07:59 PM

UL handled this one the same way I would

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18378 posts in 3845 days

#4 posted 06-06-2010 01:41 AM

You might rabbet the end so there is a hang over to cover the crumb grove ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ShaneS's profile


35 posts in 3956 days

#5 posted 06-06-2010 07:51 AM

Thanks for the idea’s and suggestions guys. I really appreciate it.


-- We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. C.S. Lewis

View antmjr's profile


262 posts in 3353 days

#6 posted 06-06-2010 09:59 PM

I was thinking: instead of using a L, you could use a T profile and fix the planks with a groove without nails or screws, letting them free to move (a side of the frame must be bolted, to allow the planks to be set in the frame before closing it). Or otherwise you could use two planks, each screwed to the other, clenching the T profile.

Added: sorry, I didn’t read carefully, the L frame is already built, isn’t it?

Maybe it’s possible something like this:

(well, just to join the thread)

-- Antonio

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