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Farmhouse Table - Join base to top and allow for expansion

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Forum topic by JVee posted 06-16-2017 08:55 PM 2708 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JVee

1 post in 181 days


06-16-2017 08:55 PM

Hello lumberjocks, first time poster here. Ive gotten into woodworking recently and have a few small projects behind me. (Low profile entertainment center, patio storage bench, a few signs).

I’m planning a farmhouse style table for our home. I’ve seen all the Ana White stuff. I realize that pocket holes are not the right method for the table top. I’ve done extensive research on how to build appropriate breadboards.

The one piece that’s challenging me is fastening the table top to the base. If I have to allow for expansion at the edges of the boards, shouldn’t I allow for it in the centers?

I’ve seen the rockler clips. I’ve explored some ideas in my head, like using a similar pin/dowel on a mortise and tenon at the 4 edges of the base, with a fixed bolt through the 2 centers of the base.

I’ve also seen tabletop clips, figure 8 fasteners, etc. those seem simple enough for fastening the top to the base along its length, what about it’s width?

Please let me know if there are any good resources on this topic. Or maybe my explanation isn’t sufficient. Or better yet, it’s a simple solution you can describe in post. Thanks for any help and thoughts!


10 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

9627 posts in 3485 days


#1 posted 06-16-2017 09:49 PM

what style of base?

Post a picture please.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1274 posts in 757 days


#2 posted 06-17-2017 04:37 PM

JVee,

For perimeter fastening of the top to table base aprons, I would think figure 8 fasteners would be superior to the Rockler Z clip option, but both can do the job. The figure 8 fasteners rotate as the top expands and contracts. Although I do not use figure 8 fasteners, I suspect there is a trick to properly mounting figure 8 fasteners to ensure they function properly, but I am not sure. I also wonder whether figure 8 clips can be successfully mounted on the end aprons.

I have used shop made Z clips a time or two but I am always concerned that if the Z clips do not engage enough of the groove in the apron, the z clips could release from the groove if the top contracts in width too much. If the Z clips are mounted too deeply into the apron grooves and the table top expands, the Z clips could bottom out in the groove and restrain any further expansion of the top.

I suppose that figure 8 fasteners could be mounted along the long aprons while Z clips could be mounted along the short aprons; where the long aprons run parallel to the grain of the top and the short aprons run perpendicular to the grain of the top.

Four corner blocks could be glued (reinforced with screws) to the aprons at the corners. A screw through a slot in the corner blocks where the slot runs perpendicular to the grain direction of the top would secure the top to the base. But this only offers 4 fastening points and could be a weak connection.

That last alternative that comes to mind and is my personal favorite is to glue, perhaps reinforced with screws, a series of stretchers that run from one apron to the opposite apron. The stretchers would offer points of attachment of the top all along the width of the top and in as many places along it length as you like (depending on the number of installed stretchers). The stretchers would be mounted to the aprons perpendicular to the grain direction of the top. The top would be secured to the stretchers with screws that pass through slots in the stretches where the slots run perpendicular to the grain direction of the top. Since many people move tables by lifting the table from the top, this could offer the maximum number of fastening points and may be the strongest of these methods.

If corner blocks or stretchers are used, holding them down about 1/16” – 1/8” down from the top edge of the apron would allow the top to firmly contact the table apron when the top is attached.

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AlaskaGuy

3652 posts in 2146 days


#3 posted 06-18-2017 08:47 PM

This article from woodcraft says figure 8 fasteners shouldn’t be used on tables over 18’’ wide.

http://www.woodcraftmagazine.com/pdf/articleIndex2/343/35%20Tabletop%20Fasteners-2.pdf

I not 100% I agree with that. When I worked at the School District I saw many 48’’ wide solid maple table top fastened to the bases of table in the art rooms. We used to pull the tops off now and then to refinish them.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Rick_M

10628 posts in 2217 days


#4 posted 06-18-2017 10:32 PM


This article from woodcraft says figure 8 fasteners shouldn t be used on tables over 18 wide.
- AlaskaGuy

Never been a problem on my dining table.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

921 posts in 1948 days


#5 posted 06-18-2017 10:49 PM

Just finished a farm house table. I used the z clips. Working well so far.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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AlaskaGuy

3652 posts in 2146 days


#6 posted 06-19-2017 01:16 AM


This article from woodcraft says figure 8 fasteners shouldn t be used on tables over 18 wide.
- AlaskaGuy

Never been a problem on my dining table.

- Rick M

Did you read in my post (I not 100% I agree with that. When I worked at the School District I saw many 48’’ wide solid maple table top fastened to the bases of table in the art rooms.)

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 739 days


#7 posted 06-19-2017 01:31 AM

So whats the verdict, I have made a couple of big tables and i used figure 8s based on the encouragement on this forum. I must say for small tables they seem fine but on larger tables the tables feel rickety when moving. I am using 3/16 figure 8s that my buddy lazer cut, they are pure beef. seems like z clips would be a little stouter.

View AlaskaGuy's profile (online now)

AlaskaGuy

3652 posts in 2146 days


#8 posted 06-19-2017 01:43 AM



So whats the verdict, I have made a couple of big tables and i used figure 8s based on the encouragement on this forum. I must say for small tables they seem fine but on larger tables the tables feel rickety when moving. I am using 3/16 figure 8s that my buddy lazer cut, they are pure beef. seems like z clips would be a little stouter.

- DirtyMike

I’d use 8’s myself.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10628 posts in 2217 days


#9 posted 06-19-2017 03:28 AM

I used wood buttons on most of my tables except the aforementioned dining table and they aren’t foolproof either, a few have broken over the years. These aren’t life or death decisions, pick one and use it. If it breaks, fix it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

2680 posts in 576 days


#10 posted 06-19-2017 03:43 AM

I used figure 8 fasteners on my table. Only secured at the ends where the bases are, no aprons. Top is extremely heavy and I have stretchers to stabilize.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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