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Forum topic by newCOlumber posted 03-09-2018 05:05 PM 406 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newCOlumber

15 posts in 199 days


03-09-2018 05:05 PM

Hey all!

First time poster, but I have learned a lot from this forum. I haven’t really done any furniture work, but I have done a lot of home remodeling, so not totally new.

I am building a coffee table based on this blog post: https://jenwoodhouse.com/diy-restoration-hardware-balustrade-coffee-table-2/

But I am making some changes. The dimensions will be 27.5” x 38.5” (based on the area I have), and I am making the whole thing (except the legs) from poplar since I have a good source for it. I am also not doing the breadboard ends, it just doesn’t seem required for this size of table, and the thickness of the top.

The question I have is regarding the bottom. I know that wood expands across the grain, which would cause that whole bottom to expand and contract. I am in CO, so we are a pretty dry climate overall, but I don’t want to deal with cracks at all, especially on a part that is structural. The question I have is, should I make the bottom out of individual boards (don’t glue/screw them together) and leave small gaps (1/8”) or should I just get a piece of plywood, edge band & paint it, and call it good? I am going to be painting the entire table, if that matters.

Thanks!!


7 replies so far

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Dustin

552 posts in 861 days


#1 posted 03-09-2018 05:22 PM

First off, welcome to LJ’s! I lurked around for a long time before joining myself, so you’re in good company ;)

To your question, I think either method you mentioned would work out ok for this, so it really comes down to the look you want. Do you want a large, flat area, or do you want the look of individual boards?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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jbay

2604 posts in 1019 days


#2 posted 03-09-2018 05:28 PM

2 pieces of plywood, Edge banded.
Take a router and rout small v-grooves to simulate the planks, And, the breadboard ends.
I would edgeband with 3/16 – 1/4” thick wood so after rounding over the edge a little bit the seam won’t be very noticeable.

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newCOlumber

15 posts in 199 days


#3 posted 03-09-2018 07:13 PM

I like the look of the boards. This particular table won’t be very rustic, but it is practice for a larger table that will be more rustic. Dustin, are you saying that I could still edge join the boards or should I avoid that? My real concern is the legs and top mounted through the base, so if that moves, there could be other problems. Living in a dry climate, I don’t see them moving much, so I am now thinking I could still butt them together, but no mechanical joints.

jbay, you are saying to use plywood for both surfaces? I don’t own a router, I suppose that could change. I really like the idea of boards just because this is practice for a future table.

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Dustin

552 posts in 861 days


#4 posted 03-09-2018 07:38 PM



I like the look of the boards. This particular table won t be very rustic, but it is practice for a larger table that will be more rustic. Dustin, are you saying that I could still edge join the boards or should I avoid that? My real concern is the legs and top mounted through the base, so if that moves, there could be other problems. Living in a dry climate, I don t see them moving much, so I am now thinking I could still butt them together, but no mechanical joints.

jbay, you are saying to use plywood for both surfaces? I don t own a router, I suppose that could change. I really like the idea of boards just because this is practice for a future table.

- newCOlumber

I wouldn’t recommend edge-gluing the boards. Even in a drier climate, I’d be concerned that they’d move enough to upset the pedestals/top. I think if you used glue and a mechanical fastener of some sort in the middle of the boards only, and left a gap between them, you’d get the look you want and avoid any problems due to expansion.

As an aside, the link you provided mentioned this is an alteration to an Ana White design. Not to knock her, but her projects don’t typically take wood movement and traditional joinery techniques/strength into account, so I’d be cautious of using any of her plans.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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newCOlumber

15 posts in 199 days


#5 posted 03-09-2018 08:59 PM

Thanks Dustin! Thinking more, I am not so sold on the gaps, the look might not be quite what I want for this table. I was thinking just screwing the boards to the bottom frame, but if they are set together, they could still crack right? What if I took 1×4s, turned them on edge to create the base frame, and put a sheet of plywood inside of that? That way the edges don’t show, it avoids any issue with the edge banding, and has a cleaner look for the style I want. I really like the rustic look with the boards for a future table, surely there is a way to do it!

What you point out about her plans is why I am posting! I used that link more for the design, not so much the methods (those breadboards alone are asking for trouble, from what I have learned!).

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Dustin

552 posts in 861 days


#6 posted 03-10-2018 06:00 PM

Hmm, I’d be cautious about setting a plywood shelf inside of your frame like that, namely because any expansion of the frame will cause unsightly gaps around the shelf. But if that isn’t a big deal to you, go for it.
Honestly, edge-banding doesn’t have to be a big production: I needed to conceal the edges of some ply on a project I built a few months back, so I used my bandsaw (a table saw would work, too) to rip off just the veneer of the ply wood. I then used glue and painters tape to use this to edge band the exposed sides. Pretty pleased with the ease of application.
Oh, and if you’re going to paint it, I’d probably take my chances with a filler of some sort to seal the edges of the plywood instead of banding. Others may weigh in on whether this is effective or not (I haven’t done this myself, but imagine it could work).

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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newCOlumber

15 posts in 199 days


#7 posted 03-11-2018 12:53 AM

Thinking about it more, I like the original design (it is the same as from Restoration Hardware) but I really think it should be stained and a bit more rustic. What are your thoughts on staining it? I still think I like the board look, but attaching them individually to the frame. And then if a board does split, it makes it a bit more rustic. And I would not use poplar.

I think the breadboards on the top I would do with proper joinery, but the bottom is really what I am not sure about, even though RH must have done it too!

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