|Forum topic by Rex B||posted 04-20-2012 03:30 PM||1159 views||0 times favorited||7 replies|
04-20-2012 03:30 PM
Hi guys. So I am starting to build a coffee table based on an “I Can Do That” article from Popular Woodworking back in 2008. I like the look of the table, and it fits my skill level pretty well. You can find the article here, but you have to be registered with the site to view it. Here is my solid model of the table:
My concern with the design is that it involves a solid wood panel surrounded by a solid frame, and it seems like the top will expand/contract across the grain and bust something apart. The author tells you to join all 8 aprons to the legs with pocket screws, which I am planning on doing, then hammer a few nails through the aprons into the tabletop. He then goes on to briefly explain that using nails here will allow for seasonal expansion because they can bend back and forth. But having the aprons (including the short ends) pocket screwed to the legs makes a rigid external frame, so does allowing the wood to move inside this frame really help? The wood is red oak.
The solution I came up with, with the help of a friend and fellow woodworker, was to use plywood for the top and shelf. I got some nice plain-sliced plywood and cut it into boards, which I will shuffle around and then glue up as if I were using solid wood. Hopefully this will disguise the fact that it’s plywood. I have already started down this path, so I’m not so much looking for solutions here, but rather opinions as to whether my concerns were well founded or not. I think the table will turn out fine the way I am building it. It just surprises me that a magazine would publish a seemingly poorly-thought-out design.
Sorry for the wordy question. Thanks in advance for your opinions/discussion.