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Forum topic by jstewart posted 2641 days ago 1197 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jstewart

141 posts in 2689 days


2641 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: joinery shrinkage expansion

I’m hoping to duplicate a project (Bed Side Table) by a fellow LumberJock. I know how to connect the top to the base (tabletop connectors), but I don’t know how to connect the lower shelf. Since the lower shelf is solid wood, I have to consider the expansion and shrinkage that will certainly occur. Am I right?

Are there some techniques I should know about that would allow me to join this shelf to the sides and still not crack over time?

(I realize that I could simply ask the creator of this version how he connected his, but I’m hoping this post and its answers will be helpful to others as well. I’m also hoping I’ll get a variety of options.)

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas


7 replies so far

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2690 days


#1 posted 2640 days ago

I think I would approach the shelf like I would a breadboard Joshua. Look at the plans for the Thorsen Table top and you’ll see three tenons on each end that get inserted into the breadboard. Pretend the breadboard is the rail on your shelf. Fix the center tenon but let the outside tenons float to accommodate for wood movenment. The tenons of course could be blind instead of through. Does that make any sense? I think looking at the Thorsen project will help.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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jstewart

141 posts in 2689 days


#2 posted 2640 days ago

Thanks for that reference, Chip. I guess I should cut the outer two mortises a little wider than the tenons to allow for shifting, right?

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

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Chip

1904 posts in 2690 days


#3 posted 2640 days ago

Absolutely correct Josh… sorry I didn’t mention that in the earlier post. Sounds like you’re on the right track.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Morris Wallace's profile

Morris Wallace

17 posts in 2910 days


#4 posted 2640 days ago

If it was me doing it I would cut a dado in the sides of the cab. and insert the shelf. You could fasten the front edge if you wanted. If it is two late to cut dados you might use a cleat and put your shelf on that and fasten the front edge so it could expand to the rear. If the shelf is not too wide the expansion is not that much.

-- Morris Wallace Seffner Fl. www.woodwork@tampabay.rr.com

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Dollarbill

91 posts in 2736 days


#5 posted 2639 days ago

Josh, I wouldn’t worry about anything. You will be using one board, not multipul boards.

I think that you can glue it, screw it, nail it or whatever and I don’t think that you will have a problem with one board of that width.

Let us know.

Bill

-- Make Dust

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2736 days


#6 posted 2637 days ago

Josh -

I would agree with Chip’s reccommendation by fixing the center and letting the ends float in slightly wider mortises to allow for seasonal wood movement. With a fixed shelf of solid wood you are likely to develop a split at some time in the future. The Thorsen project is a great reference.

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

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jstewart

141 posts in 2689 days


#7 posted 2637 days ago

After looking at the Thorsen project, I realized that it was exactly what I needed to see. Personally, I’m not in love with the look of the Thorsen table, so I hadn’t taken much notice of it. After Chip pointed me at it, I realized that even if I don’t like the look of a result, the process may be something I need to look into.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

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