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sliding dovetail table top?

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Forum topic by diverlloyd posted 08-20-2013 04:55 PM 2847 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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diverlloyd

1441 posts in 1321 days


08-20-2013 04:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple mahogany tablesaw router joining

Hey jocks I’m getting ready to build a kitchen island that will finish at 40”x48” using a pallet of scrap wood. I don’t want to tongue and groove or biscuit the top together. The boards for the top will be cut 4” wide and I haven’t decided on a length but am thinking about 12” and 24’ to stagger the joints,and use sliding dovetails to connect them all. So has anyone tried this and what problems have you ran into? Also the wood for the top with be mahogany with 3 or 4 lengths of white maple put in because I like stripes. With the maple being female joined on both sides and the mahogany being male joined. So any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.


6 replies so far

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pintodeluxe

4855 posts in 2277 days


#1 posted 08-20-2013 05:06 PM

I would just glue them together in stages. Once the top is complete have it drum sanded to uniform thickness. I use a commercial outfit in my area for sanding / planing large tabletops and it works great. They can handle widths up to 50”.

To me, a 24” sliding dovetail would be a nightmare to assemble. When sliding dovetails are used on case construction, they are often only 1-2” long. Unless you taper the joints, they will bind when you try to assemble them.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13729 posts in 2082 days


#2 posted 08-20-2013 05:12 PM

T&G isn’t necessary to hold the work together, and like Pinto suggests, sliding DTs would be a real nightmare with little benefit (if any). You didn’t say how thick your scrap wood is, though.

Lots of folks here on LJs (for example) have created workbench tops by simply glueing strips together, without biscuits or T&G, etc. Plenty strong, but there is the process of making flat afterwards and with an island that’s critical. For that, drum sand or router sled or hand planes are options.

Good luck!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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pintodeluxe

4855 posts in 2277 days


#3 posted 08-20-2013 05:16 PM

If you like the look of dovetails, what about adding decorative dovetail splines on the ends of the counter top?
Here is one example http://lumberjocks.com/projects/64513

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2435 days


#4 posted 08-20-2013 05:19 PM

Why?

Edge joint and glue would be much easier, is more likely to be straight.
Or glued tongue and groove would be just as strong.

Sliding dovetails have their place, where they are attractive, useful, elegant and efficient.
But, this ain’t one of them.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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diverlloyd

1441 posts in 1321 days


#5 posted 08-20-2013 05:27 PM

I knew I was forgeting something most of the wood is 15/16” thick. I was thinking it would be good practice on the router table to make the joints on it. Oh and am really not really worried about mistakes as it is a learning process and I purchased 1800lbs of this scrap wood for $20. So the sliding joint is difficult to slide together what length would you recommend to play around with? As for the reason it’sbecause it’s different,difficult and a good learning process. The edge and glue is just simple and boring to me (I’ve made a lot of cutting boards and table tops that way),I was looking for difficult and different. I also thought about using bowties of black walnut if I was to just edge and glue.

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diverlloyd

1441 posts in 1321 days


#6 posted 08-20-2013 05:39 PM

I do like the way that looks pinto. Most of the boxes I build are 5 or more sides so I think that would make a good accent for the next one I build thank you for the idea. Smitty I was going to hand plane it. I know it’s a lot of work but I love to do things by hand the only reason I wanted to use the router was I bought it on the cheap and thought it would be a good way to learn more about hand vs machined joints. Oh and I will check around about the sanding of the top

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