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Nightstand Top Attachment

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Forum topic by Todd posted 186 days ago 373 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Todd

216 posts in 278 days


186 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: joining question cherry

Hi All,

I’m building a cherry nightstand and the top on it will be 18”x24”. I know for large tops (like tables) clips or some other form of loose joinery is used to accommodate wood movement. Is this type of attachment necessary for a top this size or can I just attach it with screws?

I’ve made some bookcases where I joined the top with screws (no glue) and have not seen any problems so far.

Thanks!

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL


8 replies so far

View bladeburner's profile

bladeburner

88 posts in 1689 days


#1 posted 186 days ago

I make it a habit to always let panels move if they ever want to! For small tops like nightstands, I’ll put a pocket screw (used to use sheet metal screws) through a slightly oversized hole. So far (50 years) so good!

View Todd's profile

Todd

216 posts in 278 days


#2 posted 186 days ago

Thanks Blade. On the bookshelves I built I attached with pocket screws but I didn’t enlarge the holes. I had actually thought about what you had suggested before but I didn’t know if anyone had done it that way. Thanks for the advice!

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1321 posts in 369 days


#3 posted 186 days ago

I think it depends on the finish you put on it. If it is say, oil- based poly, it would be like a plastic wrap on that top so humidity or lack of it as it occur, has no effect on the wood since it is covered with plastic. The expansion will occur when poly is put on and contraction when it dries. So, if the top is finished before installation, it should remain stable for as long as the finish is creating a barrier. But, probably still a good idea to allow room for movement.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3272 posts in 1415 days


#4 posted 186 days ago

A bookcase top is probably 12” wide. That would be the outer limit of a rigidly attached panel.
For 18×24” I would allow for movement.
Figure 8 fasteners are my favorite.
Oversized holes for screws work in a pinch.

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

View bbc557ci's profile

bbc557ci

541 posts in 676 days


#5 posted 186 days ago

Changes in humidity…. bet it’ll move

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"

View jcsterling's profile

jcsterling

331 posts in 2187 days


#6 posted 186 days ago

depends upon the case construction as to whether you can attach solidly or with top having ability to move independent.

-- John , Central PA , www.jcsterling.com on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3272 posts in 1415 days


#7 posted 186 days ago

Regarding Mr. Jinx comments above… make no mistake wood will move, regardless of the finish applied.

I have a 42” wide dining table with breadboard ends. It is finished with stain, lacquer and wax. It shrinks about 3/8” across its width in the winter—and that is quartersawn oak. Flatsawn lumber will move even more. The problem comes when people try to stop wood from moving, because it can’t be done.

Whether the amount of wood movement will cause cracks or failed joints depends on the project.

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

View Todd's profile

Todd

216 posts in 278 days


#8 posted 186 days ago

Thanks all. I will allow for movement.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

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