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How would you attach a "floating" top?

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Forum topic by spaids posted 04-10-2009 04:50 PM 3579 views 2 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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spaids

699 posts in 3154 days


04-10-2009 04:50 PM

I’ve seen some really cool looking tables with gravity defying tops and would like to do that on this small accent table. My plan is to have several 3/4 dowels supporting the top and glued into round mortises. Then I am thinking that this allows ZERO room for seasonal expansion of the top.

What to do?

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=f4ef59468faf501e959d688c13bc4d6e

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--


16 replies so far

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marcb

768 posts in 3134 days


#1 posted 04-10-2009 04:56 PM

Figure 8 clips attached to your supports instead of a hole.

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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3109 days


#2 posted 04-10-2009 05:20 PM

use the force luke

or you could use metal dowels in oversized holes – no glue. the top will not be permanently secure to the base though – like many end tables are.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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spaids

699 posts in 3154 days


#3 posted 04-10-2009 05:26 PM

What like just let it sit there? I’de really like to attach it though. I have seen on woodnet a guy said he used fairy dust or something on a project. I think fairy dust is illegal in Missouri though.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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oldskoolmodder

799 posts in 3141 days


#4 posted 04-10-2009 06:02 PM

Spaids, it depends on which parts of Missouri you are in, the Missouri part, or the Missourah part, on whether it’s illegal here.

I had to download the file to see how it was done, and it looks just like dowels are used, but attached most likely if you wanted to. You say you want to have it attached, I guess secured and not able to take it off. What about similar to a mortise and tenon where you could have a small dowel going through the dowel coming down, just at the top of the “rail” and one on the bottom, to lock it in place? Just an early morning thought. I’m still a bit groggy, so maybe I’m not conveying the thought correctly.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

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spaids

699 posts in 3154 days


#5 posted 04-10-2009 06:30 PM

Well I did design it to just have dowels glued into the the round mortises of the top and the rails but my concern is what happens if the top expands through out the year. Thats why I looking for alternatives to the dowels or any advice on dealing with the movement of the top on this design.

PS I am NOT from Jefferson county. :D

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View kolwdwrkr's profile

kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 3051 days


#6 posted 04-10-2009 06:58 PM

I assume it would be 4- 3/4” dowels? I don’t see why Marcb’s suggestion wouldn’t work.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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Boardman

157 posts in 3222 days


#7 posted 04-10-2009 07:00 PM

I did a hall table with a floating top, and attached it by jigsawing a couple “T” shapes that I attached to cross members underneath the top. Then I put elongated slots on both sides of the top of the “T” and put screws thru them to attach the top. It might be worth checking what the possible seasonal variations are on the wood and width of your top. It may be somewhat minimal if it’s smaller.

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spaids

699 posts in 3154 days


#8 posted 04-10-2009 07:59 PM

I don’t know… Marcb’s suggestion might be the way to go. I have never used the figure 8 clips but I know what they are. I guess I could attach the center of each clip to the center of the top of the dowels and then to the table. I have it drawn out with eight 3/4” dowels right now. Are those figure 8 clips pretty strong? Could you pick the table up by the top and move it if attached with just those clips? I think maybe I’ll redraw this with only 4 dowels and two cross member now.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 3051 days


#9 posted 04-10-2009 08:17 PM

I have attached my cabinets to their stands with figure 8 clips and then picked them up and carried them around. The clips are 1/8” steel and you can use any length screw to suit your material thickness, so long as the screw head is flush to the figure 8. Its minimal work and only requires a forstner bit to install.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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spaids

699 posts in 3154 days


#10 posted 04-10-2009 08:28 PM

Does anyone think the design would work as it is? Just curious.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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spaids

699 posts in 3154 days


#11 posted 04-10-2009 08:30 PM

oh.. and thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. I was looking forward to my first project with mortise and tenon joints not having any metal fasteners but it looks like I need the figure 8 clips.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View marcb's profile

marcb

768 posts in 3134 days


#12 posted 04-10-2009 08:44 PM

Figure 8 clips have been used to attach dining room table tops which are probably the most abused surfaces in terms of people pushing pulling leaning etc. Plenty strong.

They’re also cheap insurance, 3 bucks for a 12 pack.
http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=6801

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2896 days


#13 posted 04-11-2009 11:40 AM

Spaids, do not want to use any metal clips or metal at all? I have a solution… but it all dependends on your design or what you condider to be “floating.”

You are right to consider movment, it will only end in a lot of work and problems later if it does decide to move a little with moisture.

I would recommend using (if I hve undertood you want this to be more traditional—no metal fasteners) a sliding dovetail joint, two of them, when excecuted properly will allow your table panel to slide around still stay straight and you can attach the dovetail piece of wood that slides into the top with a dowel to the sides of the table…. Thats what I would do, if I wished not any metal in my project…. or what might be even better, cheaper, quicker, use MDF or somesort of homogeneous man made board. and if you really, really want it to simulate real wood, you can glue on two sides normal edging, then on the “end grain end” glue up some scraps and cut down cross grain, some strips and glue them on so the endgrain shows…. then veneer the board ( cut the veneer trying to match the width of the endgrain edging) and you are home free! no worries about movement…. be sure to cut your edging wide enough for the bevels and glue it on properly so it does not telegraf the glue seam.

Thats what I would do…

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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Sawdust2

1467 posts in 3548 days


#14 posted 04-11-2009 03:38 PM

If you want to use dowels you can permanently fasten the ends (as opposed to the sides) by gluing the dowels in the center. That obviously won’t move.
The other dowels can be loose so that the top will float but still provide support on the outside edges.

I don’t remember where I got it, I think Sawmill Creek, but there is a program out there that will help you determine the approximate wood expansion. I think I put the link on LJ a few months ago so try a search for wood movement calculator.

Lee

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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spaids

699 posts in 3154 days


#15 posted 04-12-2009 06:04 PM

Sawdust2,

Thats a great idea! Why I didn’t think of it? So I can make the two dowels that connect in the center of the tops (center of the long grain) fit nice and tight in the round mortises and glue em up. Then the others that connect closer tot he edges ( where the movement will take place) I could not glue at all and make the mortises lose. I think that should work.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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