Cross Section

Table top


Attaching a Table Top

Ql'm building a table with a solid wood top. And I've been told I need to be concerned about wood movement. What is the best method to attach my table top?

Tom Holsinger Aim, Minnesota

Oversized shank hole

Hardwood cleat

L-Shaped wood

Tongue slides in groove as wood moves

A There are several l good ways to secure your table top to its base, but there isn't "one best method." The most important thing to consider is to secure the top in a way that allows for wood expansion and contraction across its

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width as changes in humidity occur.

One thing you don't want to do is glue the top down. Since the wood can't move, it may split on the edges.

TONGUE AND GROOVE. One method is to use L-shaped blocks !Opt;on 1), Each block has a tongue that fits into a groove cut on the inside of the frame. The tongue on the

"Figure 8" fastener pivots with wood movement block can then move with the top as it expands and contracts.

SCREWS. An easy solution is to simply drive a screw through hardwood cleats attached to the frame (Option 2). Just be sure to drill oversized shank holes so the top can move.

FIGURE 8. A method we use often is to insert "figure 8" fasteners (Option 3). One side of the faster er 3 screwed into a sha : .*. mortise on the frar-e a-: the other into the top, The fastener then pivots as the •:-: ; top expands £" r. :: - '.-acts.

STEEL FASTt* !8 Using a manufactL i: ,-shaped steel fasterer Cp:ion 4) is another wav I: works like the first ;:: on. The fastener ca- move along in the groove as the wood top ~oves. ¡3

"Figure 8" fastener pivots with wood movement

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