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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'm making the top for my table this weekend, but I need some help from all you knowledgeable people out there please.

Please see my other post on the tripod-style wood table I've been building for reference, but I've included a picture of the legs here so you get the idea. I have asked this question in that thread also, so please forgive the duplication - I only just thought of asking the question in this sub-board.

What's going to be the best way to join the legs to the top so that it's able to be taken off when we move?
I'm not going to be able to get the table out any doors when fully assembled, so I'll need to take the top off to move house (which will happen at the end of this year of beginning of next).

I was thinking originally of just using screws through the legs into the top, or a bolt into a "t nut", and obviously I don't want to have anything go through from the top of the table.
I'm also trying to avoid an unsightly looking set of holes in the legs if I can help it, and a cap or plug won't do it if I can't remove them easily.

My wife suggested hollowing out a part at the top of the legs, and mounting a block on the top that also has an "L" shape to it that could lock in place by rotating the entire top, that way it's held and can't tip easily, but although I can envisage what she suggests, I'm not sure that's the best option either (or that I could pull it off).

Does anyone have any suggestions on how best to do this please?
 

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If I'm building a frame with aprons as Stick showed I only use the clips he linked to. A solid table top has to move independently of the frame it sits on IF the frame is very solid. On the tripod you made it's possible that the frame might be able to move enough with the seasonal expansion you can expect that it won't cause the top to crack.

I would probably use screws to attach it but as insurance to prevent any cracking I might do it this way. #8 screws are about 3/16" in diameter so I would use a round head screw about that size with either a 3/16 or 1/4" washer and under that washer I would use a 1/4 to 5/16" washer. That would allow plenty enough seasonal movement and avoid the chance of splitting the top. I would bore a hole in the uprights so that I could hide all this in the bore hole. That might be the tricky part now is drilling those holes at close to 90*.
 

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Steve
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you kind sirs, I appreciate the ideas.
As yet I don't know which way to go, but I'll be sure to update everyone.

Chuck, what are the typical inner diameters of those washers you mention? I have a feeling this is important if I go this way to allow for movement, and I have no idea if there are standard sizes.

Stick, I see you cast a vote for the "8" fasteners as well. I did see the "S" (or "Z") fasteners, but because I'm not having an apron, I don't know that I can make those work.

Vince, I've asked you in the other thread, do I need more than one 8 per leg, and how long are they?
 

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think of the end of the leg as the apron...
 
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I don’t think wood movement will be an issue, the design of the legs won’t constrain movement of the tabletop.

If you want a solid connection, then a screw or bolt through the leg and hidden in some creative way would be the way to go. If you just want to keep the top from moving around the leg and give a relatively solid connection, then a dowel will work. You can glue the dowel into one side or the other, leave it loose.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

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I think on that tripod base that the alignment of the grain of the top will be important. Expansion occurs across the grain, not much on the long direction of grain. I'd want to center so that the long grain sits on two legs, that way only the third leg will have to have a loose fit using any of the methods shown. The joint where the three legs meet is the most vulnerable part of the table, so the top is also going to add strength. I'm assuming that you're using a glued up panel for the top. If its ply, expansion will not be much of a problem.
 

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Chuck, what are the typical inner diameters of those washers you mention? I have a feeling this is important if I go this way to allow for movement, and I have no idea if there are standard sizes.[/QUOTE

Not really. They are stamped out of sheet metal and they vary a bit. You'd want the hole small enough so that the head of the screw is fully supported.

Stick, I see you cast a vote for the "8" fasteners as well. I did see the "S" (or "Z") fasteners, but because I'm not having an apron, I don't know that I can make those work.]/QUOTE]

The best way to install them (the figure 8 ones) would be to route a slot in the top of the leg deep enough for the thickness of the screw and washer. The opening of the slot would need to be wide enough to allow the washer to swivel back and forth with the wood movement. Alignment is also important. Wood swells across the grain but moves very little lengthwise. You would want the slot 90* to the cross grain (i.e. parallel to the length of the boards). You're right about the Z clips. They need to be used with an apron.

Vince, I've asked you in the other thread, do I need more than one 8 per leg, and how long are they?
No. Just the one on each leg. If you used two then one of them would be oriented wrong in relation to the grain and wouldn't allow free movement.
 
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Paul
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If it wouldn't be noticeable, you could cut a circle of thinner ply, just big enough to span the legs. Screw that to the tops of the legs. Screw the ply into the table top in a couple of places, in a line, straight down the grain. Or you could use oversize holes with washers to allow for expansion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Z clips don't lend themselves to a table with no apron very well, and because of the kind of legs I'm using I don't think they'd work.
I know they will..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think I can possibly see it Stick, I guess I'm not sure how to cut the slide lines in the legs because of the angle.
I anticipate the table top wouldn't move once they're all in place as each leg would prevent the top sliding in that direction.

Probably need 2 per leg? On the back faces?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And because the top is kiln-dried laminate, and most of it will be sealed, I would have thought it would be more stable?

Sorry, I'm just not experienced in this aspect and really getting confused.
 

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most of the battle is seeing things from different angles/ways...
slit the side of the leg w/ a Dremel type tool...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Interesting idea

If it wouldn't be noticeable, you could cut a circle of thinner ply, just big enough to span the legs. Screw that to the tops of the legs. Screw the ply into the table top in a couple of places, in a line, straight down the grain. Or you could use oversize holes with washers to allow for expansion.
Thanks Paul.
I considered this once I saw what you'd written, but I'm really trying to keep visible differences to a minimum.
I even considered recessing said plywood, but I have a difficulty there in that I'd need to move the benchtop joiners deeper, and I just can't do that.
 
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