How to connect table top to legs? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to connect table top to legs?

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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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 12:12 AM
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''S'' clips...


Tabletop Mounting Clamps - Lee Valley Tools

figure ''8'' clips


Figure Eight Connectors - Lee Valley Tools

elongate a hole in the legs for a screw and allowing for wood movement...
I think the figure eights will be your all around best bet...

..
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 01:34 AM
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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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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 05:30 AM
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Steve - I like the figure 8 fasteners and have used them often - I posted in your other thread here:

http://www.routerforums.com/show-n-t...ml#post1888074

The fasteners swivel to allow for any wood movement
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 07:34 AM
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Steve - see my response in the other thread.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 08:00 AM
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Steve,
Figure eight fasteners are also available at Rockler. You would use a forstner bit to set into the leg, which keeps it from getting too wobbly.Desk Top Fasteners, 8-Pack | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 08:58 AM
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think of the end of the leg as the apron...
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 11:06 AM
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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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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 11:32 AM
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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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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 04-07-2018 at 12:11 PM. Reason: remove picture-wrong string
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