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Discussion Starter #1
I’m just finishing up a small table, and wasn’t sure about attaching the top. It’s going in the laundry room, but the boss wanted it to have some style, so I bought some dining table legs, but then used other stuff I had laying around for the rest of the table.

The top is ~30” x 60”, and made of T&G pine boards. They were a little thin (little over ½”), so I did two levels and glued and screwed them together. Not typical, but I was able to use up my leftover T&G pine! I’m either going to put some trim on the edges, or just some wood filler and sand it down. Everything is getting painted in the end. The boards are attached to 3 cleats that run the width, and sit just inside the table’s apron (1x4s). Legs and aprons are connected with corner brackets.

I’ve read a lot about how table tops can warp, crack, etc. unless properly attached. I saw the little table top clips you can get, and was thinking about using those. It would be a bit of a pain to make the kerf for them, as I don’t have a table saw so will need to disassemble and use the circular saw since I didn’t read ahead. The other options looked more elaborate (wooden buttons, etc.).

Do I need to worry about this, since I have the cleats? Can I just use some angle brackets to connect the apron either to the cleats or the table top?

Hacking it together a bit, but that’s usually how I keep myself busy. Thanks!



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those brackets might work if you can make a slot in them so the top can slide in the same direction as the slot.
 

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Wood will move across the grain, expanding and contracting as the humidity changes much more than it will with the grain.
If you think of the grain as a bundle of straws, the straws would get thicker more than they get longer...
As long as you allow for movement, you should be ok. The biggest problem you may have is not the top moving in relation to the base, but the two layers of t&g moving in relation to each other within the top itself. Especially if you glued the two layers together and glued in between the t&g boards.
Wherever you have a cross grain situation is where you need to allow for movement. The easiest way to do this and attach a top to the base is using a "figure eight" fastener. These are attached to the aprons in a slight mortise (cut with a chisel very easily) with a simple screw, the top is laid down, and another screw attached to the top through the fastener. Cheap, easy, fast, and they allow the top to move in almost all directions, but keep it tight to the base.
Google "figure 8 fasteners" and you will find some. I think both the big box (blue and orange) carry them as well... Look in the hardware section, in the special hardware drawers.
 

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They were a little thin (little over ½”), so I did two levels and glued and screwed them together

did you run both layers the same direction, or opposing?
 

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If the customer complains later, your boss will yell at you and hopefully that's the end of it. Your boss should be aware of your skills.
Search how to make wood tables, etc. One thing stands for me which is the boards not be glued to the cleats. The corner brackets also is a weak point, although once settled, laundry room table isn't likely to be moved around.
 

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Table clips work very well. You can cut the slot using a table saw, or better using a router with the correct width bit. If you don't have a tablesaw or router, you can cut oval holes for the screws, so the wood can move back and forth. The length of the oval should be about twice the diameter of the screw, and the oval needs to align with the direction of movement of the wood (across the grain).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The boss is well aware of my skills but she still tells me to build stuff around the house...

I lined up the boards for the two layers. Didn't think about doing it the other way! I didn't glue to the cleats, just screws, so maybe that will give me some play.

I saw the figure eight ones on line and I think I will give them a shot.

Actually, I haven't attached the two layers to each other yet. Just glued the boards to each other and the bottom layer is attached to the cleats. Should I just screw not glue to each other? Or vice versa?
Thanks again for the help! Not looking for perfection obviously!


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There a variety of ways to complete this task, but as stated they all need to account of the across the grain movement that occurs with solid wood.

If you wanted to use the table clips, a biscuit joiner the probably the easiest way cut grooves for them if the apron is already assembled. I wouldn't buy one for this purpose, but you might be able to borrow one if you don't have one.

I would probably follow Daniel Holzman's recommendation and mount the table top with screws through slotted holes. Without seeing the table, I think I'd cut slotted holes in some small wood blocks and glue them to the inside of the apron. Alternatively, you run stretches across the apron, and cut slotted holes in them. This may remove the need for the cleats.

If the laundry area leans towards the utilitarian side, I'd just just drill an oversize holes of the screw and use a washer.

You need to be sure you cleats allow for wood movement as well (not glued and slotted or oversized screw holes).
 
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