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Gluing hardwood to tabletop

3914 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  johngeorge
Just installed 3/4" x 2 1/4" prefinished hardwood flooring and have a box leftover. I want to build a coffee table for the wife and use some of the leftover flooring for the top. I was thinking of attaching the boards using glue and finishing nails through the tongues. Any ideas on which glue to use? TIA
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You can do it that way, but a more common, preferable technique is to glue up the entire top using woodworkers glue (I like the yellow aliphatic glue). Then you attach the top to the table supports by using partially penetrating screws from the bottom up. The screws go through an oversized hole, and extend through the supports, typically 3/4 of the way through the table top.

The point of the oversized holes is that as the top moves with seasonal variation in moisture, there is room for the screws to move around, and you do not crack the top. There are many variations of this technique, including a variety of metal clips, but they all use the same principle of attaching the top from the bottom up through an oversized or oval hole. This way there are no holes through the top to fill, and you can remove the top if that ever becomes necessary.

You will need to clamp the pieces together while the glue is drying, or you will not get a good fit at the joints. I use pipe clamps, there are other options.
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Daniel pretty much covered it.....On your flooring planks, if they are the engineered type, then the bottoms will most likley be pretty slick....glue may not stick well....I would take a sample, rough it up and see if it sticks. If there are no pourous surfaces, the glue is not going to 'glue'.

If this is the case, then consider contact cement.

Don't forget that you will also need to put an edge on it. Once it's all done....trim the edges with a saw...then route if necessarey....then finish with a good hardwood edging.

If you do it...please post pics.

BTW....make sure you save some of the wood for repairs to your new floor in the future. If you have will need it.
if your going to use screws as mentioned regular wood glue works fine. if your going to blind nail through the tongue youll want to use small globs of construction adhesive

what i recommend is to attach the hardwood to a plywood base layer first then run it all through the table saw so you get a clean edge which the edge treatement can be attached to
First of all, thanks for the input. I spoke to a friend today who has a little woodworking experience. He suggested roughing up the bottoms of the boards and gluing to plywood. He thinks 3/8" plywood will work. He suggested gluing the boards together with them upside down on the basement floor then using liquid nails to glue the plywood to the backs of the boards and placing heavy blocks on it for pressure instead of clamps. Any thoughts about pros & cons for this idea?
you did see the part about having extra planks, at least 1 box, set aside ? for when the flooring gets damaged
I will have about 12 sq. ft. left over after the table.
I built a table once pretty much the way you describe, glueing hardwood to a plywood sheet, cutting the whole assembly to size, then attaching the plywood to the table frame. The results were not too good. The plywood made the top much heavier than it needed to be. Also, the hardwood expansion rate due to moisture changes was different than the plywood, and I had cracking problems over time since the plywood barely changed dimensions.

I have built several tables since then, and I simply glue up the top, sand flat, finish, attach, and it works fine.
I have built several tables since then, and I simply glue up the top, sand flat, finish, attach, and it works fine.[/QUOTE]

Can you elaborate on that? When you say you glue up the top, are you talking about using hardwood planks with no plywood?
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