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Thread: Securing tops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Washington State rainforest
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    106

    Securing tops

    I'm building an arts and crafts bench and decided to secure the top with something more substantial than individual wood buttons.

    When I've built tables with drawers, I've secured the top with screws running through the drawer kickers which float in 1/4" slots on the rails. I basically did the same thing here (but no drawer). This is way overkill in this application but, since it's a bench and will be picked up often and move by the top, it seemed the right thing to do. I also wanted to refine the method.

    My question: Aside from a wider dining table, why not always do this? I think it's actually a bit faster and easier than buttons. Thoughts?

    IMG_1219_sm.jpg
    Don't ask me how I know that!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Kansas City
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    Tom that looks like a pretty solid base for your bench. My amateur question is, what advantage is there to have the kickers floating in the slots? I have done something similar for tables, but the kickers were glued in or mechanically attached to the aprons.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Washington State rainforest
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Tom that looks like a pretty solid base for your bench. My amateur question is, what advantage is there to have the kickers floating in the slots? I have done something similar for tables, but the kickers were glued in or mechanically attached to the aprons.
    Well, short answer, because I overdue everything.

    Having them float allows for wood movement in the kickers themselves (though given how narrow they are in this application, this should be pretty minimal). The slotted holes in the kickers on the outside edges allows for wood movement of the top. So I'm allowing for wood movement in two opposite directions. The pieces on the end are glued to the end rail but can still expand and contract in the slot. The center piece, which is fully floating in the slot, could have been much wider allowing for greater spacing between screws securing the top. Also, I've got these kickers sitting about 1/32" below the rails and the top which makes for a solid attachment by pulling the top down nice and flush to the rails (similar also to buttons). No rattle, no slipping around but still able to expand and contract. Hope that makes sense.
    Last edited by Tom Hyde; 09-14-2019 at 11:51 AM.
    Don't ask me how I know that!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Kansas City
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    Yes I understand. I can see where it would make assembly easier to rout that groove all the way. The 1/32" gap sounds like a good idea too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    2,145
    Tom, I’ve secured table tops on sofa tables, hall tables, etc., exactly as you have shown and have had no problems whatsoever.

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