glass table insert sealing & folding legs

I'm building a coffee table with an inset glass top and various water- sensitive items under the glass. Ideally, I'd like to seal the insert with some sort of gasket material, so that the glass can still be lifted out, but liquids spilled on the surface won't make it into the innards of the table.
I've considered sealing it up with silicone - but aside from failing the removable-glass test, it also fails the easy-to-make-it-look-nice- even-if-you-have-limited-spreading-sticky-sealants-and-not-making-a- mess-of-it skills.
Any suggestions?
For bonus points: I'd like to allow the legs to hinge up into the body for easy transport. I've googled up some solutions like this: ww.rockler.com/product.cfm?pageX17 But as you can see from the reviews, it seems like those hinges don't provide for much stability. Are there better solutions?
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meeotch wrote:

You might consider spreading a _very_ thin coat of clear silicone caulk on the surface where the glass will rest and letting it set completely before dropping in the glass. If done carefully, you should have a good seal and still be able to lift out the glass. An old credit card with one end cut off square should allow spreading just enough to provide a good seal.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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A trick I have used successfully is to cover the wet silicon with a taut strip of clear food wrap. Lower in the glass, let the whole thing set up and trim afterwards.
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On Sun, 08 Nov 2009 22:36:21 -0600, the infamous Morris Dovey

To do it and maintain a seal, it would have to be much thicker. He could do a bead of silicone, wipe the glass edges with silicone _lube_, and then drop it in. But that would be tricky.
It's better to avoid this situation if there is liquid involved. Water and other beverages find their way everywhere, through the tiniest gap.
-- The Smart Person learns from his mistakes. The Wise Person learns from the mistakes of others. And then there are all the rest of us... -----------------------------------------------------
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Mor-tite might be just the ticket. http://www.energycircle.com/store/weatherstrips-air-sealing/mortite-90-foot-rope-caulk-gray.html Very easy to apply, is already a uniform cross-section so it will spread out uniformly under load, easy to remove, won't harm most finishes, etc.
It won't be 100% watertight - for that you'll have to caulk it in place or provide some drainage holes so the water won't sit.

Probably, but I don't know what you're storing under the top, whether the stuff is fragile as well as water sensitive, whether it's mounted or free to slide around when the top is tilted, etc. You may want to look at a separate top and base, with the folding legs attached to the base. That way you won't be manhandling your valuables while you're setting up the legs.
R
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"RicodJour" wrote:

That's a product name I haven't heard since I worked in a hardware store in the 50's.
Sold a lot of it this time of year getting ready for those northern Ohio winters.
Lew
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far. Some more browsing has turned up a few other ideas:
Silicone weatherseal: www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku 8062950&listingidE643901 liquid electrical tape: www.plastidip.com/industrial_solutions/Liquid_Tape_-_Electrical_Insulation "strip-n-stick" silicon tape: www.cshyde.com/Tapes/Data/stripnstickinfo.htm
The first one probably isn't as squishy as I'd prefer, and the second one would be harder to build up to a decent thickness. That last one looks like a good candidate - but finding a source for it in NYC will be a trick.
mitch
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On Mon, 09 Nov 2009 00:08:59 -0800, meeotch wrote:

Give cshyde a call. They could probably give you the name of a local or a online retailer.
Paul T.
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The only dumb question, is the one not asked

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Must be some nice stuff you're putting in there. A 10 yard roll of that last tape is $40. Any foam weatherization tape sold at the Borg would work - doesn't have to be silicone, does it?
R
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On Sun, 8 Nov 2009 20:20:52 -0800 (PST), the infamous meeotch

Don't do the "removable glass" trick. Instead, hinge the whole top up or make it a self-aligning, drop-on lid assembly. Prefinish and wax the pertinent portions of the wood, then silicone the glass in, and trim off (from the bottom) the dried squeeze-out with a razor. Mask off the top and carefully wipe the squeeze-out from the top while it's fresh.
Tips to keeping silicone looking good: 1) Use only fresh unopened tubes of silicone. 2) Warm the tube of silicone, the wood, and the glass to room temps or higher before use. 3) Try to apply it in an even thickness so when the glass squeezes it down, it won't have any air bubbles trapped in it. This will make it blend into the wood nicely. 4) Clean the glass with Windex or denatured alcohol to remove all fingerprints and oil before you handle it, with gloves, during the installation. You'll probably need help gently dropping it directly into the opening, so have them use gloves, too. 5) Watch your gloves after dropping the glass. They'll probably have silicone on them and will leave residue on anything you touch. 6) Let the table rest for 24 hours after the glueup before doing anything else to it. Rushing it can cause flexing and air entrapment which makes it look bad.

(You forgot a w in the www.) Yeah, make mortised leg end-pairs (U shape) and hinge them inward from the top subframe (like banquet table legs), using a drop-in spreader/shelf to further stabilize 'em at the bottom.
An even better way is to make the table chest of drawers style, with a single slideout drawer containing your displayed goodies. It would be very stable but not as portable. http://fwd4.me/3UK or http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/fuo/1455420485.html
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