wood movement question

I am planning on making a pair of glass top end tables and need some advice on wood movement. I intend to use cherry for the tables. The top will be 1 1/2 by 3/4 with a half inch rabbet to hold the glass.
The inset will be 1/2 inch thick plate glass, about 17 x 19. What I am looking for is some advice on the clearance I should allow for wood movement around the glass, which will be sitting on the rabbet . Also, is 1/4 inch enough to support the glass or should I plan on a thicker top, say 1 1/2 by 1 inch which will give me 1/2 inch on the rabbet?
The glass is heavy enough that it doesn't need anything except its own weight to hold it in place.
As I'm still a novice woodworker, up to about 50/50 sawdust and product, so any other suggestions, recommendations are welcomed.
Thanks for your help
Jerry
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your glass. I'd go 1/8" at most to allow for my/their error in cutting. Most I see have wider rabbets and felt feet.
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your1joker wrote:

take out 1/2" and leave only 1/4" holding that heavy glass. I guess it depends a bit on the design of the rest of the piece, but I'd go heavier and try to leave 1" under the glass. The joinery in the corners will be important too.
If you can only buy 3/4 stock (been there) you can always glue 2 thicknesses together. If you start with a 4" board and rip it down the centre, fold it in half and glue it you will get a nice effect on the joined edge.
Good luck Rob
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Nope - just fine, even though it may seem a little light weight at first. I've built several this way. Don't make the rabit too wide so that you maintain a good ratio of width to thickness, and this will work just fine. Without calculating anything, and just operating off of my own sense of asthetics, I would suggest the width of the rabit should be between 1/4" and 3/8". No need for anything bigger than that and anything smaller will look out of place.
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"your1joker" wrote in message

I generally cut the rabbet 1/8th" larger than the glass and size the rabbet to about +/- 3/8" wide to support the glass.
Tip: get the glass cut first so you can measure the final product, THEN cut your rabbets for the top ... glass cutters generally only cut to 1/8th" tolerances.
Also be sure to spline your miter joints if you are using miters for your frame.
Here's an example of one corner of a glasstopped coffee table, with the rabbet clearly visible:
http://e-woodshop.net/files/glasstop.JPG
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Thanks for all the good information. I already have the glass -- a local Millwork manufacturer sells cutoffs, samples, cabinets and other stuff they don't need once a month, this last time they had the plate glass. Hoping for some cherry next month :).
The rabbet size info is just what I was looking for and thanks for the tip on using splined miter joints -- something I haven't done before and a chance to learn something new in my old age.
Jerry

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