Have some slats off a bed 17.5 x 67 mm.
Making a small circular outdoor table.
3 legged so it doesnt wobble.
I want to join the slats together (to each other)
I suspect to thin to use screws.
How best to join them, would glued dowels hold them together?
You need gaps between the slats to both allow for expansion across the slats
given the timber is going to be permanently outdoors and so subject to changes
in humidity, and to allow water to more easily run off; thus preventing a puddle of
water settling on the surface of the table in wet weather.
Big gaps between the slats are a "design" feature of most DIY wooden outdoor
furniture. For those very reasons.
And any design will need to accommodate this requirement.
Make the underframe hexagonal with a leg on alternate vertices.
Only one screw across the width of each slat with at least 10% interslat
gap for expansion.
Saturate with preservative as generally the type of low cost wood
selected for commercial indoor use will not have much rot resistance
when used outside.
On approach would be to make a "ring" to go round the edge...
I would get some thicker and wider timber, and cut a rebate out of one
side (table saw or router), say 3/4" across the width, and to the depth
of the thickness of the slats you have.
Then chop into 8 equal length bits and mitre the "corners" at 22.5
degrees. Join the bits into an octagon. You can now fix each of your
slats into the rebate, with a small gap between each. Just fix once in
the centre at each end of the slat.
Now if you want to get posh, trace a circle round the outside edge, and
cut off the straight edges. You should then have a rigid circular table
top that is self supporting and can be fixed to you base.
 Depending on ho complicated you want; pocket screws, glue and
biscuits, dowels, floating tenons etc.
I couldn't begin to make that.
However, I could make a table top with three rails running at right
angles to the slats. Then I could screw the legs to the rails. I think
that would exhaust my carpentry skills. :)
It might be a good idea to paint it, rather than using wood preservative?
OK that looks dooable for me.
Would this be approx correct for a 36 innch diameter top.
Radius 18 inches equals a circumference of 118 inches,
therefore each length of the octagon would be approx 15 inches.
He needs to go the whole hog and laminate a circular ring.
Or do what I did and find a cheap metal circular table and use the ring
it has to fix the slats and the legs. I was lucky to find one in
aluminium so its rot proof too.
That's another way of doing the ring that would work. Make two rings,
one from wider timber than the other. Then sandwich the narrower one on
top of the other, with a rotation such that the joins of one are mid
board on the other - that way the whole thing can be glued up and each
ring re-enforces the joints of the other (while more complicated to glue
up it makes the joinery simpler since you don't need anything other than
a butt joint at the board ends.
It also saves cutting the rebates since the top ring can be made with
the required inner radius, and the bottom one with an inner radius a
couple of inches smaller, to create the lip the slats sit on.
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