Mde a little round table yesterday.
Just a straight repro of the Stickley #603 "tabouret" (it isn't a
tabouret though, it's a small table).
The top is an edge jointed disk of 6" QS oak boards, and the
underframe is four vertical legs with hidden stretchers between them
at the top. No apron. It's the first time I've made a round top and
had to deal with wood movement - previously they've been square and
oriented cleanly across the frame's grain.
I'm wondering two things; which way to orient the grain on the top,
and how to attach the frame to the top ? Grain at 45° or 90° to the
stretchers ? I'm thinking 45°.
To attach it, I'm thinking of 5 short round-head screws, inserted
upwards through counterbored holes in the stretchers. The middle one
is a drilled hole, then outer four are in 1/2" slots. How would this
stack up against 45° movement in the top ?
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Well I guess you've probably by this time attached the top. I prefer to use
the figure 8 metal fasteners because they allow movement of the top
regardless of the direction of woodmovement.
Pix of rehabed table using figure 8 fasteners.
there's both a structural and an aesthetic dimension here, no? If the
stretchers are pretty much hidden, then the aesthetic part of the
equation comes down to which way the legs or base more logically
relate to the figure of the top. In making round and sort-of-round
tables, I have pondered the same question, done it both ways, and not
found any hard and fast rule to apply...Structurally speaking, it's
clearly easier to put the top at 90 degrees, all other things equal.
This isolates the movement into an axis that coincides completely with
one, and only one, of the stretchers. This gets two slots running
parallel to its length (easy to do) while the other only requires two
round holes. Having the top oriented at 45 degrees means movement
across both ends of both stretchers, which means four slots, running
at 45 degrees to stretcher length (a hassle to jig if using a router).
In the case of a big table, there's a lot to be said for restraining
potential cupping across the grain at four points instead of two. But
your top looks small and is made from quarter sawn stock, so that
seems a moot point...and for the same reason, i think a fastener in
the center is superfluous.
If you think of the table top as the face of a compass with the grain
pointing "north," then you want the legs at the cardinal points: north,
south, east, west. The legs at east and west are most important since
they support the top across the grain and will prevent it from breaking
if any sort of load is placed there (small kid hanging on it, etc.).
Assuming the stretchers you're talking about form an X (as they most
often do in small round tables) rather than a square (as they would
on a chair), then the east-west stretcher will obviously cross the
grain, and the north-south stretcher will run with the grain. That
east-west stretcher wil add some strength across the grain, and
also simplify any concerns about wood movement.
The five screws sound fine, and the slots probably don't need to be
nearly 1/2" on the north-south stretcher, since the top won't move much
if at all in that direction. 1/2" slots on the east-west stretcher are
also probably longer than you need, but they won't hurt.
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