Table with granite insert

I came across a wide variety of granite sizes, all 1" think which I'd like to use to make tables, coasters, or whatever comes to mind, but want to dabble in the furniture aspect. One granite slab is oval and
appears to be the remnant cut from a bathroom sink. I'm thinking of two options for a table. One is a bigger table with the granite insert in the center and the other is just a small coffee or side table using the granite with wood sides, similar to this small table
https://chairish-prod.freetls.fastly.net/image/product/sized/832e21fb-c7a4-45a9-87cb-80afba0de01a/arts-and-crafts-thomasville-american-revival-lampside-table-9684?aspect=fit&widthd0&heightd0
or this table with wider wood sides https://img.letgo.com/images/d6/d1/93/43/d6d193435513f422d193b559a09f8bd4.jpeg?impolicy=img_600_pwa
but obviously oval. Therefore, seeking suggestions how to approached shaping/cutting the wood to encase the granite slab, which you can see here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/18223943@N06/49940588052/in/dateposted-public/
If I go larger table, do I make the table, piecing boards together then cut the center, rabbeting for the granite to fit or if the smaller table, I wouldn't know how to approach, since it's not mitering a square.
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On Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 9:53:47 PM UTC-5, Hawk wrote:

I had a similar project some years ago, not knowing what was the best appro ach. I went with the 'make the table top and cut out the opening'. I use d faux marble from a bathroom shower redo and the backside of the slab was not perfectly flat.... there was lots of bumps and glue, just not a good fl at backside surface. I also didn't have the proper tools for cutting stone nor in a perfect circle. The project was a small 3-leg bistro type table . It didn't come out perfect, so I use it in the shop. In the second pic you can see one of the small gaps (there are others) between the marble and the wood frame. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/49942256547/in/dateposted-public / https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/49942254912/in/dateposted-public /
I likened it to making a raised/angled picture frame or doing my first crow n molding project, i.e., compound miter, it didn't come out perfectly. My table top insert cutout was not a perfect match to the marble slab's edge. I suppose one has to practice many of these sorts of projects, to become g ood at it, or have some specific tools for making them with excellent resul ts.
A couple of things to remember: 1) Mark your slab and the wood top, precise ly, so that both match with their alignment. 2) Once fitted, I don't think you have to, or want to, glue or secure your slab in place. Its weight sh ould be sufficient enough for stability.
Since I am not proficient in perfectly mating pieces as this, I thought, if I ever made another, then I might use a trim element between the wood fram e and stone. The trim element I've considered is a caning spline or a cus tom made wooden spline to fit into the space. Depending on size, a custom spline might be harder to bend in place. Either trim type could be match ed or contrast stained. As to using a caning spline, I would stain it and allow it to dry, before inserting into the space. Caning spline is very so ft and would crush if trying to install when wet or damp.... it needs to be pressed in place when dry. A spline might be unsightly to some extent, al so, just depends on the furniture piece and use, I suppose. My "defected" table fits my shop scenario.
I can't think of any other tips to recommend. Hopefully someone with more experience/expertise can help out.
Hope this helps. Sonny
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On 5/27/2020 11:42 AM, Sonny wrote:

Thank you. Appreciate the tips.
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On 5/26/2020 9:51 PM, Hawk wrote:

FWIW coasters for drinks and especially in humid climates need to be porous. Granite would make a terrible coaster. Almost pointless to have a granite coaster IMHO.
But granite makes a great end table top.
Below is actually marble but....
I made the top perimeter frame and marble slab separate. You lift off the perimeter frame, the rock slab, and then you only have half the weight to lift if you ever move the unit.
AND the rock slab does not have to be a particular size.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/24609451144/in/dateposted/
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On Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 5:36:42 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:

That's an excellent solution, Leon.
Sonny
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On Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 8:39:02 PM UTC-4, Sonny wrote:

...unless you want a full size, flat top.
At some point the size/shape of the slab becomes a limiting factor in how much usable surface you end up with.
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On 5/27/2020 6:36 PM, Leon wrote:

Very nice.
I assume the slab and perimeter sit on the cross members or is there another flat surface resting upon them?
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On 5/28/2020 5:40 PM, Hawk wrote:

Thank you.

There are a couple of cross supports under the marble. Also the "top frame" sides capture the perimeter of the cabinet so that it does not slide. The marble simply sits on top of the supports, it is heavy enough that it is not going to move.
Here is a blow up. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/49948329853/in/dateposted/
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On Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 10:53:47 PM UTC-4, Hawk wrote:

How about making a flat surface, sort of a faux top, to sit both the slab and the wooden frame on?
The slab would be fully supported and the frame could be sized to be flush with the slab.
Either the weight of the slab would hold the frame from sliding or dowels (or something similar) on the underside could hold it in place.
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On Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 8:00:54 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Leon,
Is that what you did?
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On 5/28/2020 7:27 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

LOL Yes
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On Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7:00:54 AM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:

h
That's essentially what I did in trying to make my frame flush with the mar ble top. The problem is getting the slab's edges perfectly flush or butted up perfectly against the frame's cutout edges. Unless one has specific t ools for mating those edges, perfectly, there will be small gaps in the edg es' fit. Without the specific tools, one would have to be very patient an d careful with hand-cutting/sanding for a perfect fit. I perceive Hawk is in the same shape as I, 1) first attempt at this sort of thing (similar to first attempt at crown molding) and 2) in not having the specific tools for getting a better fit than I got.
When it comes to flush fitting frame-to-slab, the above is the issue/proble m, not how or if the top's assembly is attached to the carcass.
I would suppose, if a DIYer has one of those hand-held CNC router thing-a-m a-jigs, that helps guide your cutting, then a more perfect cutting can be a chieved, as opposed to using the typical cutting tools/techniques a DIYer h as on hand. The flush-fit problem is more difficult to resolve with curved cutting/fitting, as opposed to cutting straight lines, for inserts as Hawk wants, as I wanted.
Leon's project solved a particular aspect of the issue, but his frame is no t flush fitting with the slab's surface. It's an example of how to avoid the problem for us DIYers with limited tools.
Sonny
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typed in rec.woodworking the following:

    Easy for me to say but some sort of tracer/pantograph setup, which will follow the edge of the slab and rout pocket in the wooden table. (Same could be done to hollow out the table to fit a slab's irregular bottom surface.)
    Other option is an inset "frame" fitted to the slab. I'm thinking along the lines of a six or eight sided frame, where each piece is fitted to the slab. Of course, you'll have to mark everything so you're not making frame parts which 'overlap'. that is part A and part B "fit" the slab, but are overlapping by a quarter inch (and leaving a gap between B and C). That is, as you point out, a lot of fussy work, fitting wood to stone. "Let it be a learning experience for you."
--
pyotr filipivich
Next month's Panel: Graft - Boon or blessing?
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On Thu, 28 May 2020 08:22:38 -0700, pyotr filipivich

How about "floating" the slab in a puddle of glue, acrylic, or some other filler. Drill holes in the bottom (size appropriate to the viscosity of the filler) so the entire back of the stone is supported and the excess goes away through the holes. It the stone is to be removable, wrap the bottom in Saran wrap, or whatever, before "floating" it. If needed, a strait edge and mallet can be used to level the slab in the table top. The holes may have to be smaller so the filler has to be "pounded" out through them.

This option allows the individual frame pieces to be replaced when the inevitable "cut that three times and it's still too short" moment comes. ;-)
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On 5/28/2020 10:56 AM, Sonny wrote:

Though, I've done crown molding before, this is my first attempt at this sort of furniture piece, other than making a small sofa table with a round slab of Walnut. But cutting and fitting straight pieces on crown, frames, miters, etc is much easier than curves, which will be the main issue.
Depending on specific tools required, I may have most of what's needed.

I think the secret may lie with smoothing the granite edges for a better fit than trying to fit the wood perimeter around the granite. I used my grinder and cement disc to smooth much away yesterday.
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On 5/28/2020 7:00 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Umm that is pretty much what I did and said.
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On 5/28/2020 11:25 AM, Leon wrote:

I think that will be the direction I go, but I still need to figure out how to make a curved perimeter around the granite.
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On Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 5:57:37 PM UTC-5, Hawk wrote:

That's exactly what I've been saying all along. That's the problem, gettin g a perfect fit along the curved edges in/for a flush fit surface. It does n't matter what support you have under the slab or the attachment method to the carcass.
Do you have the precision tools for either cutting the slab or cutting the wood frame so that their edges mate perfectly? If not, then you'll likely have small gaps, as I have, along the curved boundary. Otherwise, you'll n eed to take great care to hand rout, hand cut/carve and/or sand those edges for a perfect fit.... unless a perfect fit or a near perfect fit is not ne cessary. The sample pics/links you referenced seem to indicate perfect fit results.
Sonny
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On 5/29/2020 1:11 AM, Sonny wrote:

You're correct, I'd need to sand one or the other. I am able to smooth the edge of the granite and obviously the wood to get the best results.
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On Friday, May 29, 2020 at 6:51:16 AM UTC-5, Hawk wrote:

Other issues you'll have to tackle: 1) My marble slab is 1/2" thick. Your slab is 1", twice as much surface to work on, twice as much surface to get right. 2) You'll be installing your slab repeatedly, checking the fit as you go. Placing the slab in exact position each time, then having to remove it wil l be aggravating, frustrating. Anticipate this install-remove and how you' ll accommodate the ease of insertion and removal. Your slab will be awkwa rdly heavy for ease of maneuvering the stone. Finger holes, finger-like ho les (in some capacity) underneath the base/support will help with this mane uvering during repeated fittings.
Another option for other (small, smallish) tables is to have a trim around those edges. You said you have other slabs.... for other tables, I assume. A trim edge is not so bad, no one will know if this is part of the plan. A trim won't look unsightly or out of place. As mentioned, a caning splin e would work well for inserting a trim feature. The issue with a cane spl ine is that you'll need about 3-4 layers of spline for the 1" thickness of your slabs. Cane spline is about 5/16"-3/8" thick for a 1/4" wide spline. That is not a problem, as spline is inexpensive and very easy to install.. .. and can be stained and finished. It is soft enough to conform itself in to an uneven, irregular space. It's easily cut with a razor knife. Should this spline option be a consideration, I get my caning supplies from Frank s Cane and Rush Supplies. Here's a link to his spline size and prices. Y ou can, at least, get an idea of spline dimensions and price. Example: 50 ' roll of 1/4" wide spline is $11.25. Scroll down to Reed Spline. There m ay be a caning supplier near you, as well. https://www.franksupply.com/caning/press-in-caning.html#spline
Hope this helps. Sonny
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