Table Top Joinery Options; Collaboration, Anyone?
Issue: Issue 330
Posted Date: 7/16/2013
How Do You Attach Your Coffee Table Top?
woodworker who began this thread had a straightforward question
asking for advice (or opinions -- sometimes they're one and the
same). - Editor
you prefer buttons, cleats, screws through the underside of the
rails, or what?" - Brad B.
on the design, I've fixed slab tops with 2-3 screws into the
centerline of the table top." - Mark M.
usually make a large pocket hole with a carving gouge and put the
screw through an oversized hole. Shop I used to work for used figure
8's or those steel clips; they both work fine, too." -John
builder gave the group more information about his project, so they
could further refine their advice. - Editor
quartersawn white oak. I grooved the rails and made wood L-shaped
blocks to fit the grooves and screw into the top." Brad B.
of course, they did.- Editor
memory serves, 'on average' [quartersawn] moves half as much as
flatsawn, which means 'on average' 1/16" per foot of width over
an average year. I like buttons, and use quite a few as the common
practice is to lift a table by the top and not by the apron rails."
- Don S.
used the figure '8' and 'Z' clips, but now only use the wooden 'L'
buttons placed into mortises cut with my Festool Domino. I make sure
to orient the grain of the buttons so they are less likely to break.
While the metal clips are sure convenient, I like the look of the
buttons a lot. I countersink brass screws in the buttons, but cut the
threads in the hard wood with steel screws to avoid breaking the
brass screws. Coincidentally, I'm also building a quartersawn white
oak coffee table right now and am using the wooden buttons." -
your favorite method of attaching a tabletop?- Editor
Any of You Collaborate? from WoodCentral
woodworker who asked this question was pondering more about the
philosophy, and the design process, than about technical aspects like
joinery. Would/could/should, he wondered, other woodworkers ever
collaborate with someone else on a project? - Editor
was just wondering how many of you get together with other creative
people to kick around ideas to make things happen, or refine ideas
that you already have, or to take someone else's idea, then build on
it to make something better? I'm a pretty creative person, and will
usually just start something even not knowing parts of it in the
beginning, relying on the rest to come once I'm into it, but I do
really like having another creative person to brainstorm with
whenever they are around and willing. Is this something you do, or
have ever tried? Is there someone you would entertain sharing your
ideas with?" - Keith N.
people thought collaborating was a good idea -- although there's
always the exception. - Editor
the old saw goes, 'two heads are better than one.' Other points of
view help you see a different way of looking at things -- especially
if you are 'stuck.' Talking about (and explaining) a project always
helps clarify it in my mind." - J.L.
problem-solving practice. It is what problem solving teams do."
- Bill T.
enjoy the collaborative process. I have done several projects with
other artists. I sometimes am inspired by the work of another artist
and will contact them about doing a collaboration. We discuss ideas
for incorporating a piece of their art into something I create.
Recently I worked with a painter named James Wu. I asked him to paint
two oil paintings on masonite. The only information I gave him was
size of panels and that the panels would each be one half of a
composition. I waited until James sent me the paintings before I
designed my piece for them. I used his paintings as the inspiration
for the unified composition. James happens to be a fellow artist in
the same gallery. So when the piece sells, we both get paid our
share. But I have also purchased work from others for the purpose of
a collaborative piece. If the artist is not affiliated with the
galleries that carry my work, then it is simpler just to buy their
contribution." - Thomas S.
I can't even agree with myself..." - John M.
moderator Ellis Walentine shared his philosophy on collaboration --
and how it broadens the options available. - Editor
short answer is yes. Over the years, I have collaborated quite often
with other woodworkers, architects, my wife (she's a painter, among
other things) and other artisans of various skill sets. Working with
people with complementary skills is sometimes the only way to do a
project, especially on large and complex projects like houses.
Collaboration is a great way to expand your design capabilities, both
in the conception and the creation of the piece. The whole is often
greater than the sum of the parts. I firmly believe that we are
craftsmen first, and that woodworking is only one arrow in our
quiver. Working with others is one way to add the missing dimensions
of our designs." - Ellis W.
course, we wonder whether our eZine readers have ever collaborated on
a project: did you incorporate someone's expertise in 18th century
textiles into a spinning wheel setup? Work with the local archery
master to carve a super-special bow and arrow? Or something else ...
? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.