End table set - build #13: Attaching the tops to the bases

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Blog entry by Ottacat posted 02-10-2014 01:08 PM 1734 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Finishing the tops Part 13 of End table set - build series Part 14: Wrapup - final thoughts »

The nice thing about using tops made out of baltic birth plywood with veneered tops is that they can just be glued directly to the bases as wood movement isn’t an issue. If the tops were solid wood the top would need to be attached using some mechanism that allowed for wood movement such as floating buttons or figure 8 thingy’s.

For me it was a matter of a few simple steps. The first was to take a block plan to the bases and even up all the sides. During glue-up it was inevitable that a couple of the sides were a hair higher than the legs. Once they were ready I applied a bead of glue.

Before putting the glue on the base, I turned the tops upside down on my bench and laid out where the bases would go. I then drew on pencil lines. I then put a bead of glue on the tops inside the pencil lines.

I spread the glue on both the top and base and then put them together upside down on my bench. This is an occasion where a split-top bench deign comes in very handy. I then added clamps to hold the base firmly against the top.

The bit of glue squeeze out really doesn’t matter. You’ll also notice that I applied a coat of GF light brown to underside of the tops to even out the sapele veneer and mahogany frames.

Here is a first shot of the completed set.

4 comments so far

View CL810's profile


4065 posts in 3876 days

#1 posted 02-10-2014 01:58 PM

Well Otta, this came together very well. I really like how the ebonized bases set up the burl. Striking!

Good build and blog – thanks!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3512 days

#2 posted 02-10-2014 04:23 PM

WAY nice. This was a great Blog. I looked forward to your build and a cup of coffee these last few days. The extra effort is much appreciated. I was surprised to see you glue the tops down.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Ottacat's profile


524 posts in 2739 days

#3 posted 02-10-2014 08:52 PM

jumbojack, Thanks for your compliments. I’ve seen David Marks glue down veneered panels when the substrate is plywood so I hope there won’t be an issue.

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3512 days

#4 posted 02-11-2014 03:08 PM

oh, I dont think you will have any problems. the ply should remain stable and since you did veneer both sides that baby is a rock. No I was more thinking of, in the event, you needed to refinish or repair it would have been nice to remove the tops.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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