Reply by JBrow

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Posted on 2x10 Tabletop with no breadboard? Cupping?

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1368 posts in 1463 days

#1 posted 08-02-2016 09:31 PM


1 – Are 4 legs enough with a tabletop length of 9 1/2” feet?
I would personally make an effort to provide support at the center (lengthwise) of the top. This could be diagonal bracing from a center stretcher where the center stretcher is in turn supported by the legs. A single centered support would probably be sufficient, although I would think about supporting the top in a couple of places between the legs.

2 – Should I use a 1x or 2x for the apron, and how much setback can I use on the apron?
I tend toward ¾” thick lumber, but see no reason that would prevent a 1-1/2” thick apron from working. The table is large and can get pretty heavy. A ¾” thick apron would reduce its weight. I would think an apron set-back of ¾” to 2” would generally be about right. For me this is mostly an aesthetic design decision, although too deep a set-back could reduce support of the top along its edges.

3 –If I understand battens they would be in addition to that to help hold the boards flat? I assume that using something like a 2×2 or 1×2 would be ok and I would just use elongated holes in the batten to allow for expansion width wise while they help to keep the boards last length wise. And I am thinking that these could be inside of the apron so they are hidden from view?

Since you plan to glue-up the top, the battens are probably not necessary (with quality and dry lumber), although there is a range of opinions regarding the functionality of breadboard and batten ends. If the battens are used as added insurance intended to help the top behave, the closer to the ends the better the support. So, in my view, yes the battens could be concealed by the apron. If the ends of the top begin to curl, having installed thicker batten would be better but ¾” thick battens are, I think, strong enough. If end curling is severe, the screws will probably pull out of the top.

Elongating the holes rather than employing a continuous slot also would work so long as the holes are sufficiently sized to handle movement in the top and the screws securing the top are centered in the elongated holes.

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