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Question About My End Table Made of 2x4's and Pocket Joints Project

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Forum topic by JohnnyBoy1981 posted 05-06-2017 08:27 PM 1318 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 859 days


05-06-2017 08:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood expansion contraction

Hi all,

I had scoured the internet awhile back trying to find relatively simplistic projects that I could cut my teeth on. I wanted to make sure the project was relatively cheap and functional. I found a website that had a ‘30 Day 2×4 Project Challenge’ and one of the designs was and end table you’ll see pictures of here. Back then, I had no inkling that wood expansion and contraction was an issue with finished wood projects, but experienced it with a little red stool I built last year. This year, the boards had warped and required I do some surgery to get it back together.

Now that I have this end table halfway done, I’m concerned that it’s design and use of Kreg pocket hole joinery might leave it vulnerable to the same movement. It will be an indoor piece of furniture so any warping will be really noticeable.
What do you think of this design? The outer boards of the tabletop are also glued together, but aside from that, I only used pocket hole joints on the underside.

(As a slightly off topic question, should I try to plane this tabletop or just sand it? The way the boards are situated, planing seems like it would be difficult).

Thanks.


8 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

958 posts in 1864 days


#1 posted 05-06-2017 09:13 PM

Wow. That looks like quite a lesson in pocket-hole joinery!

Will wood movement be an issue? Probably. That tabletop does “break the rules” for dealing with wood movement.

If it’s for personal use, you might as well finish it and observe how it behaves and learn from it.

Sanding will work better than planing, IMHO, with different grain direction and knots.

Good luck!

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 859 days


#2 posted 05-06-2017 09:40 PM



Wow. That looks like quite a lesson in pocket-hole joinery!

Will wood movement be an issue? Probably. That tabletop does “break the rules” for dealing with wood movement.

If it s for personal use, you might as well finish it and observe how it behaves and learn from it.

Sanding will work better than planing, IMHO, with different grain direction and knots.

Good luck!

- jerryminer

Yeah, that Kreg jig got a workout! I was leaning towards sanding it, but got interested in hand planes and wanted to try it out. But I think you’re correct: sanding would be the better choice.

Thanks!

View jonnybrophy's profile

jonnybrophy

160 posts in 1034 days


#3 posted 05-07-2017 01:16 AM

The pocket holes are an art in itself!

Its satisfying to look at….

-- "If she dont find ya handsome, she better find ya handy"

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

1328 posts in 862 days


#4 posted 05-07-2017 01:27 AM

I don’t like to use a handplane where there is a possibility of hitting screws, nails or other metal. In the case of pocket hole screws, sure as the dickens, I would hit one and ruin my blade. : (

You could possibly scrape it with a card scraper if you follow the grain.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 859 days


#5 posted 05-07-2017 01:59 AM



The pocket holes are an art in itself!

Its satisfying to look at….

- jonnybrophy

Lol thanks! I guess I never thought of them that way, but they do look kinda cool. Maybe I’ll that the top of the table

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JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 859 days


#6 posted 05-07-2017 02:02 AM



I don t like to use a handplane where there is a possibility of hitting screws, nails or other metal. In the case of pocket hole screws, sure as the dickens, I would hit one and ruin my blade. : (

You could possibly scrape it with a card scraper if you follow the grain.

- BlasterStumps

A cardscraper is an interesting idea, but I don’t have one or know how to use one. I’d probably gouge the snot out of it unless I practiced on some scrap first. Can cardscrapers be resharpened like a chisel?

View Carol's profile

Carol

62 posts in 935 days


#7 posted 05-07-2017 02:30 AM

i use pocket holes A LOT :-)

since this is an indoor table, i don’t think you’ll have much issue at all with expansion/contraction. outdoors is a whole different story.

having said that, you might experience some slight movement if you’ve made the piece in a cold garage or workshop, then moved it into a nice, warm house. once it becomes acclimated to its new indoor home, you should see little to no movement, unless you experience drastic temperature or humidity changes.

a cardscraper doesn’t get sharpened like a chisel. you form a tiny burr on a side by filing an edge, then using another tool, similar to the shank of a screwdriver, at an angle to the edge (youtube it). it’s pretty easy to get a nice burr going for scraping. think i’ve sharpened mine 3 or 4 times already.

in this case, tho, with the difference grains, i’d stick with just sanding. maybe next time, sand the tops before gluing and screwing if you have opposing grains.

i found that even though i’ve clamped my wood down tight on a nice, solid surface, i still get left with misaligned edges after driving those kreg screws. i get much better results with biscuits and glue instead of screws. i don’t think i would edge join with my kreg jig anymore. i’m left with just too much sanding and scraping. for the right angle of face frames, tho, it just can’t be beat :-)

LOVE the table, looks great!

-- Carol

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JohnnyBoy1981

235 posts in 859 days


#8 posted 05-07-2017 02:45 AM



i use pocket holes A LOT :-)

since this is an indoor table, i don t think you ll have much issue at all with expansion/contraction. outdoors is a whole different story.

having said that, you might experience some slight movement if you ve made the piece in a cold garage or workshop, then moved it into a nice, warm house. once it becomes acclimated to its new indoor home, you should see little to no movement, unless you experience drastic temperature or humidity changes.

a cardscraper doesn t get sharpened like a chisel. you form a tiny burr on a side by filing an edge, then using another tool, similar to the shank of a screwdriver, at an angle to the edge (youtube it). it s pretty easy to get a nice burr going for scraping. think i ve sharpened mine 3 or 4 times already.

in this case, tho, with the difference grains, i d stick with just sanding. maybe next time, sand the tops before gluing and screwing if you have opposing grains.

i found that even though i ve clamped my wood down tight on a nice, solid surface, i still get left with misaligned edges after driving those kreg screws. i get much better results with biscuits and glue instead of screws. i don t think i would edge join with my kreg jig anymore. i m left with just too much sanding and scraping. for the right angle of face frames, tho, it just can t be beat :-)

LOVE the table, looks great!

- Carol

Thanks for the great info and compliment!

I have a DeWalt biscuit joiner, but must confess I haven’t really used it. I actually considered using it for this table top, but couldn’t really find a consensus online as to how strong the biscuits are. Some say they’re very strong, others only use them for aligning panels; so I went the pocket hole route since I’ve used them before and have a better sense of their strength.

But I want to use my biscuit joiner someday! I just need a better idea of the right application. I think a lot of the strength comes from the wood glue, if I recall. I know they aren’t a mortise and tennon, but I’d like to get an idea of a biscuit joint’s strength and longevity before I use them. Any thoughts or experiences here?

I, too, have had issues with clamped wood moving as I drill in the pocket hole for the screw. I’ve double clamped where I could, but I’ve had to redo a couple pieces nonetheless. Overall, I’ve had good luck with pocket holes, and have even repaired some of my cheap furniture with them!

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