Heavy Ash Tabletop

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Forum topic by Roma posted 12-21-2017 12:56 PM 727 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Roma's profile


2 posts in 1257 days

12-21-2017 12:56 PM

Hey guys,

I am new to woodworking and new to the site. I am wondering your thoughts on connecting a VERY heavy Ash table top to the base. is it necessary to do so if it weighs a lot? or could I have some dowels on the legs and aprons with oversize holes in the top to let the top “float”?

any thoughts will help.


6 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7873 posts in 3686 days

#1 posted 12-21-2017 01:40 PM

I used lag screws attaching my ash benchtop.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 12-21-2017 01:48 PM

As long as the top is close to the same size as the base and there’s no danger if it tipping go ahead. Instead of the dowels I would just put a cleat under the top at the two ends and that sits inside the apron.

View Walker's profile


385 posts in 1244 days

#3 posted 12-24-2017 05:40 AM

Hey Roma, are you referring to a workbench top or a dining table top? You need to allow for seasonal wood movement. Using table top fasteners known as “buttons” or Z fasteners like these are standard practice.

Here’s a good article on the various ways to fasten a table top.

-- ~Walker

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1692 days

#4 posted 12-24-2017 11:49 PM


Here are the only two potential issues of which I can think. Neither would not necessarily preclude floating the heavy ash top as you propose with dowels.

Moving a table with a floating top could require removing the top, then moving the top and base, and re-assembling. Of course an effort could be made to move the table without removing the top by lifting from the base. However, it would be natural for me to grab the top should my grip slip. If this were to happen, the base and top could come apart resulting in damage to the base, top, and/or something else.

A second potential problem would be the top shifting relative to the base. Such shifting could result from someone bumping the table. The dowels would prevent the top from sliding off the base, but the shift could be enough to spill a drink or require readjusting the top back to the just-right position.

If no dowels or other means are used to constrain the top from sliding around on the base, a significant shift of the top across the base could result in items on the top toppling over, for example a lamp. Such a significant shift could result should someone trip and try to use the table top to catch their fall.

If the table is a dining table, I suspect there is too much nudging and pushing against the top during normal use for it to remain in place. In this case, securing the top to the base to eliminate such shifting is probably a good idea.

View Roma's profile


2 posts in 1257 days

#5 posted 12-26-2017 04:21 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks for the responses. I agree JBrow, It is will be sitting in a spot that will have a lot of attention from kids and adults and the potential of it toppling is fairly high, even though it is heavy as all get out.

I think these are what I am going to go with. Figured I would just make them out of the left over scraps I have from the build.

Thanks for the help fellas. I will post some pictures when I am done.

View Walker's profile


385 posts in 1244 days

#6 posted 12-27-2017 04:45 AM

If you make your own buttons from scrap, pay attention to the direction of the grain. Here’s another quick article I found on the subject

-- ~Walker

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