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Forum topic by unclearthur posted 04-06-2018 04:19 PM 532 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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unclearthur

256 posts in 2206 days


04-06-2018 04:19 PM

Hi. I’m making a stand for 2 computer monitors, out of cherry:

The top is about 11” deep and 30” wide. Grain will run the long way on the top, as I don’t want the front edge of the top (facing the user) to be end grain.

The grain of the legs and feet will be running the length of the legs (ie end-grain facing the user).

Is there a potential wood movement problem between the top and the legs, or is the piece too small to worry about that? If it is a problem, how best to join the legs to the top?

Would orientating the legs and feet vertically be a better solution?

Thanks for any suggestions.


10 replies so far

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TheFridge

10858 posts in 1905 days


#1 posted 04-06-2018 04:28 PM

I’d do it as planned and use figure 8s. To me you don’t want end grain up on the feet so no matter what you’ll have to account for expansion somewhere where.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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JayT

6226 posts in 2630 days


#2 posted 04-06-2018 04:29 PM

I would orient the legs vertically, both for movement and appearance.

IMO, there is potential for movement problems on a piece that size, depending on your local climate swings. The biggest I will go without allowing for movement is only about 4-6in. If you do want to keep the legs oriented horizontally, then an easy solution is to use figure 8 fasteners to connect the legs and top. Those are designed for tables and will allow the piece to move more than enough. A non-fastener option would be using a sliding dovetail.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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Firewood

845 posts in 2053 days


#3 posted 04-06-2018 04:34 PM

I agree with the thefridge. Slotted screw holes in the base would also work, but figure 8’s would be easier.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

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LesB

2126 posts in 3862 days


#4 posted 04-06-2018 05:14 PM

Assuming you will be putting a top coat finish of some sort on the wood that will essentially seal it I would not be concerned about wood movement on a project that size.

-- Les B, Oregon

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WyattCo

93 posts in 523 days


#5 posted 04-06-2018 05:21 PM



Assuming you will be putting a top coat finish of some sort on the wood that will essentially seal it I would not be concerned about wood movement on a project that size.

- LesB

Agreed. People overthink the wood movement situation all to often and take it to places it doesn’t need to be and all to often. It’s an inside/indoor piece. It’s not going on a deck patio.

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JayT

6226 posts in 2630 days


#6 posted 04-06-2018 06:04 PM

I honestly do not understand those that say to ignore wood movement. Underestimating that factor has probably destroyed more nice looking projects than any single other factor. I’ve seen pieces as small as 8 inch wide boxes tear themselves apart due to seasonal fluctuations. Heck, I had to adjust a 3in wide hand plane that was made in Las Vegas and sent to me. A few months after receiving, the wedge would no longer seat properly because of the difference in humidity.

If you live in a coastal area where humidity is fairly constant, it’s less of a concern as long as the piece never leaves that environment. What happens when that person moves to an area in the middle of the country, though? Here in the Great Plains, we can see humidity numbers from the teens to high 80’s over the course of a year, even indoors in a climate controlled environment. That will affect any piece of solid wood.

Best practice is to simply allow for the movement. It doesn’t take much more time and effort and prevents possible disaster down the road.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View unclearthur's profile

unclearthur

256 posts in 2206 days


#7 posted 04-06-2018 06:26 PM

Thanks all …... I don’t have any “figure 8s” (though they are on my shopping list now; never heard of them before). Would a loose tenon say 1” wide connecting the middle of each leg to the top suffice, or is the top too thin (3/4”) to make an effective mortise in? (I don’t want to do a through tenon).


To me you don’t want end grain up on the feet so no matter what you’ll have to account for expansion somewhere where.

- TheFridge


I think I’ll keep the grain on the legs and feet horizontal, as I don’t have any boards that wide, so it would be extra glue-ups to make them vertical; as well I think the strength of the leg would be compromised a bit after cutting out the oval. But just out of curiosity, why wouldn’t you want the end grain up on the feet? Appearances or something else?

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JayT

6226 posts in 2630 days


#8 posted 04-06-2018 07:01 PM



Thanks all …... I don t have any “figure 8s” (though they are on my shopping list now; never heard of them before). Would a loose tenon say 1” wide connecting the middle of each leg to the top suffice, or is the top too thin (3/4”) to make an effective mortise in? (I don t want to do a through tenon).

I think I’d do a blind dado in the top instead and only glue a few inches in the middle. It would only need to be 1/4” or so deep, would help prevent any gaps from showing and would allow for the movement of the top.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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unclearthur

256 posts in 2206 days


#9 posted 04-06-2018 07:32 PM



I think I d do a blind dado in the top instead and only glue a few inches in the middle. It would only need to be 1/4” or so deep, would help prevent any gaps from showing and would allow for the movement of the top.

- JayT

That makes sense to me, thanks.

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JayT

6226 posts in 2630 days


#10 posted 04-06-2018 08:45 PM

Forgot to mention in the earlier post to make sure the dado is about 1/2in longer than the part of the leg that goes in it. The 1/4” front and back will be enough space to allow the necessary movement on a project that size.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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