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Charlie Woody

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I want to make a coffee table, see Sketchup rough drawing below, and as my router is being repaired (hopefully) which I was going to use to do mortise & tenons I am now wondering if I could biscuit join everything, top pieces, rails to legs etc. For the rails I was considering double biscuits.

Do you think this would be ok please?

Coffee Table.png
 

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LBCarpentry

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By all means biscuit join the top pieces as joining edges is essentially what biscuits are for.

As for using them to join the rails to the legs, I would say no.

Why don't you mortice the legs (by hand if needs be), and us a thinner stock for the apron and just slot them in directly. No need for a tennon then!
 

marcus

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The central boards of the top will be liable to expand and push the frame apart....
 

marcus

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Unless it's a floating panel in the middle? In which case it would be an unusual choice to attach the legs to it :?
 

Charlie Woody

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marcus":1h9si92y said:
The central boards of the top will be liable to expand and push the frame apart....
marcus":1h9si92y said:
Unless it's a floating panel in the middle? In which case it would be an unusual choice to attach the legs to it :?
So to reduce the risk of expansion you are suggesting a floating panel in the middle? I could biscuit joint the two centre pieces and put them in as a floating panel; is that what you mean?

Normally I would create the floating panel by routing a slot in the outside pieces and a tongue on the centre pieces. However as my router is out of action, and my hand skills are very poor, how could I machine this?
 

marcus

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No, there are problems with a floating panel on table tops, not least because either it won't be flush with the frame, or it will have to have rebated edges and dirt will collect in the gap between the two.

I would make breadboard ends that go right across - as it's presumable pretty narrow being only a coffee table you should get away with it, but there's still a risk you won't. You could biscuit the boards, though they would still need good edge joints to stay together long term. Again so long as it is not too wide you should get away with biscuiting the bread board ends, although it's not ideal (full length splines would be better).

I would try to come up with something other than biscuits for the legs. Mortising would definitely be best.
 

Charlie Woody

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marcus":3p7mjlmx said:
No, there are problems with a floating panel on table tops, not least because either it won't be flush with the frame, or it will have to have rebated edges and dirt will collect in the gap between the two.

I would make breadboard ends that go right across - as it's presumable pretty narrow being only a coffee table you should get away with it, but there's still a risk you won't. You could biscuit the boards, though they would still need good edge joints to stay together long term. Again so long as it is not too wide you should get away with biscuiting the bread board ends, although it's not ideal (full length splines would be better).

I would try to come up with something other than biscuits for the legs. Mortising would definitely be best.
The table is to be 760 mm L, 380 mm W, 380 mm H and all 38 mm thick.

My original plan was to mortice the legs using the router. The centre boards are 140 mm W, rest 50 mm W.

The design is to try and match an existing table which has the top done (I did not make it, so don;t know how top is jointed) in this style.

Guess I could try and do the breadboard ends and tongues on the table saw .... just not sure this would be a safe working method?
 

marcus

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At that width I should think breadboard ends would be OK, certainly a safer bet than plan A. It's likely that the centre boards of the original are veneered rather than solid, so not subject to movement. If not it was just very badly made and will fail one day...
 

marcros

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could you not do the breadboard ends using the biscuit jointer as a slot cutter? I have seen them used to let laminate flooring under skirting boards.
 

Charlie Woody

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marcus":gnjngy7x said:
At that width I should think breadboard ends would be OK, certainly a safer bet than plan A. It's likely that the centre boards of the original are veneered rather than solid, so not subject to movement. If not it was just very badly made and will fail one day...
When I had a quick look at it I appeared to be all solid timber .... no difference in thickness of side and centre pieces.

marcros":gnjngy7x said:
could you not do the breadboard ends using the biscuit jointer as a slot cutter? I have seen them used to let laminate flooring under skirting boards.
Yes, but I think it might be difficult to get a nice even cut.

Might just have to hold off until my router is fixed.

Thanks for your help.
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi, Charlie

If you where to put stretchers in that woud give you enough strenght and you could make a rack for news papers.
I have two bedside tables made with the rails joined with biscuits and racks, I have no problems with them.

If you use quater-sawn oak for the top you won't need breadboard ends.

Pete
 

Gaz

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How about dowel the whole thing and drill pocket holes underneath for fixings, you will only need a drill for this!
 

MickCheese

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Charlie

Firstly I am no expert.

You seem to be complicating things, I would just edge glue the top using biscuits to locate the pieces but they don't add much strength.

Then I would make a simple frame with stretchers joining the legs then fix the top to the leg frame with buttons so the top can move should it need to.

You may want to include a shelf or rack as already mentioned for extra stiffness about 100mm off the floor.

As for the frame I would make that using mortise and tenon joints or dowels.

Mick
 

Charlie Woody

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I am finding it difficult to source kiln dried quarter sawn oak, but have been offered some which has been air dried for about 10 years. So would this be dry enough and given it's age would it be so hard it would be very difficult to machine etc?

The room it's going into is centrally heated but the house is cob & stone built so I anticipate the moisture levels in the room will be higher than a modern built house.
 

Charlie Woody

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Charlie Woody":2wz9d2qo said:
I am finding it difficult to source kiln dried quarter sawn oak, but have been offered some which has been air dried for about 10 years. So would this be dry enough and given it's age would it be so hard it would be very difficult to machine etc?

The room it's going into is centrally heated but the house is cob & stone built so I anticipate the moisture levels in the room will be higher than a modern built house.

Any answers please?
 

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