How to Use Table Top Hardware
This video covers table top hardware and most importantly, the right way to use table top hardware to attach a table top so you don't end up with split top! You’ll learn the right technique, and understand the why, so you can apply the principles to whatever project you’re doing to avoid tears when the seasons change!
This post contains affiliate links, for more information see my disclosures page.
Check out the tools I use.
An incorrectly installed table top WILL end in disaster if you live somewhere with humidity fluctuations throughout the year. But there’s good news.
It’s EASY to install a table top the right the way, all you need to understand is how wood moves (and not even that).
Wood movement is a huge topic, but I’d put ads at 98% that your table top boards are going to move across their width. And if they don’t move that way, it’s going to be across their thickness because they’re quarter sawn. If that’s the case, this technique won’t interfere, so follow it and you’ll be okay.
Basically, we’re just going to attach the table top to the base with hardware that allows the top to expand and contract slightly. In a way it’ll “float” above the base. If we lock the table top to the base, that’s when issues can arise.
Most tables are made so the the boards run the length of the table top. Occasionally boards will run across the width, but that’s less common.
In a table with the table top boards running the length (like my modern table), the expansion is going to happen across the width (short side) of the table. So any hardware installed on the short side needs to be able to move side to side. Any hardware installed on the long side needs to be free to move in and out. Simple, right? Yes!
If the boards run across the width (short side) of the table (like in my farmhouse table), it’s just the opposite. The table top will expand across the length of the table. So any hardware on the long side needs to move side to side. And any hardware installed on the short side needs to be able to move in and out.