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I want to get my table built. Like many projects, I throw too much planning into it and stew over the smallest things. Here is what I want and some of what is holding me back. First off, it will be a L BGE table and table top will measure 57"x27". I am planning a granite remnant for the top. I want drawers in the table end opposite the egg, and a drawer under the egg. Being a woodworker, I can do this any number of ways. But building a case provides the most stable, accurate, and long lasting support for drawers. When completed, it will be stored with a cover over it, in a covered alcove and out of the weather. But I am sure there may be a day that it is cooking away in the rain or snow. So I am concerned about using plywood to build the case. I have considered a solid substrate such as baltic birch plywood for this, but want the look of a nicer veneer, like red oak. I am also still toying with the faces and support wood on the other end of the table and considering mesquite vs red oak. I am reconsidering my joinery as well due to the weight it supports. A front and rear face frame glued and attached to the case will support the non egg end just fine, and the egg end of the face frame would be the main stringers for the front/back of the table both top and bottom. And on the egg end, I am considering 4"x4" posts to make the look I am after. Then the non egg end would be balanced with the same look using 4"x1" material. Basically, none of the plywood used would have edges exposed at all and would be covered by face frame and trim, having been stained and sealed appropriately for outdoor use, but not outdoor storage subject to all the elements (except when cooking).
I kind of feel like I am re-inventing the wheel here. There are plenty of designs and tables out there, along with plans. The whiz flash-burns table is of the size and dimension that I am after, so simple modification to allow for drawers is all that needed. But due to using a solid surface top, I don't need the stucture to support a wood top. Same on the lower shelf, since I am doing drawers on both sides, using that lower frame isn't necessary. But will my main box case and the secondary box support the cart/top/egg/and accessories as well as a post and rail construction? Lets face it, islands and counters in your kitchen have the same construction and support heavy weights as well. I just don't know if weather will cause issues using casework vs post and rail on all sides. And anyone using drawers has used plywood in their design already if it is wood. Even with weather, natural wood continues to expand/contract across the grain, making plywood seem a more appropriate choice for the casework to house the drawer sets. I don't think I would consider drawers or casework if this was going to be outside completely exposed to the elements, but in the alcove with a cover, do you think it would be ok to go this route?
One more thought...I was really thinking mortise and tenon on the egg end of the table. But the idea of M/T is to allow the tenon to move cross grain inside the mortise, with a pin to actually hold it. Seems counter productive to glue this joint and expect the load of the top and the egg to be suported well when the point is to allow for movement. Using bisquits with a butt joint in the end grain of the rail seems weak as well. Using pocket holes (kreg) for rail to post connection seems ok but no stronger than a bisquit or the M/T. The strongest connections will be those with the full face of the rail glued to the face of the post and dowel'ed or bolted...but is it necessary and am I just imagining that it is stronger overt the life of the cart?
Any suggestions, critiques, or ideas would be welcome!