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Table Build Advice

I'm building a table for a friend who just got a new egg. I know my way around the workshop but have never built a cabinet out of solid wood before. Usually my cabinets are built with plywood boxes and solid ace frames.

I'm building the table out of white oak. The left side will be open for the egg, but the right side will be enclosed to have a drawer and cabinet doors. The front of the cabinet will be a large face frame. That part is easy. The sides need to be made out of solid wood. Should I do the sides with splines and screw to the frame from the inside, or should I glue up a panel and slide it into a frame? Is prefer the latter, but I'm affraid the wood will split over time with the movement of the wood.
Mark Annville, PA


  • GK59GK59 Posts: 501

    For the side panels a glue-up is fine. Just don't glue the panel in place. Leave a small amount of room in the grooves for movement. If not sure how much it will expand make the grooves a bit deeper and use some harder foam for panel to move against. Or there are some things either Rockler or Woodcraft has called space balls.

    I just started my own table yesterday. The top and shelf will be a glue-up of 1 1/4" thermally modifide pine. Will see how well it holds up to the weather extremes here in mid Michigan.

    I wanted to use quarter sawn white oak but may have cost as much as another egg.

    Smitty's Kid's BBQ

    Bay City,MI

  • BigGreenBBQBigGreenBBQ Posts: 109
    I built something similar but with 4x4 & 2x4 frames - I used cedar boards and screwed them in place... used a vertical door lift for the front
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,710
    In rail and stile construction - make sure your frame is solid - you can glue it, use mortise and tenon, whatever.  The important thing is to not glue the panel in the frame - it needs to float and you need extra room for expansion in the cross grain direction. The long grain direction doesn't need much (if any) expansion room since the stiles will expand the same - unless you use a different wood species, but still really not a problem.  As far as the panel goes, no problem in edge gluing boards together.  Use titebond III or something (you know all this). 

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  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    @GK59 thanks for the input. I thought it would be, but started second guessing myself. I've seen spaceballs in the Rockler catalog. I've always just let the panels float. I like to use either 3/8 or 1/2 inch panels. The heavier weight keeps them from rattling. As for the white oak, my local sawmill had another 50 bf left in stock and he sold it to me for $75! Even if I need more from a different mill, it was a really food deal.

    @BigGreenBBQ that's a nice looking setup. Is that granite on top? My table has a concrete top, and so will the one I'm building.

    So far we built the base out of PT plywood with a subframe on the bottom made of PT 2X4s on the bottom for support. I've left room around the edge to receive the dados that I'm gong to put in the face frames and side and rear panels. The upright supports will be laminated pieces of white oak for the exposed end and a PT 2x4 for the enclosed section. I'm using lots of glue and pocket screws to hold everything together and keep it from racking.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • BigGreenBBQBigGreenBBQ Posts: 109
    It is granite - I picked it up on craigslist for $80. its 42"X36". Great deal!
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    @nolaegghead thanks. You're right, I do know this stuff, but I always overthink everything.
    Mark Annville, PA
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