Attaching a table top with odd rails


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I'm helping a friend re-do a table top on a table his dad made in high school. It's more sentimental than anything. It had a glass top and was changed to a piece of MDF at some point. The plan is to put a solid top on it. We took the top off and it was held on with some glue and 4 threaded rods in the top of each leg (probably the same threaded rod the glass was held in place with).

How would you go about attaching a solid timber top with the rails being lower than the top of the legs and to account for wood movement?

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A solid top could be rigidly attached to one long side, and "float" along the other. The floating side might be made with "keyhole" fasteners. so it drops down and slides into place in a slot. The slot allows for wood movement. The fixed side could then use L-brackets, figure eights, or even a piece of steel plate bolted on to of the leg and overhung on the inside to allow screws up into the top. A shallow recess under the top would hide the plate. Steel plate one one side and keyholes sized for carriage-head or "elevator" bolts should be sturdy enough to lift it by the top without worry.  Of course, tooling to cut a large keyhole slot for bolts might be difficult to find, but the same effect can be done with short sections of sliding dovetail.

 

Does the threaded rod extend all the way through the legs?

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2 hours ago, ..Kev said:

Some figure 8s would work on the inside corner of each leg..

My only concern with that would be picking up the table.  That table looks heavy and I can see where it's natural to pick it up by the top.

I have heavier tables than that and pick them up by the top with 4 figure 8's. I think my dining table only has 3 and i move that around by the top all the time.

I's say 4 figure 8s at the inside corners.

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+1 for figure 8s. If they are going to be moving it around a lot (up and down stairs to move, etc) they can hold the table by the upper or lower rails rather than the top, which would probably be more comfortable anyway. 

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Any possibility of returning to a glass top as originally conceived?  No need to attach as the glass is heavy enough to sit on rubber feet at the corners.  No one would pick up a table by the glass top (at least not twice).  And it might just be a better look.  

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I forgot about figure 8's. I think they'll be the most unobtrusive option. We can drill a hole in the top for the figures to sit flush.  I'm not quite sure what the timber is. It looks like stained pine but it was made over 35 years ago, the he doesn't know.

This is what the threaded rod looks like. Going back to glass wouldn't work well because I'm not sure we could get a good look with it. 

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My father in law has a coffee table that has timber screw on pieces like the metal one pictured. Either way, he's decided to go for solid timber which is easy enough to make. The attaching part had me a little stumped.

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