The aprons are 1" wide and 3.5" tall. The table is made from 3 1x8 boards. I'd like to figure out a way to attach the top that accounts for wood movement. Would those figure eight washers or cleats work since the aprons aren't square?

Crossed apron table joinery

  • Well done on not just going ahead and fixing the top to the leg assembly and not worrying about movement at all. You OK with making fitting from scratch or by modifying an existing one (i.e. doing some metalworking) or do you need an off-the-shelf solution?
    – Graphus
    Jun 2, 2018 at 19:44
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    I would be ok making something myself, within the confines of my tools of course. I bought some Izzy Skirt washers though, and they seem like a good solution. Jun 3, 2018 at 0:10
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    Never heard of those before, they're basically exactly the kind of thing I was going to suggest you make. Just orient the slot in the direction of movement (across the grain of the top) and they'll work perfectly. You should only need four (one inboard of each leg) but you can use eight if you want to err on the side of caution. Not essential but I'd suggest you don't fully torque down all the screws, driven fully home initially then slackened off about 1/8 of a turn should be about perfect.
    – Graphus
    Jun 3, 2018 at 12:10
  • @TobyKathan Nice recommendation. Thanks for the tip.
    – gnicko
    Mar 21, 2019 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


At risk of stating the obvious... have you considered dowels and glue? Since wood moves most across the grain, and the grain of the cross braces and the top is more aligned than not, I wouldn't expect the differences in expansion/contraction to be too drastic between the two. Wood movement in dowels is mostly radially inward or outward and would affect the corresponding holes in the cross braces and top similarly. If you fit the dowels with just enough wiggle room, the hardened glue itself should provide a buffer for small differences in movement.

However, as I am not a fan of dowels (too much Ikea furniture in my house), I would love to be corrected here.

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