Attaching a Table Top to a Metal Frame

Fasten in a way that allows movement at the connection. May 21, 2009

I have a salvaged metal frame from a printing press, and want to put a nice table top on it. My concern is to figure out how to attach the table top without risking it splitting. The metal frame has four holes that are evenly spaced across the top of the frame, which I assume were once used to attach the original top. Should I use those holes and screw into the top I make from underneath, or should I try another method? I am currently thinking that I will glue the four pieces of wood together to make the top, but I could potentially just dry fit them to allow a little space for movement.

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor H:
Elongate the holes to allow for wood movement. It will be fine.

From contributor W:
To eliminate any staining of the screws seeping up through the top I would screw to battens to the press frame and then screw the battens to the top. Then as Harry said, elongate the holes in the battens to allow movement. This also supports the top across the glue lines.