Oak table with table leg wedge joint and brass details - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Oak table with table leg wedge joint and brass details

Hi,

My first woodworking project is a oak table where I'm going to have the table legs connected to the table with a wedge joint (joint being visible through the table top). I have a few questions below that i hope might be able to help.

1. How tight should the wedge be? should the table leg slide into its respective hole in the table with a gentle push, or should it be so tight that it require a hammer to help it in? If it is too loose there will be a gap between the table and the leg even with the wedge, but too tight will squeeze out most of the glue making the joint weaker... any good tip on how to handle a circular wedge joint?

2. I have angled the table legs by 8.5 degree which mean that the hole I've drilled in the table top is slightly oval rather than circular. Atleast this is my assumed reason for why I have a hairline gap between the table leg and the table top. Any view on how to compensate for this? I guess one way would be to angle the wedge so that it expands the table leg in the "oval" direction... any other thoughts?

3. The wedge will be oak or cherry. However I'm planning to replace the top part of the wedge with a 3 mm x 3mm x 30 mm strip of brass as design element. I'm planning to use Epoxy to hold the brass strip in place. Does this seem like the right approach?

4. I'm planning to finish the table with white oil - do I need to have a separate finish on the brass strips to stop oxidation?

I've attached a photo of a dry test of the table. In addition to a test joint that I've made (note wedge is just a quick and dirty version to test the look, I'll make the fitting better)
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian S View Post
Hi,

My first woodworking project is a oak table where I'm going to have the table legs connected to the table with a wedge joint (joint being visible through the table top). I have a few questions below that i hope might be able to help.

1. How tight should the wedge be? should the table leg slide into its respective hole in the table with a gentle push, or should it be so tight that it require a hammer to help it in? If it is too loose there will be a gap between the table and the leg even with the wedge, but too tight will squeeze out most of the glue making the joint weaker... any good tip on how to handle a circular wedge joint?

2. I have angled the table legs by 8.5 degree which mean that the hole I've drilled in the table top is slightly oval rather than circular. Atleast this is my assumed reason for why I have a hairline gap between the table leg and the table top. Any view on how to compensate for this? I guess one way would be to angle the wedge so that it expands the table leg in the "oval" direction... any other thoughts?

3. The wedge will be oak or cherry. However I'm planning to replace the top part of the wedge with a 3 mm x 3mm x 30 mm strip of brass as design element. I'm planning to use Epoxy to hold the brass strip in place. Does this seem like the right approach?

4. I'm planning to finish the table with white oil - do I need to have a separate finish on the brass strips to stop oxidation?

I've attached a photo of a dry test of the table. In addition to a test joint that I've made (note wedge is just a quick and dirty version to test the look, I'll make the fitting better)
1. I would tap the glued wedge in firmly
2. The holes in the top should have been drilled at the same angle. Use same cut in leg and same wedge. The hole sets the angle and the leg is cut flat to top.
3. I would forget the brass. The colored wedge will be the design element.
4. (See #3)

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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1. I would tap the glued wedge in firmly
2. The holes in the top should have been drilled at the same angle. Use same cut in leg and same wedge. The hole sets the angle and the leg is cut flat to top.
3. I would forget the brass. The colored wedge will be the design element.
4. (See #3)
Thanks for input. Not sure I understand point 2. But rethinking this issue, I might be wrong. The holes in the top is drilled at an angle, so the hole itself is circular. However the exit hole seen on the table surface is slightly oval due to the drilled angle. The table leg however is turned on a lathe so it is also circular. When I cut it flush with the table top it will also become oval and the same shape as the exit hole in the table. So the reason for the hairline gaps is probably that I've turned the table leg too thin... and have nothing to do with the angle of the drilled hole.

I guess the brass, cherry or oak wedge is a matter of personal preference, and level of challenge - i like a challenge :)

Last edited by Christian S; 07-07-2017 at 11:09 AM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian S View Post
Thanks for input. Not sure I understand point 2. But rethinking this issue, I might be wrong. The holes in the top is drilled at an angle, so the hole itself is circular. However the exit hole seen on the table surface is slightly oval due to the drilled angle. The table leg however is turned on a lathe so it is also circular. When I cut it flush with the table top it will also become oval and the same shape as the exit hole in the table. So the reason for the hairline gaps is probably that I've turned the table leg too thin... and have nothing to do with the angle of the drilled hole.

I guess the brass, cherry or oak wedge is a matter of personal preference, and level of challenge - i like a challenge :)
You are right. The brass element is a matter of personal choice. All furniture design is a matter of personal choice for that matter. Two pieces can be made exactly the same but look entirely different because of wood choice or stain/finish etc.
The leg should fill the hole tightly even before the wedge. If it doesn't, the wedge expands the leg only on two sides, so the hairline crack will remain. If it's truly "hairline"it may not be an issue. If it's a crack, it will be.
The brass might hide this. I don't understand exactly how you plan to insert the brass but I do agree with you that it will be a challenge.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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You are right. The brass element is a matter of personal choice. All furniture design is a matter of personal choice for that matter. Two pieces can be made exactly the same but look entirely different because of wood choice or stain/finish etc.
The leg should fill the hole tightly even before the wedge. If it doesn't, the wedge expands the leg only on two sides, so the hairline crack will remain. If it's truly "hairline"it may not be an issue. If it's a crack, it will be.
The brass might hide this. I don't understand exactly how you plan to insert the brass but I do agree with you that it will be a challenge.
Im planning to add wood glue to the leg and wedge (3mm wide), and hammer in the wedge. When the glue has dried I will cut off the extruding part of the leg and wedge. I then intend to chisel out 3 mm of this wedge to create a 3x3mm slot to put the strip of brass into. I'll use epoxy to connect the brass to the wood. I will then sand everything down to a smooth surface. 120, 180, 220 grit.

Let me know if you have any better approach.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 01:44 PM
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always align the slot/wedge perpendicular to the table wood grain, or the wedge can split the top.


(I think) you drilled a round hole, which appears to be oval from the surface because it is at an angle. if you insert a round peg, it should fill the hole perfectly. possibly the dowel is not round, or the slot misshaped the leg tenon.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian S View Post
Im planning to add wood glue to the leg and wedge (3mm wide), and hammer in the wedge. When the glue has dried I will cut off the extruding part of the leg and wedge. I then intend to chisel out 3 mm of this wedge to create a 3x3mm slot to put the strip of brass into. I'll use epoxy to connect the brass to the wood. I will then sand everything down to a smooth surface. 120, 180, 220 grit.

Let me know if you have any better approach.
Couldn't agree more about design decisions brass vs wood. You're building it for you, build what you want.
But just to discuss the design issues, every aspect of that table is honestly needed, with nothing added, except for that brass inlay. It implies the wedge is brass when really it's wood. Because of that I would have to make the wedge out of brass. Definitely not saying that you should though, just explaining a veiwpoint.

I would not use epoxy to glue in the brass inlay, time consuming, difficult to work with. I would use CA glue (Bob Smith or Zap a Gap) and a micro-tip on the bottle to get the CA right where I want it. I use 3M clear packing tape, super common 2" tape, to mask off any area I don't want the CA to get on.

In my photo album is a section on designing a dining table with blackened bronze washers. might be of interest. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/membe...s/diningtable/
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brian(J) View Post
I would not use epoxy to glue in the brass inlay, time consuming, difficult to work with. I would use CA glue (Bob Smith or Zap a Gap) and a micro-tip on the bottle to get the CA right where I want it. I use 3M clear packing tape, super common 2" tape, to mask off any area I don't want the CA to get on.
Would you treat the brass to ensure it doesn't oxidice or isn't this an issue of the piece is so small 3 x 30mm
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 06:57 PM
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Would you treat the brass to ensure it doesn't oxidice or isn't this an issue of the piece is so small 3 x 30mm
I have exposed brass on my table, didn't coat it with anything and it looks great.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for great input. Now all four legs are glued and wedged. Tomorrow morning I will saw off the extruding part and evaluate if I will chisel out the wood to add the brass.
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 09:46 PM
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That is strange looking glue. What kind of glue is it?

George

PS I hoped you cleaned it off the table surface before it dried.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-07-2017, 11:25 PM
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I wouldn't do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian S View Post
Thanks for great input. Now all four legs are glued and wedged. Tomorrow morning I will saw off the extruding part and evaluate if I will chisel out the wood to add the brass.

Once you see how well it looks all sanded down, I think you'll be pleased with the outcome. You can do a lot of damage trying to precisely chisel out that small area... DAMHIKT. And unless there is a significant design input to have a brass detail other than just a preference, I would not add the additional material into the existing design. That's just an opinion from a Industrial Designer with 30 years in the field, but whatever floats your boat.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-07-2017 at 11:45 PM.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-08-2017, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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That is strange looking glue. What kind of glue is it?

George

PS I hoped you cleaned it off the table surface before it dried.
Titebond I
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-09-2017, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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End result

Finished sanding with 180 grit. I've now added a thin layer of wax-oil. Fairly happy with the end result.
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