attaching apron to table legs - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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attaching apron to table legs

Hey all. Longtime member and learner, but sadly post very little. I love learning from everyone's amazing projects

Well currently I am working on a dining table. It is 60" square and is made out of cherry cut from a friend's field, milled and stick stacked for about 18 years to dry. Most of it was 4/4 stock with one 9/8 10" x 8" that I am using for the legs.

Btw is 2 1/2 square legs strong enough for this table?

The table will mostly be cherry, but I am considering a 6" border of a contrasting dark wood for the table top ( last board on each edge and the bread board ends) and have narrowed it down to Bubinga or walnut. I have couple of samples coming. Any suggestions?

Well now for the question I am wrestling with. How should I attack the legs and apron? I have thought about pocket hole screws and the angle attachment but am worried it won't hold up. But Was leaning toward loose tendon joinery. I bought Jessum's loose tendon jig, but have not used it yet. I was wondering if this was a good option for attaching the legs to the apron. Has anyone used this jig?

And then there is always the mortise and tendon joinery. I know I this has been used most of the time for for this type of joinery. Just wondering about everyone's thoughts on other methods.

Also I will also be attaching a support in the center of the apron frame.

Any help for this rookie would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 09:09 AM
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I Think You Answered Your Own Question...

Mortise and tenon would be the preferred method of joinery.

Scott
OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #3 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Scotty. That is what I was leaning towards
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
Mortise and tenon would be the preferred method of joinery.
Yes.

George
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 11:02 AM
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2 1/2" legs would probably be strong enough, but might look too small. I assume that they will be at the corners.

I think I would start them larger at the top and taper down.

George
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 11:38 AM
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With thinner legs I would recommend having 6 or 8 legs instead of 4. They can be grouped in the case of 8 legs so you'll have a span across the middle. I would also lean heavily toward mortise and tenon for strength and stability. You might also consider a laminated leg construction or mitered and glued up box legs, with a core to accommodate the mt joinery.

Those who say it cannot be done should stay out of the way of the people doing it.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 12:05 PM
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I have been using 4-5 inch aprons. putting a two inch tenon (or loose tendon). Then i put a pocket screw above and below the tenon being sure not to have the screw lined up to hit the 90 degree screw. So far it has worked well. It the tenons are snug, the table can be assembled without gluing the tenons so can assemble on site or take apart. I think it avoids the need for pegs or glue. I have done only a few tables this way but they seem solid.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 06:04 PM
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+1 on the mortise and tenon configuration. Don't know about the Jessum tool, but I have had great success using the Mortise Pal tool on several of my projects. Seems to me the use of a drill versus a router is more convenient, but you be the judge. You do get the utility and strength of the mortise and tenon joint without the need for a tenoning jig and the associated set up time and effort.

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post #9 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 06:22 PM
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French or sliding dovetail. This picture gives you a good look at how much material is left on a leg after fitting a joint. The corners can be further strengthened with corner blocks let into the aprons, also with French dovetails. Wood shrinks around metal fasteners in time, causing such joints to loosen. M&T have to be planed to leave enough "meat" so the leg corners don't break.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 06:34 PM
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Well steel bolts and cross dowels hold up well.
Can withstand, prison riots, bar fights, libraries, and children's playrooms.
Tenons and mortices can be shallow, (just for assembly & registration), the bolts and nuts provide the pull strength, twist resitance and any other load you might apply.
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-19-2013, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Gerry it is the mortise pal that I have and was thinking of using. What are your thoughts and experiences?
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-20-2013, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panhandler View Post
Gerry it is the mortise pal that I have and was thinking of using. What are your thoughts and experiences?
Panhandler, The mortise Pal is a versatile tool. My thoughts would be to use 2 tenons per apron end, and make the mortises in both parts to be joined evenly spaced and long enough to support the weigh of the table. Probably 1/3 of the leg thickness, just try to avoid having the mortises meet each other in the legs.

That said, the suggestion of a sliding dovetail joint is great. I should give more support for each joint, is strait forward to make, and if done snug will be a self supporting joint for years to come.
Either way you go should be more than adequate to the task. Hope this is of help.

Gerry

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post #13 of 14 Old 02-20-2013, 02:22 AM
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When I make such tables, I use mortise and tenon joints, glued and pinned from the inside. Typically, I will make the apron using 7/8" thickness instead of 3/4". I also make a diagonal brace in the corners, a few inches out from the mortise & tenon joints. Rock solid.
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-23-2013, 10:10 AM
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Warning Will Robinson!!

I would make the legs removable- I would be a lot easier if you move in the future to get a table in and out of some rooms and houses if the legs can come off.

On my dining and kitchen table I have the legs attached with hanger bolts that bolt into a heavy 45 degree corner blocks in the apron.
Both tables have been in service for years with no wobble or racking problems.

Mortise and tennon is not needed if my method is executed carefully.
The legs take the down weight of the table, and if the the vertical sides of the legs are tight to the apron you won't get and wobble.

Photos attached -Kitchen table 8yrs old, dining table 21yrs old and the apron is only oak ply and a dutch pullout and no problems with the hanger bolt method.
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Last edited by Snaglpuss; 02-23-2013 at 10:28 AM.
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