Apron-less kitchen table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-21-2019, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Apron-less kitchen table

Wondering what y'all think. I'm planning to build a white oak kitchen table and am looking at an apron-less design but cant decide how I want to attach the legs. I want to keep it as simple as possible without forfeiting integrity. I plan to biscuit or domino the top together. Thoughts?


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post #2 of 10 Old 09-21-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-21-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-22-2019, 12:43 AM
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Do you know what "racking" is? If you push sideways on the top, the legs will want to tilt at an angle back and forth, especially if you push on a long end. If you push hard enough, you can break the legs off. Think of the bottom of a leg to the top of the leg as if it were a long lever. If you push laterally against the bottom of the leg, the forces on the top joint will be very strong.

The only resistance your design has against racking is the rigidity of the flat joint holding the legs to the table. Worse yet, the top flat of the table leg is end grain. End grain doesn't hold fasteners well. It doesn't glue well, either.

In my opinion, the joint won't hold up against racking. It will crack or the metal fasteners inside will bend. Aprons serve an important purpose. They are not there just for style.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-22-2019, 02:43 AM
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You can use hanger bolts in the end of the legs and either a metal or wood mounting block, it has been done for years.

Example here:

https://www.tablelegs.com/shop-by-products/table-legs/

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-22-2019, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
You can use hanger bolts in the end of the legs and either a metal or wood mounting block, it has been done for years.

Example her
https://www.tablelegs.com/shop-by-products/table-legs/

Just because it was done for years doesn't mean they held up well. Tables my family bought when I was a kid used hanger bolts and other configurations for apronless legs. None of them ever held up for very long

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-22-2019, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
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Just because it was done for years doesn't mean they held up well. Tables my family bought when I was a kid used hanger bolts and other configurations for apronless legs. None of them ever held up for very long
Not everybody wants an apron on their table, granted there are stronger solutions but sometimes one has to compromise.

Todays consumers want what is in style and are aware that it will be replaced in a short matter of time. Ikea is doing very well because of this and actually through innovation is now producing a good product at a reasonable price.

Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace has dozens of very well built dining sets that are practically being given away. We recently purchased a solid oak pedestal dining table and four chairs for $20.00 just to get some extra chairs to match what we have.

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-23-2019, 10:33 AM
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I stand by my statement. The pads on top of the legs look like they are too small, whether reinforced with metal fasteners or not. The lateral forces on the bottom of the table legs will result in huge leverage on the four edges of the leg tops. Those forces will cause the joints to crack and separate over time. The table will get an annoying rocking motion from racking.

Potential fixes without aprons:

* Add reinforcement to the tops of the legs, but not full aprons. Remember to design for wood movement. I have seen tables with angled reinforcements near the top of the legs. They didn't work. The tables still racked horribly. That includes the table my parents had when I was a kid. All of us children hated that table. My parents kept it far too long. No amount of gluing or tightening could fix it. It was awful for doing homework.

* Use thicker legs. At some point, they become so thick that they will resist racking.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-23-2019, 12:08 PM
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Well I guess I was wrong, if I had only read a few more books I guess I wouldn't have recommended such an inferior method.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #10 of 10 Old 09-23-2019, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
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Well I guess I was wrong, if I had only read a few more books I guess I wouldn't have recommended such an inferior method.
@FrankC is right. It is obviously strong enough. Trust him and his experience, not me.

I am merely one of the highly despised "book learned experts" here. So sorry.
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