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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a table based on a design found online, but have run into a couple problems.

The tabletop is extremely wobbly once set onto the base. I have not yet added the very small apron, will this be enough to solidify the design? Anything you would recommend adding to this to help it structurally?

I did manage to find wood that was slightly thicker for the top and slightly thinner for the base, so my top will be heavier than the original. Probably a big mistake!

Second, I have realized that using only pocket hole screws on the breadboard ends will eventually be a problem. I don’t have a domino tool, or similar. Any suggestions on how to mount a breadboard end with basic tools?

Wood Rectangle Chair Slope Parallel

Rectangle Shade Slope Building Wood
 

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If the table top is wobbly when set on the legs, either the top is not flat or the legs are not the same length.

If the legs are not the same length, that needs to be corrected. If the top is slightly not flat that would probably be corrected when fastened to the skirt.

gmc
 

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Very poor design IMO because there is very little resistance racking, and poor top support. This is an example of design for design’s sake by someone with little knowledge of furniture making. It has to incorporate joinery and structure into design, or it’s destined to fail. I always tell people, picture 280# Uncle Buck sitting on it, rocking back and forth in glee when his team scores the TD.

For these reasons a thin apron will not do. If you want to improve it, I suggest the apron 2 1/2 - 3”. The stretcher structure is doing nothing on the ground. Raise it up about 6“ or enough to get your vacuum under it. Do both these and I believe you’ll have a very sturdy table.

Be sure to use proper joinery to legs (not pocket screws). Floating tenons are a good option here.

A solid wood breadboard needs to be attached in a way that allows it to move. The standard method is using draw bored tenons. Floating tenons can also be used (a mortise is routed into both and the tenon is glued to the table side). It is not glued. I don’t know of any other way to do it.

Regarding the top, assuming it is solid wood, did you glue it up yourself? Too much to get into, we can address that in another post. Use a level and winding sticks. Odds are it’s either cupped or potato chipped on you. A pic would really help.
 

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This whole design is doomed to failure right down to the grain running in the wrong direction in the legs. I will venture to guess that you have the grain running in the proper direction because that is the way wood is normally purchased.
There is no way for an amateur to build that base design. Dominos will not hold that base design together, there just isn't enough wood there at the "Y" unless the base pieces are much wider and that would kill the 'look'. A thin steel plate under the "Y" junction will help though but for how long is any ones guess.
Then you will have to deal with the apron attachment to the legs. The apron is made using 90* corners and the legs are set at 45*.
 

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This is the second or third time we have seen tables with the same Y joint design for the bottom "stretchers" this year. There are other threads where a nearly identical design was discussed. Here is one example, and I had a PM/conversation with the OP about how to make the Y joints:
 

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@Tool Agnostic

Thanks David for sharing. The 3 way lap joint is interesting,
I Have seen it used in construction, but the stubs sticking out aren't very attractive to me on a small scale like in a table.
WAIT!!!, that gave me an idea. He could make a 3 way lap joint without the stubs,
Make it in 4 layers criss-crossing and filling in the the additional pieces to level everything out each layer as you go.
Lay down the long piece first. Then the first angled piece. Then level out with the long direction. Then do the same with the next angled piece and level out the long section and the pieces underneath. Then add another layer of the long piece to cover the joint and also add the 2 angled piece for the last leveling.
Very little skill would be required. but a planer would be essential.
If I don't know what I am talking about, it wouldn't be the first time. It's hard to visualize without actually being in the shop
Laying directly on a floor would be problematic though. Leveling would be very critical since the base and floor both would have to be perfectly flat. If you use levelers, it would raise the base slightly off the floor in some spots and if people put their feet on it it might break. So this takes us back to a fairly thick piece again. Probably around 2" thick with a bare minimum of 1 1/2".? 4 layers at 3/8" ?
 

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That design has a lot of problems...
 

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[...] The 3 way lap joint is interesting,
[...]
WAIT!!!, that gave me an idea. He could make a 3 way lap joint without the stubs,
Make it in 4 layers criss-crossing and filling in the the additional pieces to level everything out each layer as you go.
[...]
I PM'd these links (to the OP in the other thread) showing various Y joints:
https://www.lumberjocks.com/robscastle/blog/115586
https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/513269688758304564/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/520236194456480555/
These are interesting, but none of them solve the basic racking problem that @Scvbrent asked about.

I will leave your 4-layer idea for others to comment. It seems like another good approach to the Y-joint design.

My gut says that Scvbrent may have to give up the artistic, thin apron in the design, and replace it with an apron that is wider. The wider apron joined to the legs may help reduce or eliminate the racking. The joinery is trickier than usual, because the legs are angled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your input, lots of good information and things to consider! I think in the back of my mind I wondered how the top was supported all along, but as a novice, you just assume it’ll make sense somewhere down the line I guess. Lessons learned!

I think I can definitely raise the stretcher bar assembly off the ground if that would help. Would it help to add a second layer of the same double-Y shaped stretcher at the top of the legs, behind the apron?

I’ve also considered adding corner bracing to the apron? Not sure exactly how this would work since the legs are actually coming into the corners at a 60* since the base uses 30* angles

Forgive the crude mock-ups here, but this might give an idea of what I’m thinking.


Table Outdoor table Outdoor furniture Rectangle Coffee table


Rectangle Font Parallel Symmetry Drawing


Finally, this is where I’m at in the process currently.
Table Wood Flooring Floor Hardwood



Again, thanks for all the advice!
 

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Why don't bridges collapse under the extreme weights they support?
It's because they are "engineered" to resist movement. They have triangular reinforced joints that can not collapse.
The legs on your table have no strength to resist bending, so the entire structure wants to fold like a cardboard box with all the flaps folded in.
You table was "designed" to look nice, not be strong structurally and not "engineered" for strength.
It would work a whole lot better IF it were a welded steel structure, not wood with fragile joinery.
There is no way you can make the joints out of wood and have them strong enough to resist movement.

Yes, it will hold a lot of weight IF placed directly on top, but the slightest lateral movement will break the joints at the base.
Back when I was studying to become an Architect, I took classes in structural engineering and learned how forces from different directions affect a joint.
Structural engineering is taking a complicated set of forces and braking them down into simple separate force diagrams, IF you know how.
This is why you consult a structural engineer before you go moving load bearing walls around inside your home.
This is also why you don't make a load bearing joint by butting it and nailing it. You actually support it with a post ender the load.

For this design to work, you should add diagonal braces from the "Y"s back to the top of the legs. It won't look the same, but it won't collapse either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would also be curious of your opinions on why the design seemed to work for the original builder? What did he do that I’m missing?

Table Furniture Wood Rectangle Desk
 

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We dont know if it worked for the original builder. Looking at it standing there, there are 2 things we don't know. One is, is this real or digitally altered. And two, this is the biggy - does this table ever get used?
I can build a simple ladder out of thin cardboard and the tubes from empty rolls of paper towels. I can paint it and even stand it against a wall. But I am more than reasonably certain, that I cant actually use it for the intended purpose of a ladder - to climb up on.

But, if you want to build it, I say "go for it".
 

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Referring to your mock ups, adding the upper stretcher system is not a bad idea, but I’m not sure how much benedit. If you do that, I would add triangular glue blocks in the corners. I thought about gussets, which would add a lot of strength, but you would have to see how that works with the design.

If you make a wider apron and lift the stretchers off the ground I think you‘re in good shape. I think if you check the last pic, the apron is probably at least 3” wide. That is a big key to making this work, not only for base strength, but supporting the top from sagging.

The only other thing I would think about is the thickness if the legs. Matter of taste, but to me they would look better is they were thicker.

How did you do the joinery?
 

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We dont know if it worked for the original builder. Looking at it standing there, there are 2 things we don't know. One is, is this real or digitally altered. And two, this is the biggy - does this table ever get used?
I can build a simple ladder out of thin cardboard and the tubes from empty rolls of paper towels. I can paint it and even stand it against a wall. But I am more than reasonably certain, that I cant actually use it for the intended purpose of a ladder - to climb up on.

But, if you want to build it, I say "go for it".
Correct we don't know....

The bottom on this table has no support...
 

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It looks like you've done a good job on the workmanship of the table so far, and it looks very nice!

I don't know that the apron in the photo does much other than keeping the top from warping. It doesn't stop racking or add support to the table legs.

Getting the legs stable is important. Another set of those Y stretchers at or near the top is a good idea. You can potentially flip the base over and add some 6" from the "new bottom" to get the supports off the floor. I would consider some sort of metal/ wire/ cables from the top and bottom of each leg to the bottom and top of the Y stretchers to prevent some racking.
 
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I would also be curious of your opinions on why the design seemed to work for the original builder? What did he do that I’m missing?

View attachment 431523
It certainly looks nice just standing there, but does it actually "work" under real world conditions, people leaning on it, loaded with food and dishes, people leaning against the edge?
The "Y" intersections on the base are butt joints, end gran to end grain which are not known to be very strong. (there is a debate on that) There may be "hidden" dowels or other means of reinforcement?

You original issue was that the top was wobbly:
The tabletop is extremely wobbly once set onto the base.
We are trying to explain why and how to fix it.
We have generally concluded it's the design, the construction, and the joinery of the base, not the top.
If you are satisfied with all you've done and don't want to change the design or add to it, try it out for a while.
You can always come back later and add reinforcements as described above.
 
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I am building a table based on a design found online, but have run into a couple problems.
Couple of problems? Not surprising, especially with the construct being with pocket hole screws only.

The website that came from is severely lacking, IMO. I'm surprised Kreg Tools doesn't correct a few things regarding that table and a few other projects. I wouldn't consider that table project advanced, as the Charleston Crafted website notes.
The table's corresponding angled bench is a little better constructed, but I think it may be lacking, here and there, also. https://www.charlestoncrafted.com/diy-modern-angle-bench/

Similarly as that table design, I wouldn't trust the structural stability of their scroll saw stand, either, with regard to potential racking.

TonyB says "We dont know if it worked for the original builder."
Well, it seems to have worked as of their video. Sean has some good skills. I'd suspect he may eventually re-enforce the table base, if he hasn't since the video. It'd be nice to get his feedback regarding it.

As others have said or eluded to, re-think and/or re-draw your plans for the base with emphasis on lateral support, i.e., to preventing racking.

Sonny
 

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I think videos only share what they want you to see. I built furniture for a living and I could sell that design based on the way it is built. It would only hold if steel was involved..
I made 3 12' tables for a company to see if they liked them . They showed me the design. I told them it needed steel in the legs into the top... they ignore my advise. I made them the way they suggested. All three tables broke when loading on the truck. I told them. Lost comtract..
 
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