Conference Table for Local Church #2: Legs, Legs, Legs

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Blog entry by Sawdustonmyshoulder posted 06-25-2008 05:05 AM 3384 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Let's get started with big slabs Part 2 of Conference Table for Local Church series Part 3: Inlay Test and Big Planks Planed »

I have some photos now of the parts that have been finished to date and some that are still in the works.

I have complete the three leg sets for the conference table and the four leg sets for the side tables. I have mortised the inside of the conference table legs that will receive the tenons on the stretchers. I have drilled three holes in each mortise to form draw bore tenons. The holes in the tenons are about 1/32 inch closer to the shoulder. I will taper the oak pins and this should draw the tenon in very tight to the legs. I will not use glue on this joint so that when the church folks decide to move it, they can just remove the pins and the stretchers will come out.

big leg

This photo is of one of the conference table leg sets.

big leg inside

This photo is the inside of the leg set. Notice the mortise and holes drilled in the opposite side of the center upright.

The client asked that the table seat 20 people. Well, this would have made the table around 16 feet in length and since the wood was only 10 feet long the table would have had to be constructed with the boards running across the width of the table and she felt that this was not what she envisioned. What we can up with was to build two smaller tables that could be moved to each end of the table making it accommodate the number of folks. Below is one of the leg sets for these smaller tables.

small leg

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

9 comments so far

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

786 posts in 3297 days

#1 posted 06-25-2008 01:05 PM

I wish I had access to thick boards like that! Looking good so-far!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


413 posts in 3093 days

#2 posted 06-25-2008 02:24 PM

These pieces are not made from large boards. They are glue ups. I will address this in my next blog entry. Thanks.

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3564 days

#3 posted 06-25-2008 03:04 PM

I like the gothic architectural element that you have captured. It looks like you will have a great project. I can’t wait to see more.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View JohnR's profile


43 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 06-25-2008 05:18 PM


Thanks for the update. I am still anxious to see the end result.

Would it be possible for you to amplify (with pictures) the draw bore tenons structure. I am new to woodworking and need more info to appreciate fully what you are doing.

Thanks, again.

-- Sola Gratia, John

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3456 days

#5 posted 06-25-2008 05:38 PM

Sawdust… You stated 20 people = 16ft table; From a design perspective how much personal space should be allowed for each person? Is there a rule of thumb for this?

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


413 posts in 3093 days

#6 posted 06-25-2008 08:28 PM

JohnR, I will attempt to explain the draw bore tenons. I saw this demoed on a Lie-Neilson video. You make your mortise and tenon joint. Remove the tenon from the mortise. Drill a hole through the side of the mortise. You can go all the through or not. My sides of the piece is thick enough so I don’t have to. Insert the tenon into the mortise and clamp it so you get a good tight fit. With a bradpoint bit, insert it into the holes and use the point to of the bit to mark the center of the hole in the tenon. DON’T DRILL INTO THE TENON. Remove the tenon from the mortise. Position the bradpoint bit on the tenon so that the point of the bit is 1/32 inch CLOSER TO THE SHOULDER OF THE TENON from the mark you made earlier. Drill the hole(s) in the tenon. When you insert the tenon back into the mortise the hole in the tenon should be offset. Select a dowel that is the same size as the hole drilled. With sandpaper, rasp or plane, taper the pin so that it will fit through hole in the mortise and the tenon. Drive home the dowel. This should draw the tenon in tight into the mortise. Only a small amount of glue will be needed. If this joint fails, it will be the least of your worries. Cause an F5 tornado just demolished your house.

I hope this is a help. Does anyone of you LJ’s have a better way? Thanks, guys and gals.

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


413 posts in 3093 days

#7 posted 06-25-2008 10:09 PM


I figured on giving folks 24 inches. I saw where on your dining tables allow 21 but you know conference rooms have arm chairs and folks like to spread out, so gave them an extra 3.

With 8 people on each side, that’s 16 feet and with the table being 54 inches wide, I allowed one on each end.

My resource was a Fine Woodworking article on proper and customary furniture design.

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


413 posts in 3093 days

#8 posted 06-25-2008 10:58 PM

draw-bored mortise and tenon UPDATE. Check here for a really long article on how to do this.

I make mine with power tools, these guys are doing it with traditional hand tools.

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


413 posts in 3093 days

#9 posted 06-27-2008 04:00 AM

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