All Replies on How to attach top?

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View pashley's profile

How to attach top?

by pashley
posted 647 days ago

16 replies so far

View Gary's profile


7082 posts in 2057 days

#1 posted 647 days ago

I’d probably use dowels from the top of the legs going into the bottom of the top

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1417 posts in 986 days

#2 posted 647 days ago

Inset angle brackets out of 1/8” welded steel.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View MNgary's profile


235 posts in 1041 days

#3 posted 647 days ago

Nesting tables only need to be open on the front. Maybe consider an apron and even a stretcher across the back.
Or, perhaps a 6” to 8” tall vertical slatted apron patterned after the sides. With each subsequent nested table, reduce height of the back apron so all three have parallel bottom-of-the-aprons on the same plane.

Just another suggestion/opinion is your pattern’s top doesn’t appear to be in scale to heft of the legs. Just my 2 cents.

Looks like a fun project!

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View ShaneA's profile


5285 posts in 1223 days

#4 posted 647 days ago

Maybe desktop or figure eights. Easy to use, should allow for movement and be sturdy enough for this application.

View pashley's profile


1022 posts in 2342 days

#5 posted 647 days ago

Sadly, I tried a plan with a back set of spindles and stretchers and it was nixed. Remember too, that I have to allow for the table top expansion….

-- Have a blessed day!

View waho6o9's profile


4821 posts in 1201 days

#6 posted 647 days ago

Maybe something like this.

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)


3318 posts in 1438 days

#7 posted 647 days ago

I would use two dowels to connect the apron to the top. Place these towards the center of the apron. If they are placed within 6-8” of center, expansion will be negligable. For added strength use figure 8 fasteners to connect the legs to the top.
I don’t think wooden buttons would offer enough strength in this application.

Good luck

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View oluf's profile


256 posts in 1663 days

#8 posted 647 days ago

Bore and counter bore holes up through the aprons just outside the spindles. Drive lag bolts with machine threads on the other end into the bottem of the top lined up with the holes in the aprons. Attach the legs with nuts and washers down in the counter bore. Dont make the holes too tight so that you can have some movement. You could also drive thread nuts into the table top and use machine boles rarher than lag bolts.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View AandCstyle's profile


1286 posts in 881 days

#9 posted 647 days ago

I agree that figure eights should be adequate for these tables.

JMO, aesthetically, I prefer to see an odd number of spindles/slats on the sides. FWIW

-- Art

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12909 posts in 2607 days

#10 posted 647 days ago

use a biscuit joiner and clamp.. easy

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View JJohnston's profile


1577 posts in 1916 days

#11 posted 647 days ago


Honestly? Tell the customer it won’t work. There may be a factory-made set for sale somewhere, but it doesn’t get a free pass from the laws of physics any more than yours would, and it won’t be very long before it falls apart.

What you’ve got there is structurally unstable, IN THEORY. The only thing that makes it stable (and marginally at that) in the real world is the width of the leg perpendicular to the leg/spindle assembly. The ends of the legs bear on the underside of the top out at their edges when resisting racking. One way to improve this strength, therefore, is to make the legs as big as practicable in that dimension.

The real solution is to find a more reliable way to transmit bending force through the legs into the top directly, since you don’t have aprons to take these forces. I just had this thought; take it for what it’s worth. Call it, I don’t know, “T tenons”. Cut 2 mortises into the end of each leg, perpendicular to the leg/spindle assembly. Cut mating mortises into the top, but instead of making them the same length, make them long – well beyond the faces of the legs (you’ll be able to see them). Make loose tenons out of plywood (for its strength in all directions) shaped like wide, stubby Ts. This ought to give you better “grip” between table and legs. Don’t use solid wood; whichever way you orient the grain, it will have a weak direction. Making the top thicker will help, too, since you can go deeper with the mortise. Here’s a sketch.

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1594 days

#12 posted 647 days ago

If you veneered the tops over a man made board, you could just glue/screw the leg assembly on as there’s no movement to worry about.


leave a gap at the back end of the mortice for the back edge to contract onto.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3860 posts in 1004 days

#13 posted 647 days ago

Through wedged tenons are your only hope for a wood joint. The commercial version is probably attached with draw bolts. And I would make the top a little thicker because it’s going to be resisting racking force against the legs.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View pashley's profile


1022 posts in 2342 days

#14 posted 647 days ago

Oluf, I’m thinking your solution might be the most appropriate. The critical thing is to attach that table top to those legs, or should I say skirting. A slightly slotted hole through the skirt, counterbored, using a very thick wood screw. My table top is 1”, and I’m hoping that will be enough “meat” for the screw to grab onto. I think I will also glue the skirt to the top, in the middle, and then put two, perhaps four, slotted screw assemblies on either side of that glue joint. Other than that, not sure what else to do! The tables are just for snacks, and occasional, use, not like people are going to be laying on them…..

-- Have a blessed day!

View jap's profile


1225 posts in 678 days

#15 posted 646 days ago

“not like people are going to be laying on them…..”
If i visit the owners house i might ^ ;)

-- Joel

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3860 posts in 1004 days

#16 posted 646 days ago

Glue and screws will never hold without an apron or trestle.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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