Clamping Question

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Forum topic by woodtablet posted 06-28-2015 06:43 AM 713 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodtablet's profile


30 posts in 660 days

06-28-2015 06:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am making a miniature table for my 2.5 year old daughter, so she can “cook” with me in the kitchen. Its about 20” inches tall, and she really loves being in the kitchen with me.

When making this table, I had a bit of problem, that I hope someone can help me with for future projects.

So in my awesome diagram, I have a table top, and a table leg. The issue is when I clamp the leg, the clamp pulls the leg out of square because I dont have the legs at the corner / edge of the table top. The clamp pulls the leg towards it and down.

In the second picture you can see how I tried to compensate, by clamping in diagonal and bungee pull to fight the pull away.

How would you clamp this ? Or how would you construct the table to avoid this problem ?


12 replies so far

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7699 posts in 1801 days

#1 posted 06-28-2015 08:04 AM

For a little table like that I would use pocket hole screws and be done with it. The reality is she will outgrow it fairly quickly. But otherwise the correct way is build a base consisting of legs and aprons then attach the top to the apron.


View Slemi's profile


102 posts in 962 days

#2 posted 06-28-2015 08:10 AM

Maybe like this?

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1772 days

#3 posted 06-28-2015 12:40 PM

Mortise and tenon into an apron, then attach the apron to the top. Gluing the end grain of the legs to the top like that is not going to last long.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View dhazelton's profile


2284 posts in 1717 days

#4 posted 06-28-2015 01:05 PM

I wouldn’t glue, I’d use a mechanical fastener so as she grows you can ‘grow’ the legs with her.

View ChefHDAN's profile


797 posts in 2270 days

#5 posted 06-28-2015 01:11 PM

+1 rick & bondo, legs to apron top to apron

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#6 posted 06-28-2015 02:16 PM

For a simple table I would agree with the idea of using mechanical fasteners,but just gluing it like you drawing shows will not work,that would be glueing end grain ,that’s a very weak joint.

-- Custom furniture

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1006 posts in 995 days

#7 posted 06-28-2015 02:52 PM

Kreg pocket holes can be your friend.If you don’t have one,get one.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4407 posts in 3381 days

#8 posted 06-28-2015 03:10 PM

And she WILL climb on top of it. Trust me. I had two girl babies. :)


View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 643 days

#9 posted 06-28-2015 03:23 PM

1stly just gluing the legs in place is only going to bring disappointment down the road once the legs get smacked a couple times too many and pop off. Odds are it’ll take some table meat with it.

My suggestion, if you don’t want to direct screw through the table top and plug then consider dowels. If you can get a hold of a drill press make yourself a 90° drill block or 2, glue a couple 3 pieces of 3/4 hard wood to clamp or DS tape to legs and table.

I’ve used DS wood screws in the past but I’ve never been able to get a perfect line up.

-- I meant to do that!

View woodtablet's profile


30 posts in 660 days

#10 posted 06-29-2015 06:18 AM

I didnt mention that I have 9 dowels in each leg going into the top. This current build can take my weight, when I sit on it, so its not too shabby.

If i used pocket holes, there would be a similar problem, where the side with pocket holes would be drawn in tighter than the other sides.

I like the idea of the apron & legs together, then attach that to the top will be better for me in the future when I build larger tables. Or these clinch plates, I like the idea to be able to make this table grow with her. Oh well, next time, this puppy is glued up. lol.

Thanks everyone!


View woodtablet's profile


30 posts in 660 days

#11 posted 06-29-2015 06:25 AM

The last leg I “clamped” like this, and this is what it will look like.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7699 posts in 1801 days

#12 posted 06-29-2015 07:42 AM

I feel like if you have 9 dowels in each leg and the clamp is still pulling it crooked, you are using too much clamping pressure.


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