Seeking Design Advice on Creating Joint

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Forum topic by Bernspen posted 11-22-2015 04:06 AM 743 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bernspen's profile


27 posts in 969 days

11-22-2015 04:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: joining

This is an E table. My daughter Emily asked me to make her one. I said sure, ‘cause it looks easy, then I started thinking about jointing. Oops.

I’ve got some nice 2 inch mahogany I can use. I thought mortise and tenon, but that bottom joint needs to support the table, and the top shelfneeds to support whatever, So I’m thinking, is a mortise/tenon the best I can do? Mortise and Tenon dowled? I considered just a butt joint, and using lag bolts hidden under plugs. Then I thought about a sliding dovetail, but I think now I’m going to cut some large dovetails, just two or three, drill both the tails and the pins, stick a big lag bolt in the hole, and plug it.

But I’d like your folks thoughts, please.

-- We have met the enemy, and he is us.

12 replies so far

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


849 posts in 1267 days

#1 posted 11-22-2015 04:49 AM

I’d say the lag bolts with plugs would be the easiest, unless you have the domino. Of course I don’t see why a big m&t won’t work.

View Aj2's profile


990 posts in 1488 days

#2 posted 11-22-2015 04:58 AM

I’d cut about a third of the vertical upright piece off and set it aside.Then lag bolt or some very aggressive wood screws into the three horizontal pieces.Then glue back on the cut off.
I wouldn’t spend very much effort like Dts or tenons.I just don’t consider it to be furniture.Its just a thing.
No disrespect toward you or yours.

-- Aj

View jumbojack's profile


1672 posts in 2315 days

#3 posted 11-22-2015 05:23 AM

I like the dovetail idea.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1027 days

#4 posted 11-22-2015 05:53 AM

It would be much easier as an “M” table. :) pinned through dovetails would work on top and bottom. Box style joint for middle shelf or a hefty mortise?

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View TheFridge's profile


7241 posts in 1177 days

#5 posted 11-22-2015 06:10 AM

I think box joints would be the strongest if you could manage.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Ocelot's profile


1704 posts in 2329 days

#6 posted 11-22-2015 06:22 AM

There are good reasons why cantilever designs are rarely seen – especially in wood. Due to wood movement, almost any kind of joint in a structure like that will become loose and saggy in dry weather.

View oldnovice's profile (online now)


6100 posts in 3058 days

#7 posted 11-22-2015 06:27 AM

You unroll and flatten the paper then … oops wrong kind of joint.

I agree with TheFridge if you have the room.
You could also reduce the center member of the E to reduce some of the leverage on that surface.

Just don’t let her sit on it like my grandson does on my keyboard shelf in my computer armoire.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View jerryminer's profile


713 posts in 1132 days

#8 posted 11-22-2015 07:05 AM

It might be “cheating”, but I’d be tempted to rip a little off each edge, and let in some metal “L” and “T” brackets, then cover with the ripped strips.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View oldnovice's profile (online now)


6100 posts in 3058 days

#9 posted 11-22-2015 07:27 AM

If you do what jerryminer suggest, you might as well go all the way to embedding standard shelf standards and supports like those available from Knapp & Vogt and others as these can hold a lot of weight and, with a little planing, the middle of the E could be vertically adjustable.
A little more of a challenge!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View AlaskaGuy's profile


2886 posts in 2000 days

#10 posted 11-22-2015 08:49 AM

If you bought it at Walmart for 269 dollars you get box joint top and bottom and through M&T in the middle.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View mahdee's profile


3745 posts in 1458 days

#11 posted 11-22-2015 12:07 PM

Looking at the back it looks like top and bottom are like finger joints and middle is mortise and tenon.


View Tennessee's profile


2512 posts in 2205 days

#12 posted 11-22-2015 12:37 PM

Looking at the picture in the original post by Bernspen, you can see a bit of the edge at the top on what looks like a flat board glued on the large flat surface that could be covering anything.
If so, I’d bet that there is nothing more than long horizontal lag bolts under that board holding butt joints. Same idea as Jerry, but a lot simpler. Or maybe M&T, but my guess is if it is a production piece, bolts.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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