Table Leg Attachment

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Forum topic by JKMDETAIL posted 10-29-2016 11:17 AM 637 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JKMDETAIL's profile


217 posts in 1894 days

10-29-2016 11:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question resource milling

Need to know how this leg would be attached and be a strong joint. Have a lady want a desk made that will have this look. There will not be any cross pieces for bracing, so all the strength is in this joint. She is looking to paint the final product so materials will be up to me.

6 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2536 days

#1 posted 10-29-2016 11:25 AM

Corner bracket and lag bolt? Pocket screws? Depends on how tall and how much weight it’ll hold. I’d make the stretcher a bit wider myself.

View JKMDETAIL's profile


217 posts in 1894 days

#2 posted 10-29-2016 11:36 AM

dhazelton – I was thinking I would make the stretchers wider Maybe 4”. It will be 30-32” tall. So I had thought about the lag bolt and corner bracket. Thanks. I want to make sure it is strong since it will be for a desk.

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1159 days

#3 posted 10-29-2016 01:48 PM


I am not sure why a haunched mortise and tenon joint could not be used. I am left with the impression that the rail is thicker than ¾” which could allow the tenon to extend down from the top a good distance without running afoul of the profile on the rails. A stepped mortise and tenon could extend the joint further, where the mortise is widest at the top and stepped down (and back from the outside face of the leg) to a narrower width some distance down from the top.

Even with rails as wide at 4”, I suspect the rails to leg joint could see a lot of stress (regardless of the joinery method) without some means to stabilize the legs near the floor. Maximizing the thickness of the rails along with making the rails wider would help the joint endure some of the stress. I would also lean toward pinning the tenons in place with dowels for added resistance to stresses, such as when the desk is pushed or pulled across a carpeted floor.

View Woodknack's profile


12465 posts in 2619 days

#4 posted 10-30-2016 06:05 AM

Desks don’t require superhuman joinery. Standard table construction (m&t, or bracket) will be fine.

-- Rick M,

View JKMDETAIL's profile


217 posts in 1894 days

#5 posted 10-30-2016 12:22 PM

Thanks for the comments. We will see if the lady wants to go forward and use this design.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1607 posts in 3798 days

#6 posted 10-30-2016 03:37 PM

I’ve had great luck with steel hanger bolts:

They are invisible, snug up really tight, you can adjust them over time and they’re also easy to take apart if you have to move the table. Just cut a 3/4” piece with 45° ends that snug up into the corner between the aprons, drill the hole in the center for the machine screw part, drill a pilot hole in the leg, double-nut the machine screw end and drive the wood screw half home.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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