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Craftsman style sofa table, no lower stretcher?

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Forum topic by Jim posted 11-04-2016 04:07 PM 895 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim

119 posts in 1502 days


11-04-2016 04:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table mortise and tenon construction help question craftsman style mission style stretcher resource oak joining arts and crafts greene and greene traditional

I’ve been commissioned to build a sofa table this weekend. It’s to be 100 inches long and 15” wide, just narrow enough to fit through my planer. I plan on using table clips to attach the top to allow movement, and I’m going to challenge myself and get into mortise and tenon joinery for all the legs and such.

Here is what I designed. One requirement was they want to leave chairs up to the table, so they can eat and watch tv. So I moved the lower stretcher to be between just the back legs.

They didn’t like this as it would impede on the chair legs. So I came back with this.

My question for you guys is, how can I ensure that this design will be strong. I don’t want to have any “wobble” in the legs. Like I said, I intend on using mortises and tenons, as well as some stretchers underneath the top running back to front if you can follow me.

Thanks in advance.

-- Jim from Rivertown Woodcraft | Grand Rapids, MI | www.YouTube.com/user/RivertownWoodcraft


16 replies so far

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mrbob

182 posts in 409 days


#1 posted 11-04-2016 04:24 PM

without a stretcher I think will be real tuff on a table that length not to develop lateral wobble.

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Jim

119 posts in 1502 days


#2 posted 11-04-2016 04:30 PM


without a stretcher I think will be real tuff on a table that length not to develop lateral wobble.

- mrbob

yep, that’s what I’m worried about

What if I make a removable stretcher that would go between the chair legs while not used….

hmm, any other ideas? Maybe make the “skirt” taller? Especailly in the back?

-- Jim from Rivertown Woodcraft | Grand Rapids, MI | www.YouTube.com/user/RivertownWoodcraft

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bandit571

18643 posts in 2523 days


#3 posted 11-04-2016 07:27 PM

Add feet to the bottom of the legs, for one idea. Two, add a fancifies bracket at the tops of the legs…”cloud Rise” or a simple 45 degree brace. Brace can have a “leg” curve to it. Maybe 6” down the leg, and the same along the bottom of the aprons . Mortise and Tenon joint to connect to the table. Add a contrasting pin through the joint for both strength and good looks.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Monte Pittman

27122 posts in 2178 days


#4 posted 11-04-2016 08:42 PM

It will start strong, just afraid it won’t stay that way. Maybe some angles on the back for stability?

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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AandCstyle

2911 posts in 2097 days


#5 posted 11-04-2016 09:40 PM

Jim, what about gluing and screwing corner blocks to the aprons, like you might do under a chair seat? Another option might be to run an 8 foot threaded rod between the 2 ends, but make false ends that are dadoed into the front and back aprons so it reaches and have the nuts and washers hidden inside the visible ends. HTH

-- Art

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Rick_M

10645 posts in 2220 days


#6 posted 11-06-2016 05:03 PM

Skipping the stretcher will work but you’ll have to beef up the aprons, no free lunch on that on unless you change materials (e.g. steel). If they are going to use it like a bar table, do you feel the narrow footprint could be a problem, be tippy?

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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sras

4666 posts in 2969 days


#7 posted 11-06-2016 08:53 PM

Make the stretchers just 1/4” thinner than the legs to preserve the setback as you have drawn.

Use finger joints across the remaining width. Cover the exposed joint on the outside with a 1/8 inch layer.

Matthias Wandel used the same technique to build long reach clamps and are very strong.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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Rick_M

10645 posts in 2220 days


#8 posted 11-06-2016 10:23 PM

For perspective, tables are built all the time without stretchers. The only reason I mention beefing up the aprons is because there will be a lot of leverage if someone is leaning on one end. Might even consider cutting an arc in the apron to lighten the look, it’s the shoulders that provide rigidity.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1705 posts in 1062 days


#9 posted 11-07-2016 10:29 PM

Personally I’d opt for a curved/arched stretcher. It could join up with the legs maybe 2/3 or 3/4 the way down. leaving plenty of room for a couple of chairs.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5468 posts in 2653 days


#10 posted 11-08-2016 12:03 AM

It will work, but tables like that are really tippy. I’ve made sofa tables like that (never that long), and was rarely pleased with the functionality of it. With the leg assemblies only 12 inches wide, there just isn’t much structure to keep it from wobbling.

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

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CaptainSkully

1525 posts in 3398 days


#11 posted 11-08-2016 02:42 AM

What about mounting the rear apron to the studs in the wall?

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

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CaptainSkully

1525 posts in 3398 days


#12 posted 11-08-2016 04:13 AM

Oh, sofa table. Nevermind…

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

View Jim's profile

Jim

119 posts in 1502 days


#13 posted 11-08-2016 03:18 PM



Oh, sofa table. Nevermind…

- CaptainSkully

lol yep


It will work, but tables like that are really tippy. I ve made sofa tables like that (never that long), and was rarely pleased with the functionality of it. With the leg assemblies only 12 inches wide, there just isn t much structure to keep it from wobbling.

- pintodeluxe

Yah but I think my clients know this might be the case. The couc in front of it could help, we will see.

So what I’m planning on doing is adding support under the table top, just to help the mortis and tenon joints over time, but I can’t do any lower stretchers so I’ve gotta get creative. I’m going to increas the drop of the back apron panel. Possibly curving it to give it even MORE drop. Photos to come, I appreciate the help ladies and fellas, keep em coming if you’ve got em.

Jim

-- Jim from Rivertown Woodcraft | Grand Rapids, MI | www.YouTube.com/user/RivertownWoodcraft

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Jim

119 posts in 1502 days


#14 posted 11-08-2016 03:24 PM

Ah, and I got the top panel jointed and planed one face and glued up. Next I’m going to rip it and plane it to it’s final thickness (~7/8”)

-- Jim from Rivertown Woodcraft | Grand Rapids, MI | www.YouTube.com/user/RivertownWoodcraft

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Bill White

4808 posts in 3800 days


#15 posted 11-08-2016 03:40 PM

How tall? A lower table will be less prone to racking.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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