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How would you make these legs?

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Forum topic by huyz posted 11-06-2016 05:04 AM 1254 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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huyz

58 posts in 700 days


11-06-2016 05:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bench miter joints bench legs legs joinery screws dowels

Hey all!

I’m trying to make this bench for indoor use:

For the legs, the tutorial uses miters, then uses brad nails and screws to join them as seen here:

Is there a simple, stronger way to make this than miters? I have a table saw, miter saw, drill, and router (no table) to use.

They also use screws to attach those legs to the bench top, which I’m also wary of. I was going to swap that for some dowels instead—is there a stronger, simple method you’d recommend?

Thank you for your yelp!


23 replies so far

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

384 posts in 1301 days


#1 posted 11-06-2016 08:01 AM

That design is ok, looks good anyway with the fact that it will hide all the end grain. Personally I would use a spline miter. That would give the joint plenty of strength.
http://lumberjocks.com/BigRedKnothead/blog/38806
I assume the bench is for outdoor use. I would use stainless steel screws.

-- John

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1790 posts in 487 days


#2 posted 11-06-2016 11:50 AM

Multiple Mitered Slip Joint …

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Loren's profile

Loren

9635 posts in 3487 days


#3 posted 11-06-2016 12:04 PM

Butt joints and pocket screws where nobody looks.

Pocket screw holes can be freehanded with a
3/8” spade bit. Drill straight for a bit to get
the spade engaged in the wood and then
twist in the cut to the desired angle.

Of course you can get a pocket hole jig for
$20 or so.

I can badmouth pocket screws with the best of
them but they are the right fastener for a lot
of jobs when traditional joinery is too time
consuming.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1569 days


#4 posted 11-06-2016 02:54 PM

Rabbet the verticals, cut the horizontals with the proper angle and screw them together at the top and bottom. Measure the thickness of the top and the thickness of the top horizontal bar, add them together, and purchase screws that are at least a 1/4” shorter. If you countersink the screws, take that into consideration before you get the screws. Drill the proper size pilot hole, attach the legs using good glue, and you’re good to go…............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4482 posts in 2190 days


#5 posted 11-06-2016 04:39 PM

Box joints will be the strongest. For mitered joints I would spline them to add strength.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Rick_M's profile (online now)

Rick_M

10641 posts in 2219 days


#6 posted 11-06-2016 04:54 PM

Someone asked this question before about the same bench. Agree with Bondo, box joints are the way to go.

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

View huyz's profile

huyz

58 posts in 700 days


#7 posted 11-07-2016 10:42 PM

Thank you for all of the replies guys!

Clamping this trapezoid is going to be difficult no matter which method used right ? Splined miters would look cleanest but require making a separate jig—more difficult than a box joint jig I believe. I wonder if box joints will be visible once dyed black.

Might go for box joints, or butt joints with screws. Lots of things to consider while finishing up the top :)

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8333 posts in 1325 days


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


Someone asked this question before about the same bench. Agree with Bondo, box joints are the way to go.

- Rick M.

Ditto

Edit: a little glue and free fine sawdust cures almost all cracks. Especially if painted.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

9635 posts in 3487 days


#9 posted 11-08-2016 02:34 AM

Those legs are totally a biscuit joiner type thing
from the days when they were the hot thing
in WW magazines. The joiner handles the
angles at a snap, etc… that’s another way
but you still have to mess with clamping
any way you do it. I still maintain pocket
screws and butt joints are the least fuss
(screws in end grain are weak fasteners) but
considering the scope of doing the whole
project, lavishing some care on the joints
only adds a bit of time.

Personally I think these sorts of designs are
weak and I’d prefer an added gusset inside
the leg frames. This stuff is typically design-school
output and young design students often haven’t
been observing furniture much before school
and have no repair experience. Just fyi…
I get asked to make school designs from time
to time and they are always problematical.

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 741 days


#10 posted 11-08-2016 02:39 AM

with a welder.

View tblank's profile

tblank

61 posts in 2809 days


#11 posted 11-08-2016 05:00 AM

If the legs are to be paint grade, why not cut them out of a piece of plywood as a single unit. Lay them up to achieve desired thickness with epoxy. Edge band the visible edges and paint. Legs with no joints at all and still strong enough to bear required weight.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2708 posts in 3277 days


#12 posted 11-08-2016 06:34 AM

Make them without the 45’s. Just be sure the verticals overlap the horizontals so the end grain of the horizontal pieces don’t show from the sides. Then put two screws in each corner. Countersink them and plug with a wood dowel, chisel and sand off the extra. When painted they won’t show at all and it will be strong.

Screws will also be strong.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View huyz's profile

huyz

58 posts in 700 days


#13 posted 11-08-2016 07:05 AM

Thanks for the tips everyone.

I just wrapped my head around standard box joints for 90 degree angles, but for a trapezoid like this it gets more complex I think—how do you accomplish this? Also how would you clamp a trapezoid like this—a custom jig just for this project?

Kinda leaning towards butt joints to not overcomplicate this.

View huyz's profile

huyz

58 posts in 700 days


#14 posted 11-08-2016 07:07 AM



If the legs are to be paint grade, why not cut them out of a piece of plywood as a single unit. Lay them up to achieve desired thickness with epoxy. Edge band the visible edges and paint. Legs with no joints at all and still strong enough to bear required weight.

- tblank

Maybe I’m not understanding you right, but if it’s cut from a single sheet won’t it require multiple sheets, with tons of waste?

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6015 posts in 2038 days


#15 posted 11-08-2016 07:25 AM

with a welder.
- DirtyMike

That was my first thought also… as soon as I saw it, I instantly thought rectangular metal tubing.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

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