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Forum topic by SeaWitch posted 1007 days ago 1169 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SeaWitch

149 posts in 1027 days


1007 days ago

Hi all:

I’d like to make a (what I hope is a simple) coffee table that looks kind of like this:

I have 2 questions.

Can someone please explain to me how a table like this is structured underneath the top? I imagine the rails have a tenon and mortise in the leg. But I don’t understand how there can be 2 tenons that meet in a corner without getting in each other’s way. Someone will do the legs for me, so all I have to do is…..the rest. ;o)

2nd question: Is there someone out there fluent in Sketchup who could draw it for me roughly, mainly to understand how to put the bottom together—I’m hopeless in sketchup. I’d be happy to send you a few exotic bits in exchange…...

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt


15 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1484 days


#1 posted 1007 days ago

The mortises intersect, Seawitch, and then the ends of the tenons are mitered where they meet. They likely don’t quite touch, but that allows maximum glue surface for both joints.

Ok, there’s number one. Next?

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5289 posts in 1231 days


#2 posted 1007 days ago

The tenons can have a miter on the end, or the mortises may not be so deep as to have the tenons touch. Good luck with the table.

Edit: Lee must be able to type faster than I can on my phone : )

View SeaWitch's profile

SeaWitch

149 posts in 1027 days


#3 posted 1007 days ago

Thank you Lee Barker and ShaneA. What about the little drawer? Is it as simple as 2 rails supporting the drawer or do I need full support underneath?

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5289 posts in 1231 days


#4 posted 1007 days ago

2 rails perpendicular to the drawer face will do it. You can attach slides to them. If you go w/o slides or hardware, the drawer will need support from the bottom.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#5 posted 1007 days ago

speechless

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#6 posted 1007 days ago

do you see the size of the leg?

is there a reason the tenon has to meet the perpendicular tenon?

do you think they even used tenons ?

what about biscuits ?………or dominos? ………..or steel corner brackets?

has anybody mentioned the fact that a 4’ x 4’ top expands up to a 1/4” per foot, across the grain

anybody ever bought piece of Ikea furniture……………..and the studied it ?

I would be less concerned about the mortise and tenon and more concerned about how to keep the top, from twisting the base into a slinky, once its secured.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View SeaWitch's profile

SeaWitch

149 posts in 1027 days


#7 posted 1007 days ago

don’t be mad, Moron. I figure that any table top of any size has to be attached to the base with hardware that will allow it to expand and contract. I recognize that there are different ways to attach the legs to the rails with a mortise and tenon being one of them…

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View Neight's profile

Neight

112 posts in 1026 days


#8 posted 1007 days ago

There is an excellent series of tutorials available on youtube for sketchup. on the sketchup screen, there should be a link to watch these tutorials, and they are linked in order at the end of each video. I have been watching them myself, and then just playing with the tools to get the hang of it. it is a fairly overwhelming program, but once you start messing around with it, you start to see how simple designs can be accomplished, even with little knowledge on how to use it.
hope that helps, I would offer to draw it for you, but I am in the dark on exactly what it should look like myself :)
(yes I have seen the underside of tables with drawers in them, but knowing what is there, and adequately designing one yourself are two different things).

-- Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. -Mark Twain

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2527 days


#9 posted 1007 days ago

I would run a mortise and tenon but wouldnt have them meet, say an inch deep. Then run an angled piece from apron to apron, tenon those as well and screw through angled pieces, right through the apron tenons into the legs and screw through the angled piece into the leg as well.

by making a sub assembly for the drawers, you can alleviate any movement from the giant slab.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View SeaWitch's profile

SeaWitch

149 posts in 1027 days


#10 posted 1007 days ago

Moron, what do you have in mind for a “sub assembly” for the drawers? I follow the rest of what you suggest, and that’s pretty much what I had in mind.

Thanks for all suggestions, everyone.

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1702 days


#11 posted 1007 days ago

This isn’t a coffee table, but the construction would be basically the same. These lags are tapered and the apron pieces join the legs with M&T joints. I use figure-eights to attach the top to the leg assembly. If you do the drawer in your picture, you’ll need to reinforce the apron piece so it won’t break if the top flexes.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View lorna's profile

lorna

15 posts in 1027 days


#12 posted 1006 days ago

I’m making a piece with similar issues, seawitch. it’s not a coffee table but a hall table with very different proportions and much more delicate in nature, as a result I have no choice but to have the apron tenons meet at the corner in a mitre – the legs are 21cm square! – but your legs look big enough that you could keep your tenons short enough that they don’t meet which is definitely preferable. Sawkerf’s pictures illustrate it perfectly really. Best of luck with it!

View SeaWitch's profile

SeaWitch

149 posts in 1027 days


#13 posted 1006 days ago

thanks neight, moron, sawkerf and lorna, that’s really kind, and helpful.

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3098 posts in 1309 days


#14 posted 1006 days ago

Many tables have a piece of wood or a metal bracket theta crosses from on apron to the other and a hanger bolt is screwed into the leg. Then you can tighten when needed to keep the leg pulled in tight to the apron. No tendons at all.

View okwoodshop's profile

okwoodshop

442 posts in 1808 days


#15 posted 1003 days ago

Think about putting a lazy susan on that table top?? Would be unique. maybe a latch to keep it from turning when you don’t want it to.

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