Joinery for angled connections

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Forum topic by skeemer posted 12-29-2011 02:16 AM 4222 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 2360 days

12-29-2011 02:16 AM

One of the first projects that I’ll be attempting is a recreation of an Arhaus design that my wife wants for our living room. I am going to make it out of cheap pine first to learn all the techniques and practice, and then most likely use a black walnut or something with a reddish hue to complement our living room furniture.

I plan to use blind tenons for all the 90 connections, but I can’t figure out what the best way to connect the angled boards to the top and bottom aprons. We do not want to use any hardware.

Here is the piece:


16 replies so far

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2471 days

#1 posted 12-29-2011 03:42 AM

would a blind tenon like this work? admittedly be hard to get precise fit but some fancy matching or contrasting dowels or square stock pins might help out and add a nice touch.

View skeemer's profile


95 posts in 2360 days

#2 posted 12-29-2011 02:18 PM

That looks like it might work. Will there be enough strength in the tenon with it being cut across the grain at a 45? I’m not too worried about strength here from the weight of the top (which will be 1.5” stone) but if someone were to sit on it I don’t want the thing coming down :)

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2471 days

#3 posted 12-29-2011 04:47 PM

The knowledgeable guys might be able to comment more but detail of material and sizes might be helpful. The stone depending on type, internal defects, etc, might conceivably support itself with minimal support from the stretchers (sorry if it’s a bad terminology). I would think most of the weight would transfer vertically down through the legs. The linked pic shows 4 stretchers across the bottom and I would assume you would also put 4 to support the top. The 45 degree bracing adds both support from downward pressure and helps to prevent racking. Your mortice & tenon work needs to be good and material sizing is important.

Just wondering, would there be a lower shelf?

View jerkylips's profile


407 posts in 2566 days

#4 posted 12-29-2011 04:52 PM

rather than tenons, could you just cut the miters & then glue/dowel from the top & bottom?

View skeemer's profile


95 posts in 2360 days

#5 posted 12-29-2011 04:53 PM

casual, the plan is to try and replicate that one almost exactly, aside from perhaps changing the square and height dimensions to fit our living room and sectional. This will be my first furniture work so I don’t plan to deviate too much and want to make it as simple as possible (hence also the reason for doing a practice run on cheap pine :) ).

I tried to estimate the dimension of the wood using ratios and measuring the picture on my computer screen and estimated that the legs are 1 3/4” or 2” square. I plan to visit a local Arhaus showroom with my measuring tape this weekend to be sure :)

As for the stone, I am not sure yet as we will have to contact some custom stone cutters in the area, but probably something like a granite or travertine. I planned to have an upper level of stretchers underneath the stone as well, but no bottom shelf other than the wood shown in the picture, unless the wife decides to change the design.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4214 days

#6 posted 12-29-2011 04:54 PM

Yeah, dowels is what I was thinking.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3562 days

#7 posted 12-29-2011 08:18 PM

Sounds like an excuse for a road trip to go and see it “up close and personal” – they seem to have stores along most of the east coast and Colorado too. Any excuse for a road trip, and I bet there are other shops on the way, some, probably, unfortunately, will sell shoes, but some will sell tools you’ll need for the job :-)

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Don W's profile

Don W

18710 posts in 2563 days

#8 posted 12-29-2011 09:05 PM

If I was to build it, I’d do the dowel thing too.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2965 days

#9 posted 12-30-2011 01:14 AM

Don’t be afraid of the angled blind tenon. There’s more room for error with this than trying to dowel it in my opinion.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the showroom model is just glued and pinned. You could screw it either from top/bottom, that would give a lot of strength.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#10 posted 12-30-2011 04:31 AM

Dowel, biscuit or domino and you will have the strength you need. You could use a duchman or bow tie and it would never come apart. And if you want the ultimate tenon, fox wedge it.

fox wedge

note the fox wedge is a one time fit. You get one chance and no going back. It was mainly used in heavy timber framing. And it holds very well.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Sylvain's profile


706 posts in 2495 days

#11 posted 12-30-2011 05:58 PM

Hi everybody,
and Happy new year.

The design seems to intend to give some carpenter framing look.

Depending of the nature and thickness of the stone (+ somebody sitting or standing on it), sagging of the upper stretcher might cause the stone to break.

Those angle board might be necessary to limit the sagging (at least on the long side of the table). If it is necessary, it will put the lower stretcher under tension and the joint should be able to transmit the horizontal force components into the lower stretcher.

You might consider real carpenter joinery like
(Bridle Joint, sometimes called) Notch And Bridle
see fig. 29 on :
a joggle joint
see fig. 44 on :

Of course it would change the look of the table.
Has anybody tried those joints?

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2689 days

#12 posted 12-30-2011 06:09 PM

Superdave, we were remodeling a timberframed portion of our home and ran into a fox wedge. Not even a winch would separate it & we had to just lop it off flush. That sucker was in there for good!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2416 days

#13 posted 12-30-2011 06:36 PM

I followed the Arhaus link and got lost in thier website. My ancestors are from Arhaus, Denmark, so it always fascinates me.

The angled braces don’t look like they’re meant to carry much of a load. The top rail will support most of it.
I would be using dowells here, rather than getting into complicated joinery.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View skeemer's profile


95 posts in 2360 days

#14 posted 12-30-2011 11:50 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I will have to see how it goes once I get started. I think I will try and go for the angled tenon and see how that works out. If it looks like it might be more trouble than it’s worth, I like the half lap joint.

I will post pics when I am done. Hopefully I’ll be able to start it in the next week or two, once I finish off most of the honeydo list :)

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#15 posted 12-31-2011 01:21 AM

Bertha a fox wedge is a dovetailed tenon. But thinking about it you would have to try a few on a 45 just to get your lay out right.
Good luck skeemer.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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