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Leg Joint Question for Toybox

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Forum topic by blackspring posted 02-19-2012 10:27 PM 1652 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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blackspring

36 posts in 1825 days


02-19-2012 10:27 PM

Hi gents and gals -
I’m getting geared up to build a toy box/blanket chest for my girls in the Mission style. I’ve gone through the sketchup tutorials (what a find) and want to start drawing this up. A key element is the legs and I’m not sure which way to approach these. Here are two methods I’m considering:

1) make the legs out of, say, 2 X 2 oak and then just mortise them so the rails will fit into them with tenons.

2) give the illusion of a beefier leg using 3/4 by 4” oak to form a 90* leg. I like this idea, but can’t figure out how to join these two pieces. A butt joint is out of the question. I’ve scoured the net, and have come up with a double rabbet joint, which of course you’d see when the lid is open. I don’t mind this, but would a double rabbet joint be strong enough?

I’ve also seen guys 45 the angles and then fasten the legs via biscuits but this seems a bit arduous.

Thanks in advance. I’m open to suggestions here!


7 replies so far

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Lifesaver2000

544 posts in 2576 days


#1 posted 02-20-2012 06:36 AM

I just posted a project where I used 3/4 inch boards ripped at a 45 deg. angle then glued to make what looks like a solid corner leg. Since it is a long-grain glue joint, I didn’t do anything but make sure I had a good tight joint when gluing. After a round-over and a little sanding, I can’t tell it from a single board.

On my project, I dadoed about 1/4 inch into the “legs” for the rails, and the rails are mitered inside and attached to each other (although that isn’t visible) so it is all held together and plenty strong.

If you like this idea but want more strength, it should be easy to cut a groove down each board for a spline. This would be a lot faster and easier than trying to do biscuits on that angled piece.

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blackspring

36 posts in 1825 days


#2 posted 02-20-2012 07:56 PM

@LS: Thanks for your info. I had a look at your black walnut table – gorgeous work. Good to know about ‘long grain glue’. Likely woodworking 101 – a great tip – thanks. Maybe for strength, this is all I need.

@WudnHevn – cheers. Beautiful work on the train tables too! I haven’t seen the tape method for glue-up. That’s all the tension you need? Did you brace these with a bock inside the 90 of the legs?

I just found an old video of Norm Abrams blanket box, and he used the same 90* legs and ran a dado down the face leg and a tongue, ripped on the table saw on the side leg (no 45s). That would be an option as well.

I do like the 45 method and then just a very slight chamfer with a router bit to take off the hard edge.

Thanks guys.

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blackspring

36 posts in 1825 days


#3 posted 02-20-2012 08:02 PM

@LS: Hi again, Just looking at your blog progress on the black walnut table. Are there corner supports behind those legs? Are they necessary for the strength of that 90* leg? I’d like to maximize space within the toybox – do you think I’d need those corner blocks?

Cheers!
Mike

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Lifesaver2000

544 posts in 2576 days


#4 posted 02-20-2012 11:57 PM

There are not really corner blocks exactly. What I did was miter the ends of the upper and lower rails, then glue them together kind of like a picture frame. I did add a single wood screw in each corner of these “frames” that is completely hidden once it is assembled. Then, I assembled the top and bottom to each of the vertical members, with the panels in place also, pretty much just like a frame and panel type of door.

For the legs, after I mitered them, I made a 1/4 inch deep recess, or dado for lack of better word, the same width as the rails. This put the inside edge of the legs directly against the panels, so it looks like the panels go in to a groove in the legs just like the actual grooves in the other parts.

The legs were glued by laying them flat, applying clear packing tape across the joint, then putting glue in the miter and folding it together. A little more tape held it to dry.

The legs then were glued to the frames. With the recess in the legs, there is lots of gluing surface and of course the weight sits right on the lip of the dado.

The legs do actually support the weight of the table (and it is very heavy) but they do not hold the corner of the table together. That is done by the frame.

All that being said, I do think the glued legs would be strong enough for any reasonable application. With the miter, you have over an inch wide glue joint. This is more than what you would have if you edge glued a 3/4 inch table top, and it is the same long-grain to long-grain joint.

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blackspring

36 posts in 1825 days


#5 posted 02-23-2012 10:59 PM

Thanks LS -

OK – I’ve started the drawing and have one question (ok maybe a few) – I’ve included an image:

For the bottom of the toybox, I have it drawn to use a 1/2 piece of plywood. Once the toybox is no longer needed, my plan is to line the plywood bottom with aromatic cedar and use it as a blanket box. A) is 1/2” ply adequate or over-kill for the bottom? B) is the 1/4” material before the 1/2” groove on the bottom rail (for the bottom) enough ‘meat’ for the bottom?

Also – I realize that once I get to the legs, I have an issue. What is ‘right way’ to do this? Should I A) notch the plywood around the leg? or B) continue the 1/2” dado through the leg?

Thanks gents !
Mike

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blackspring

36 posts in 1825 days


#6 posted 02-24-2012 02:53 AM

Thanks Wudn -
I’ve added a dado through the legs (.25” deep by .5” high) and raised the bottom rail dado leaving 3/8 material below.

It took me a while to figure out how to run a dado past the 45*, but just extending it past with push/pull and intersecting with component allowed me to erase the unwanted lines. (not sure if you’re using SU yourself). I just found it so I”m having fun trying it out on my first project.

One quick thing – should the plywood bottom just float in this dado, similar to any frame and panel construction? It’s my understanding that these panels need to float should there be any contraction/expansion.

Cheers again -

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blackspring

36 posts in 1825 days


#7 posted 02-24-2012 03:08 AM

Oh – one other thing if anyone can help.

This model is all 3/4” with a 1/4” dado in the stiles/rails for the panels. Would 1/4” Oak plywood be too thin?

I watch Norm build a box like this using 3/4” ply, he cut a rabbet around the panel to leave a 1/4” lip and then 45-ed the inside edge (I think he called this an old cabinet makers trick). 3/4” panels seem pretty thick though…again would a quarter inch panel be adequate? Thanks for your input guys.

Mike

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