Best Way to Attach Legs in New Table Project

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Forum topic by Philip posted 05-18-2012 03:03 AM 10277 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Philip's profile


16 posts in 2799 days

05-18-2012 03:03 AM

I’m planning a new project for my wife and trying to replicate the table pictured. My question is how best to attach the legs. Since the legs attach to the bottom of the apron instead of the apron into the side of the legs, I am not sure how to best attach the legs. I was thinking of making corner blocks or front to back runners out of 3/4 stock and attaching that to the apron with pocket screws and then driving screws through the block into the tops of the legs. I worry about the stability of this, I have never tried it before (It will be holding a computer). Any thoughts would be welcome. Thank You in advance.

-- If it was easy, anybody could do it.

9 replies so far

View Dusty123's profile


29 posts in 2167 days

#1 posted 05-18-2012 03:25 AM

The legs normally do not attach like you are saying. More then likely there is a part of the leg that extends all they way up to the bottom of the table top. It just looks like from the outside that the leg stops at the bottom of the table top.

If you already have the legs and they are the length of what is shown in the project and you want to use them. My I suggest to drill a 1” hole into each leg about 4-6” deep. Cut a 1” dowel long enough to go into the hole in the leg and extend through the apron to the bottom of the table top. Glue the dowel into the leg and screw the top portion of the dowel into the apron side. Be sure to pre-drill the holes in the dowel. Provide additional support for the dowel in the apron with wood triangles or a length of wood that runs from front to back of the table. Now to make room for this dowel and additional support you most likely will have to modify the right and left drawer, or just make those drawers with false fronts.

Good luck

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2252 days

#2 posted 05-18-2012 04:32 AM

Looks like a job for 8 inch carriage bolts with a large washer just under the left and right drawer.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Philip's profile


16 posts in 2799 days

#3 posted 05-18-2012 07:59 AM

Legs have not been made yet, I am still in the design phase. But if the legs went all the way up to the bottom of the table top they would be in the way of the drawer.

-- If it was easy, anybody could do it.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2816 days

#4 posted 05-18-2012 03:35 PM

Philip, Dusty’s concept is good. He is saying that the outboard drawer boxes would be narrower than the outside view implies in order to accommodate the leg. The drawer front would appear as shown. Or the outboard drawer fronts would be dummies.

Not knowing the origin of this picture, I’m assuming it is one of those cutesy designs that show up in magazines and books. “Use old card catalog pulls on this snappy desk that will work in an office or craft room.”

There is just too much leverage available to the leg for this to be a practical design.



-- " 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 CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#5 posted 05-18-2012 04:01 PM

I agree with Lee that it is a poor design if it is really made that way.

If I had to duplicate it, my first thought would be to attach the legs using lag screws from inside the carcass, countersinking the heads so the drawers would clear.

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

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2209 days

#6 posted 05-18-2012 08:32 PM

If keeping to the original design of the table, I like the large carriage bolt idea. Instead of gluing a dowel in, I’d use a threaded steel bolt. Then you just screw the legs right in and they can come off again if you ever need to break it down for transport or repair. It would be super strong this way. Especially if you can widen the dimensions of those quasi-aprons a bit. Maybe a full inch?

Personally, I’d consider having the legs moved over a bit so it’s longer and goes all the way up to the table top for maximum strength/ridgidity. Then it can be joined to the side apron using your joinery of choice.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Philip's profile


16 posts in 2799 days

#7 posted 05-19-2012 07:23 PM

I appreciate all the replies. I think I will just do a design modification so that the legs extend all the way up.

Thanks for the help.

-- If it was easy, anybody could do it.

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2252 days

#8 posted 05-19-2012 08:04 PM

There ya go!

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Woodknack's profile


11478 posts in 2346 days

#9 posted 05-21-2012 01:51 AM

2 ways to do this, design them similar to cabriole legs that run up inside the apron, the apron will sit atop a rabbet on the legs (I couldn’t find a picture); or use tenons and bring the aprons flush to the leg and cover with veneer mitered 45 degrees at the corner.

-- Rick M,

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