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Table leg braces

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Forum topic by mtx77 posted 12-13-2012 06:20 PM 2109 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mtx77

24 posts in 707 days


12-13-2012 06:20 PM

I got this tabletop ive been working on here and there, attaching an apron & legs. I figured it’d be a somewhat easy thing to get back into woodworking.

I guess the pic explains where everything is. The apron is oak and the legs are whatever Lowes calls douglas fir 4×4’s. All the triangular braces on the apron & legs are wood screws, the other screws are going into inserts. It all seems to be working together well. Im putting a single leg in the center as well.

But one thing I didnt realize would happen…4×4’s flex a bit when i push on them. They’re about 32” tall. They’re anchored solid, but the wood itself flexes a bit. The tabletop is 1 1/4 solid oak, 12’ x 4’. Its really really heavy. Its going to be a workbench and my concern is if I can move the legs a bit by hand, it’ll move around alot when the tabletop is being used.

So how to strengthen up the legs? I was thinking braces like this:

Yes? No? I’d like the brace up as high as possible so its not in the way (I may not put one of the front-facing sides actually) but not sure how high I can go and have it still be effective. Im going to stain & poly it all in a shade as close to the tabletop as I can so i care a bit how it looks, but functionality is more important than looks in the end.


7 replies so far

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mtx77

24 posts in 707 days


#1 posted 12-13-2012 06:23 PM

BTW, the brace I was just going to cut some 4×4’s at 45degress and then attach them to the legs with woodscrews. Basically the same thing I did with the smaller braces where the legs meet the table. Unless someone tells me thats a bad idea :)

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1846 days


#2 posted 12-13-2012 06:24 PM

How are you planning on using the bench?

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1846 days


#3 posted 12-13-2012 06:28 PM

Diagonal supports might work for a light duty bench, but I’d notch your legs (half lap) and add some horizontal braces…one at top near the apron and another about 8 to 12” off the ground.

EDIT: Seeing that your legs are 4×4s, I’d probably use mortise and tenons to do the horizontal supports, especially if you can remove the legs to do the mortises. Because your apron doesn’t completely encircle the bench, I’d still add a top support as well.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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crank49

3458 posts in 1659 days


#4 posted 12-13-2012 06:56 PM

A 4’ x 12’ top is huge. You’re going to need bigger aprons, and probably need to add stretchers as well, all keyed into the legs with mortise and tenon joints if you plan to do work on that bench like sawing and planing etc.

At a bare minimum do like Comicsniper suggested and make the apron to leg joints half laps. Man, for a 12 foot table top those aprons are going to need to be 2×8s to stabilize that thing. That’s an aircraft carrier.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1846 days


#5 posted 12-13-2012 07:07 PM

Yep, I wasn’t just talking about supports for the ends, but from rail to rail as well (stretchers).

I also didn’t see the size of the table top. Holy cow. I’d definitely change the apron and make sure that you have legs half way across the span. You don’t want to run stretchers 10 to 12 feet without support at the middle…or at least I wouldn’t.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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mtx77

24 posts in 707 days


#6 posted 12-14-2012 03:26 AM

The table is definitely large. And heavy. I didnt know it was 12’ when i said i wanted it. I originally asked if we had anything up the farm i could use as a small worktable. I was thinking an old desk and my father showed up with this.

I just did some tests with a chalk line placed in certain places. When the legs flex, the leg base and apron arent moving. Its the 4×4 just bending. Its not alot, maybe 1/16 with a pretty hearty push. I do have legs in the middle so perhaps horizontal braces could work. Ive already spent way more than i thought so another 30plus ft of oak for a new apron is a last resort. That was my original plan till I added it up.

Its going to be light duty. Electronics projects, guitar/computer work, small stuff like that. No pulling large objects or sawing so there shouldnt be alot of side loads.

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derosa

1556 posts in 1524 days


#7 posted 12-14-2012 03:32 AM

Seems odd that the 4×4 would be bending unless you’re referring to the joint where it meets the top. Since the legs aren’t oak, if looks aren’t everything, get some 2×6s and make stretchers halfway up the legs, you can build a shelf on them with ply later but for now they would keep the legs from racking and help stabilize things.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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