Coffee table build: corner/center bracing

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Forum topic by GerardW posted 06-20-2013 11:31 PM 2080 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 1819 days

06-20-2013 11:31 PM

So I’m partway into this coffee table and looking for a little structural advice. The aprons connect to the leg with mortise and tenons (but haven’t been glued yet). The first question is if I need some corner bracing like a piece cut at a 45 in each corner (and if so how to connect that to the aprons). The second question is about a center brace/stretcher. One of the longer aprons (54”) has developed a pretty serious curve. If I connected it to a center stretcher, that should straighten it right? And how to connect that?

My first hardwood table project so help is appreciated!

-- Gerard in Bowie MD

3 replies so far

View GerardW's profile


44 posts in 1819 days

#1 posted 06-21-2013 01:37 PM

Bump- no love for this question?

-- Gerard in Bowie MD

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 1936 days

#2 posted 06-21-2013 04:34 PM

I give it a try.

45 corners , use a wood block and you can put a hanger bolt on to keep the leg tight. Screw them into the aprons.

Twisted apron. If you put in a dovetailed center stretcher, it may relive the torsion in the wood, it may make it worse.

If the apron is twisting now, I would consider a remake. Sorry. Or mill some shallow cuts on the back side, clamp it flat and fill with thick epoxy, then edge band the lower edge.

Keep us updated on what you did.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#3 posted 06-21-2013 04:39 PM

if the joinery is done right, you don’t really need a corner brace, but if you want, it will add more rigidity. screwing those on (no glue) would probably be best.

as for center brace – a sliding dovetail would be the way to go, then once aprons are in legs, simply slide it into the 2 aprons to keep them inline. as mentioned above -this would be a good option if your apron is bowing or cupping, but if you have a twist then this may not resolve everything and you could potentially still end up with an unsquare/unflat table.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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