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Splayed legs on coffee table - design problem

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Forum topic by Furnitude posted 12-19-2013 06:58 PM 5080 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Furnitude

373 posts in 2973 days


12-19-2013 06:58 PM

I’ve got a bit of a design conundrum. I am making a coffee table with kind of a slab top. The legs need to be splayed and angled out at about 45 degrees—out toward the corners of the top. I don’t want there to be an apron, but I also don’t want the legs to come through the top (like with through tenons). This is kind of hard to explain and I haven’t been able to draw it yet. I’m envisioning a tapered leg with some kind of brace unit that could be directly mounted to the underside of the top—maybe even with screws. I’m having trouble finding examples of this sort of thing. Here’s an example of how the legs might be:
http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com/furniture/4/106

Here’s another example where you can sort of see how the leg is mounted: http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com/furniture/4/50

Can anybody figure out how there would be enough mechanical support? I see a horizontal piece that somehow joins the leg, so I’m wondering if there is another horizontal piece on the other side. If so , how are those actually mounted to the leg itself?

Any suggestions are appreciated.
thanks,
M

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com Also blog at http://www.craftsy.com/blog/author/mitch-roberson/


10 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#1 posted 12-19-2013 07:07 PM

Those legs appear to be at about 30o to the top. At 45o you’re asking much more of the structure.

Imagine someone sitting on the corner of your table—people do that—and ponder what kind of bulk you’d have in the substructure in order to withstand that moment.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in 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 Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3113 days


#2 posted 12-19-2013 07:12 PM

Go through the pictures and you’ll see the leg shown from
the other side. It’s probably mortised and pegged into
a notch in a single horizontal piece the same width as
the horizontal sticking out through the hole in the
slab leg at the other end.

View Furnitude's profile

Furnitude

373 posts in 2973 days


#3 posted 12-19-2013 07:17 PM

Lee, sorry I wasn’t clear—the splay angle wouldn’t be 45 degrees. I meant as if you were looking down from the top. Not sure what the splay angle would be—I would say 30 degrees or less. You are absolutely right to consider what kind of load it would need to support.

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com Also blog at http://www.craftsy.com/blog/author/mitch-roberson/

View Furnitude's profile

Furnitude

373 posts in 2973 days


#4 posted 12-19-2013 07:24 PM

Loren, I see the picture you are referring to. Missed that earlier. I think I understand what you mean. From different angles, you can see a horizontal piece on both sides of the leg. So are you saying the horizontal piece is wide—maybe 4”—and there is an angled notch to accommodate the leg? And then it is pinned?

Actually found another example with a head-on view: https://www.google.com/search?q=nakashima+leg+joint+splay&espv=210&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=eUezUuPqCI2lkQeC6IDYCw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1551&bih=774#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=Fy1hHvVb8dJzuM%3A%3BgYmy-kAVqrnY3M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fshard2.1stdibs.us.com%252FarchivesE%252Fupload%252F8048%252F23_13%252Fface%252Fface_l.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.1stdibs.com%252Ffurniture%252Ftables%252Fcoffee-tables-cocktail-tables%252Ffree-edge-walnut-coffee-table-george-nakashima%252Fid-f_820090%252F%3B768%3B654

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com Also blog at http://www.craftsy.com/blog/author/mitch-roberson/

View madts's profile

madts

1685 posts in 1805 days


#5 posted 12-19-2013 07:42 PM

This is how I did more or less the same thing. Used good quality epoxy for the joint. In this case West System with fillers. I can stand on the table and I weigh 190 lbs.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/66647

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Furnitude's profile

Furnitude

373 posts in 2973 days


#6 posted 12-19-2013 07:46 PM

Madts, very cool. thanks for posting that.

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com Also blog at http://www.craftsy.com/blog/author/mitch-roberson/

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile

CanadianWoodChuck

402 posts in 3379 days


#7 posted 12-20-2013 12:44 AM

I was just playing with ideas to mount your splayed legs. I think a heavy dovetail on a tapered mount would work quite well. Just a thought. Bruce

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce) http://3dwoodworkingplans.com

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1699 posts in 1421 days


#8 posted 12-20-2013 01:32 AM

Bruce, I really like your idea. I will be building a couple of coffee tables that will require a little creativity in the base design and this could come in handy. Do you think your design would appropriately allow for movement?

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile

CanadianWoodChuck

402 posts in 3379 days


#9 posted 12-20-2013 01:46 AM

I would elongate the screw holes where they attach to the table that should solve any wood movement issues. I’m glad you like the idea.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce) http://3dwoodworkingplans.com

View Furnitude's profile

Furnitude

373 posts in 2973 days


#10 posted 12-20-2013 04:50 PM

Very cool, Bruce. I think this independent leg approach would allow for wood movement certainly more than a traditional apron structure would. Each leg (or double leg, per Bruce’s drawing) would be independent of the other legs, so they could move all over the place and not cause any damage to the top because the top wouldn’t be constricted at all.

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com Also blog at http://www.craftsy.com/blog/author/mitch-roberson/

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