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Need Help figuring best way to attach 3x3 legs to tabletop

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Forum topic by AndreaD posted 01-14-2014 04:44 PM 4304 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AndreaD

4 posts in 1069 days


01-14-2014 04:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tabletop legs table question help corner brace

I started this tabletop, and didn’t really plan as well since I am not really a woodworker but by trial and error….seems more by error. I have completed the tabletop and already put on the aprons…probably a mistake as now ii have to attach the legs and not sure what is best and sturdiest way to do this without removing the aprons and mortising etc….Legs are 3×3 which I need to install so they can be removed if needed as tabletop is very heavy and would be difficult to move without taking them off.
Maybe attach two 2×2 supports across the frame and bolt through them to secure the legs (use hanger bolt and threaded stem in the leg?). Or do corner wooden supports or the metal corner braces with Kerf and bolt into those?? I just want to make sure I attach them so they are sturdy and easily removed. Pic is of underside and of tabletop with the legs (not attached – just sitting under) for an idea of the project.


11 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#1 posted 01-14-2014 05:04 PM

Nice pictures with a good looking table top AndreaD.

I’d make a secondary apron for the legs and attach as pictured.

Welcome to Lumber Jocks!

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#2 posted 01-14-2014 05:19 PM

Legs should be attached to the apron which become one unit to which the top is attached. Mortise & tenon is the traditional way, there are also metal corner braces, or you can use pocket screws. To retrofit the legs without taking it apart, pocket screws are probably the best.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2318 days


#3 posted 01-14-2014 05:24 PM

Head out to a thrift store or used furniture store and crawl yourself under some tables and see what the test of time has produced.

You’ll likely end up here, your words: the metal corner braces with Kerf and bolt into those??

Get ‘em from Rockler. You’ll also need to attach the skirt to the legs with a couple dry dowels per joint, so you’ll need a dowel drilling jig (or make one) and a set of dowel centers. And dowels. And hanger bolts. But you don’t need wingnuts; regular hex nuts will do.

You want to be sure that you have room to draw the leg up tight. Note in the Rockler illustration the inside corner of the leg is chamfered off. You may end up doing that; no one will ever see it.

Attaching the top can be via the buttons that waho so clearly showed or metal clips that fit into a saw kerf.

I am in no way connected to Rockler; this was just a convenient way to show the stuff I’m suggesting.

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 distrbd's profile

distrbd

2228 posts in 1914 days


#4 posted 01-14-2014 05:29 PM

I have used these fasteners called “Tabletop Mounting Clamps” . worked for me :
http://www.leevalley.com/en/hardware/page.aspx?p=40146&cat=3,41306,41309

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5734 posts in 2836 days


#5 posted 01-14-2014 06:53 PM

I had a similar issue with a rebuild of a table that had very badly scarred turned legs that were attached with table leg mounting plates shown below.

These are good for round legs but not square ones.
I cut a board a little longer the distance between the new square legs and attached two of the legs to each board and screwed the board to the table. Since these were short legs I did not add any gussets to the legs. If the legs had been longer, and there was no stretcher, I would have added gussets.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View AndreaD's profile

AndreaD

4 posts in 1069 days


#6 posted 01-14-2014 07:06 PM

Thanks for the compliment waho6o9. My first table! I am just about to stain it up today. I was thinking about adding a secondary apron inside the corners at least to help brace the legs a little better actually as I didn’t want to use 2×4 for the aprons initially because the tabletop ended up being much heavier than planned….
Rick and Lee thanks for the input as well. Lee that is exactly what I did to check out the various ways to attach this beast. Im thinking that the metal or wooden support is best- was considering chamfer off about an inch and a half of the leg just to where the support corner brace could sit on top and put a threaded insert into the leg- that way i can bolt through into the leg for support for easy knockdown…..now….attaching that into the secondary apron…suggestions??? I have a dowel jig so thats not a problem. i could glue some of those into the secondary apron and then dry dowel into the leg…but if i box in the legs with secondary apron and corner brace that might not even be necessary..
I think I am making far more complicated than I need to…but i figure its best to ask those with experience so i don’t learn from another mistake….Thanks all
Hi Ken, its actually the legs that I need attaching to tabletop I’m not sure these would be sturdy enough to hold the 3×3’s in place to the top. Looks like apron supports?

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2228 posts in 1914 days


#7 posted 01-14-2014 10:44 PM

Andrea,I like the idea of secondary apron to support those heavy legs(3”x3”x36”?),then those clamps will work very well.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View AndreaD's profile

AndreaD

4 posts in 1069 days


#8 posted 01-14-2014 11:10 PM

Hi Ken, this one is not a high top, the legs should be only 3×3x27.5 because the tabletop is about an inch thick…..so hopefully that will lend to the sturdiness…..I guess i can only try right!! ...

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2318 days


#9 posted 01-15-2014 12:37 AM

Quote: ...chamfer off about an inch and a half of the leg just to where the support corner brace could sit on top and put a threaded insert into the leg- that way i can bolt through into the leg for support for easy knockdown…..now….attaching that into the secondary apron…suggestions??? I have a dowel jig so thats not a problem. i could glue some of those into the secondary apron and then dry dowel into the leg…but if i box in the legs with secondary apron and corner brace that might not even be necessary…

I think you’re still tending to overcomplicate this, my friend.

Treat the leg-and-skirt as a separate subassembly from the top. The top has an edge on it.

Note several things here:

1. The hardware in the leg is a hanger bolt—lag threads on the end in the leg, machine threads which will accept the nut to tighten the leg to the skirt pieces.

2. There are no dowels. This is done, and it works, but it’s not as good as having dry dowels in there..

3. Some brackets fit in a saw kerf, which is nice once you get the layout. Others just screw on. Either will work for you.

4. (not to our point here really, but) Note the tabletop fasteners. The slots in each clip are 90o from each other, so they install a certain way to allow lateral wood movement on a solid tabletop. Clever hardware.

I hope this helps simplify your approach to this. The leg is a long lever arm which exerts quite a bit of stress on the joint at the skirt. Time has refined the construction of that joint. Take advantage of it!

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 AndreaD's profile

AndreaD

4 posts in 1069 days


#10 posted 01-15-2014 01:07 AM

HI Lee yeah I think I’m very much overcomplicating it. Your picture is pretty much exactly what I was going to do but with the exception of the secondary apron to beef out the corner for the brace.
Thanks for the input…..Looks great….and thanks so much for the direction…

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2318 days


#11 posted 01-15-2014 03:26 AM

Gladly. I see myself mirrored in your efforts and can get wistful that I didn’t have mentors at this point. I did a lot of overbuilding and attempting to “improve” things that were tried, true, and in no need of modificationthankyouverymuch.

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"

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