LumberJocks

splayed legs on kitchen table: which joint to use?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Mark posted 01-31-2014 05:36 PM 2907 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile

Mark

9 posts in 1480 days


01-31-2014 05:36 PM

I want to build a kitchen table with splayed legs, but I don’t know what joint to use for joining the legs & aprons.

Here’s my design:

The aprons are about 4”, the splay angle is about 5°.

If it were straight-legged, mortise & tenon would work, but I’m worried that the splay will tend to pull M&T apart.
The two things I can think of to keep the tenons from pulling out are to peg them or dovetail them (so they would slide down into the mortise from the top of the leg). Pegging seems easier, but would it be strong enough?

Thoughts? Is there another approach I should be using? Are splayed legs on a kitchen table just a bad idea? Or is the splay angle so small that I don’t need to worry about it, and regular M&T will be fine?


11 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3019 posts in 1259 days


#1 posted 01-31-2014 05:39 PM

Corner Bracket?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1812 days


#2 posted 01-31-2014 07:14 PM

Are they splayed in two directions or just one? I can’t tell from the drawing. My feeling is that a M&T joint will be plenty adequate. If you’re worried about it, then draw bore the tenons. It will be critical to cut the angle the shoulders of the tenons accurately.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Greg's profile

Greg

312 posts in 2334 days


#3 posted 01-31-2014 07:20 PM

One old table trick is to just taper the legs on the two INSIDE edges below the apron. This gives it a look of tapered and splayed legs w/o making the joint process difficult. I have used this on some end table and a hall table I built. I always opt for Mortise & Tenon. If I am going to do it, I am going to do it RIGHT, so it lasts!

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net? http://www.Sierra-Nets.com

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1138 posts in 1135 days


#4 posted 01-31-2014 07:29 PM

Offset the tenon lengths and use 3/8 stub tenons as well. Thru tenons just to illustrate the offset.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Mark's profile

Mark

9 posts in 1480 days


#5 posted 01-31-2014 08:38 PM

Charles, do they make brackets with splay? I’m not sure I could bend a normal vertical-leg bracket correctly to attach to a splayed leg.

Bondo, they are splayed in 2 directions. The bottom of the leg is directly below the corner of the top, while the top of the leg is inset 2.5” from each edge of the top. Top is 29” above the floor, so the leg/apron angle is 5°, while the leg itself is 7° off vertical.

Texcaster, that’s a good idea. So those tenons are haunched right? It doesn’t weaken the top of the leg too much?

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3019 posts in 1259 days


#6 posted 01-31-2014 08:57 PM

I’m no expert, but I think you can use the above bracket or one like this from Rockler. You would just need to trim the leg and aprons to the appropriate angle. The rockler would be easier since you wouldn’t have to make those small grooves at an angle.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1138 posts in 1135 days


#7 posted 01-31-2014 09:44 PM

One way to keep the geometry simple… make the taper after the joint area.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Mark's profile

Mark

9 posts in 1480 days


#8 posted 02-01-2014 07:19 PM

I made a couple test joints last night. One through-tenon, and one pegged tenon. Both turned out strong. The through-tenon one I could stand on and it didn’t break. I think that’ll be the way to go.

I’ll be sure to taper the legs on the inside to accentuate the visual splay effect.

Does anyone have suggestions on what wood to use for this project? I want a light wood, like maple, but as I’ll be cutting the joints with hand tools I’d rather not work in something has hard as maple. Is alder strong enough for a kitchen table?

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#9 posted 02-01-2014 07:55 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test

Alder’s 590
maple's
1450

give or take.

Silver maple’s @700.

HTH

View Mark's profile

Mark

9 posts in 1480 days


#10 posted 02-01-2014 09:13 PM

is 590 too soft for a table, which might have to support a lot of weight?

View wseand's profile

wseand

2754 posts in 2503 days


#11 posted 02-01-2014 09:46 PM

You problem with alder is that it may scratch easier because it is soft not that it will fail structurally. I would say that M&T would hold up but if your worried go with deeper tenons or through tenons like suggested earlier

You have to consider if it is Cabinet grade, Frame grade, Knotty Alder. It doesn’t look like a large table how much weight are you talking about.

I have used Alder in bookshelves and tables and have not had a problem. I’ve seen it used for all kinds of projects, including entertainment centers.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com