Help with a curved leg joint in a tight space

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 06-22-2014 05:46 PM 984 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1959 days

06-22-2014 05:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: joining

Hey everyone,

I have attached some photos to help you get a picture of my dilemma. I have come up with this mock up for a commission and I have started milling and glue ups. I am thinking ahead towards doing joinery. As you can see in picture 1, there is a “v” shaped support that goes from the first tier of the table to the second and third tier. Picture 2 shows how I plan to joint the longer arm of the “v” to the underside of the top tier. I will just drill out a hole and join the leg to the top with a dowel or screw together and plug with a dowel. Simple. As you can see in picture 3, the problem is that on the shorter leg of the “v” going to the second tier of the table, there is not enough clearance (only have 4 1/2”) for getting a drill into the area to drill upward from the bottom side to make the joint. I don’t really feel like I could predrill this before assembly with curves and asymmetrical pieces. As you can probably infer, I don’t want any sign of a joint from the topside of the table, so I can’t just drill down. I know, I am an idiot for showing a client a mock up that I don’t know how to do yet. Honestly, I run into this on most projects and always figure out a way to do it between hours of thinking and a post or two on here.

My best idea thus far has been to use a right angle drill attachment in combination with a stubby drill bit.

Do you think that is the best option?
Any other ideas or tips on doing this? (I am open to screws and such, not just traditional stuff)

Thanks again

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

6 replies so far

View bandit571's profile


20219 posts in 2707 days

#1 posted 06-22-2014 05:54 PM

Reverve things a bit. Add a wood dowel to the supports. Add a match hole through the top of the shelves. Add a kerf to the end of the dowel. When the dowels come through the shelves, add a wedge of a contrasting colour, and sand/plane flush.

Can do?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1545 days

#2 posted 06-22-2014 06:26 PM

Especially since this type of situation comes up from time to time, the right angle drill seems like a workable solution. I also find it handy when installing narrow drawers, and other narrow work spaces are always cropping up. I find a battery-powered one more versatile, but you know your shop.

..But otherwise : couldn’t you assemble the upper leaves before attaching to the main tabletop ?

View LeTurbo's profile


226 posts in 1609 days

#3 posted 06-22-2014 07:34 PM

Build from the top down, surely? I’m not seeing the difficulty: do the top two tiers, then attach the bottom one and screw upwards. Or am I just being obtuse?

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1959 days

#4 posted 06-22-2014 07:42 PM

No, you’re not, but I really want to stick the “V” in last, to make sure that the fit is perfect. But I will try to rethink the sequence. There is probably a good way to do it top down that will still give me a good fit

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View knockknock's profile


447 posts in 2197 days

#5 posted 06-22-2014 11:21 PM

I would pre-drill the vertical hole in the short arm of the V (to attach to the second shelf) with a brad point bit. I would then assemble as much as necessary (without gluing) to have the V installed and the second shelf in position. Then I would take the same brad point bit I used to drill the vertical hole, stick it up there, hit it with a hammer (or twist by hand) to make a mark on the shelf. Then disassemble to remove the shelf, and drill where the mark is.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1959 days

#6 posted 06-23-2014 12:34 AM

That’s a pretty good idea…

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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