tenons with hollow legs

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Forum topic by coolhandl posted 01-13-2015 02:43 AM 804 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1409 days

01-13-2015 02:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise tenon hollow dovetail table

I am fairly new to woodworking, completely new to joinery…

I don’t like to do anything half way, so my first project is a very large dining table made of walnut. I am part way through the project and thinking about how to attach the legs to the apron. So before you tell me to go do some small projects and learn, well that horse has left the barn. I am doing prototypes of each step so hopefully it will all work out ok.

My legs are made of 4 1/2” X 1” beveled stock glued up in a square, the important take away here is the center of the legs are hollow with about 2” of hollow space in them. The side apron is about 3” wide by 1 5/8” tall and the end apron is about 2” wide by 4 1/2” tall, the side apron will not be visible.

Now to the question: I have thought of several ways of attaching the side apron, originally I had thought of a sliding dovetail but since the legs are splayed it was making that rather difficult for me to wrap my head around. I was then going to use a haunched tenon, filling the void in the table legs a few inches deep with face laminated stock, mdf or something that would help hold it all together. Given the scenario I have laid out does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to tackle this problem?

3 replies so far

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5620 posts in 2778 days

#1 posted 01-13-2015 02:57 AM

I usually just use mortise and tenon construction with hollow legs. I like locking miter joints better than simple miters because they are easier to assemble.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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7 posts in 1409 days

#2 posted 01-13-2015 03:12 AM

Thanks for the quick response, nice tree in your yard. You wouldn’t believe how much googling I have done to find a picture like the one you posted, thank you.

Let me ask a really dumb question, the way you have this setup how deep do you make the tenons? I am assuming just slightly deeper than the leg stock? Its quite a long table do you think there will be any support issues with having it open on top like that? Table is about 86” long 122” extended. If not this would greatly simplify my approach.

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3027 posts in 2222 days

#3 posted 01-14-2015 02:01 AM

Cool, Willie is the master so I would probably follow his lead. However, in my uneducated past, I made the legs as you have and then glued a block into the center of the legs to receive the tenons. I was concerned about wood movement, so I made the blocks a bit narrower than the cavity. They can be full length or just added in where needed, plus a few inches length to assure a good glue bond.

My current method is to laminate a substrate with lesser wood (same species, but little to no figure) and veneer all 4 sides (see pix 2-5). This eliminates the hollow issue and is a good use for plain stock. FWIW

-- Art

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