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Best method of attaching shelf to tapered leg?

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Forum topic by Brian posted 08-13-2009 08:32 PM 5239 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brian

79 posts in 3171 days


08-13-2009 08:32 PM

Looking for the best method of attaching a shelf to the tapered legs of a coffee table.
Notch in the legs? This way the shelf corners can be left as is. If so, how?
Cut a notch in the shelf to wrap around the adjacent sides of the legs? Then I can the taper angles to be concerned with, no?
For what it’s worth I’m making the shelf out of veneered ply and wrapping it with an inch or so of hardwood.
I’m also interested in how the shelf is secured to the legs.
Thanks in advance to any and all replies.

-- http://www.brianpenning.com/


9 replies so far

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 2730 days


#1 posted 08-13-2009 08:54 PM

You should put a picture of the table up so we can see what needs to be considered. Also, how much weight do you think it will have to support? What width ply (concerns weight)? Diameter of the legs? What kind of wood?

There are quite a few ways to solve that kind of issue…from using angle braces (it would be easy to conceal on the bottom of a shelf) to making stretchers attached to the legs and mounting the shelf on top…to using concise joinery like – If it is light you can contour the corners around the legs and use dowels or small bisquits. If it is heavier…you might want to cut mortises and tenons in the shelf. .....but seeing what you have to deal with is a good step.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 2727 days


#2 posted 08-13-2009 09:22 PM

i would notch the legs and fit the shelf before tapering the legs.

if youve already tapered the legs you could build a jig to keep the leg at the correct angle to cut the notch

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Brian

79 posts in 3171 days


#3 posted 08-13-2009 09:26 PM

OK, It’s actually 3 tables. The coffee table is 44 X 30 and yes the shelf will be supporting some weight.
The assemblies are just dry-fitted for the moment.

Legs

leg

-- http://www.brianpenning.com/

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 2730 days


#4 posted 08-13-2009 10:34 PM

Thats better…now I can see what to deal with….

There are a lot of options here….like Mike said…you can notch the legs and cut your shelf to sit in the slots…. You could put stretcher rails similar to the top and put the shelf on top or inside of those….you can put cleats on the legs to set the shelf on…you can bisquit the shelf on to the legs..(you might have to disassemble one or two legs to get access…the same coud be done using dowels or dominos….It all depends on how you want your project to look….

If it was my project I would probably use stretchers that are mortised into the legs….this would provide the outside trim…then I would mount the shelf inside and flush to the top of them….gives a nice clean look and would eliminate any wobble in the legs….there are many more ways then this….it just depends on what you feel comfortable doing….and what look you want to accomplish – I’ve seen styles that would use a half shelf…attached to two legs and then having 2 short legs of its own…..once again…its just a matter of the style you want to accomplish.

By the way….They look very good so far….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Brian's profile

Brian

79 posts in 3171 days


#5 posted 08-13-2009 10:50 PM

Thanks for the replies…
This is what the finished approved product is supposed to look like….

Table

-- http://www.brianpenning.com/

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2895 days


#6 posted 08-14-2009 11:48 AM

This seems never to be an easy question for modern furniture, that is supposed to look like the pic posted above. Here is what I think, if interested.

-If you are looking at going the notch method, I would suggest something similiar to what have in the pic below, if thats too deep or not what you are looking for lookwise, I would suggest then as the others suggested using dowels. I also drew in the lower part of the pic how one could drill holes on a corner to take a dowel, then you would not have to let so far into the leg… It would pretty strong with dowels as a fastener or notched in.

sockel attachment

Hope this was helpfull!

good luck

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Brian's profile

Brian

79 posts in 3171 days


#7 posted 08-14-2009 01:19 PM

Thanks for the input.
I was thinking of the 1st option with 1 difference.
Place the ply alone in the notch and then after the tables are assembled add the hardwood wrap-around between each leg. Wouldn’t have to miter with this method.

-- http://www.brianpenning.com/

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2895 days


#8 posted 08-14-2009 02:14 PM

true, that might be quicker, but also think that since the legs are tapered, you will still have to cut an angel to match the legs. Tough decision!

Lots of luck

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#9 posted 08-26-2009 06:51 AM

Well Brian
I did a table some time ago that looked similar to yours and I opted for some wedge shaped angles on the inside acting like pegs in adjustable shelves but of course contoured to the in side of the leg to rest the shelf
on with small dowels on each corner. also the contoured supports were made from a contrasting wood.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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