How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy – A client came to me with a simple but complex problem… if only that were possible. “I want a dining room table that seats 12.” Curse! This is a big table!

You see, this client has a lot of family and friends that he spends a lot of time with. In their current setup, they use two dining tables, but this created two separate groups and moved one group away from the other. They want a table that is big enough for everyone to sit at.

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

Following my guiding design principles and in collaboration with the client, we decided that a buck style table would work best. This will allow a maximum number of people at the table without having to worry about leg room or table legs getting in the way if placed in the corners.

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I should point out that this is of course a large room, previously containing two dining tables, so the room had plenty of space.

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

After much collaboration and design, we settled on a table that was 11 feet long and 5 feet wide. This is a big table! The 11 foot length would easily allow for 4 chairs on each side, with the option to add another chair if needed. The 5 foot width allows for two chairs to be placed at each end. This configuration sleeps 12 comfortably and can be expanded to accommodate 14 if required.

Since this table will be so large, I needed a design that would allow the table to be taken apart if necessary. In my design, as you will see below, it consists of six main components; the two main leg frames at each end, the main support stretcher between the legs, two support stretchers under the top, and then the wedges that hold the main stretcher to the main base legs.

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

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Because this table is going to be so big, one of my biggest concerns was making the base strong enough to support the top. I haven’t mentioned so far that this table will be made of solid red oak; heavy things!

The top will be a little over 1 inch thick and 11 feet by 5 feet, so it will be significantly heavy. The base should not only be strong enough to support it, but also visually large enough that it won’t look out of proportion once the top is in place.

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

But first I have to rummage through these piles of rough wood to find the right boards. Womio Furniture Legs H28 Xw17.7(2pcs) Rustic Decory T Shape Table Legs,heavy Duty Metal Desk Legs,dining Table Legs,industrial Modern,diy Iron Legs

For the base, the first job is to join two pieces of 8/4 (2″ thick) wood to the desired thickness. The two main legs will be 4″ square. Language!

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

Once the legs have dried, it’s time for the joinery decoration. These legs are going to carry a lot of weight, so I want a joint that is super strong and durable. I chose to go with a double mortise and tenon joint, with a support pin in the joint. Below is the design for the studs I cut out first.

My cleats will be 1.75 inches long, with another ½ inch leg on one end. I chose the double tenon because I didn’t want to remove a lot of material from the mortise side that I thought would weaken the joint. I think it will make more sense as we go on. Here I hand cut the double studs and used hand tools to remove the material in between… making a huge mess!

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

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Once the bolts were cut I was able to focus on the holes provided. I like to use the tabs as a guide for configuring the tabs. I number each mortise and mortise combination to make sure they always match and fit as well as possible. Once the holes are in it’s just a matter of removing the material, which my hole punch does a great job of!

With all of that done, I just used a few hand tools to hone each joint to ensure a good fit. I then cut the half pivot joints in the center of each crossbar to form an “X” so I could dry mount the entire leg assembly.

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

As you can see in the picture, the stringers are still bulky, they will have a certain profile before they are finally assembled and glued. It’s best to do this before gluing everything together! The lower leg will have a torus-like rounding, while the top stringer will have a much shallower rounding. This shallow walk, as you’ll see later, will keep your legs out of the way of someone bumping their knee while sitting.

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With the tight fit of the legs and the round shape of the overalls, it was time to work on the main stretcher that will connect the two main structures of the legs. This stretcher will provide lateral support to the table to prevent the table leg from shifting and tipping. To do this I had to cut a dowel into each end of the stretcher and then cut a matching dowel into the legs where they cross.

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

Since this base will be a removable base, these dowels and dowel joints will not be glued, but will be held in place with a removable dowel. To do this, I need to make a spike on the outside of the main stretcher spike. Next I need to make a stick that can be pushed into the hole to tighten the base, but also removed if necessary.

Below is another picture of the entire table base dry-assembled with the main stretcher. You can also see the peg detail in the joints of the teeth and pins of the legs. These pegs feed through the center of the tape into the joint and add even more strength to the joint, as well as a nice design detail.

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One of the things about woodworking is that even if you have a well thought out plan, you have to be ready to adapt to changes that may occur. Up to this point in the build, one thing I struggled with was “how do I connect this top to the base?” I thought about using large bolts drilled through the main stand legs, but never liked that idea. So I decided to make a couple of secondary stretchers and glue the top through them. Since I wanted to disassemble the table leg, I couldn’t glue the frames to the base. So what I did was use dovetail slip joints to connect the two sub stretchers at the bottom.

This, after doing it, seemed like an obvious solution, but I had a really hard time thinking about getting there. In the end, this really served two useful purposes. First, he gave me a method to attach the top. I just drilled oversized holes in these spacers and screwed the top in from the bottom. Second, these dovetail brackets added even more strength and rigidity to the base of the table. These also keep the top from moving back and forth and really lock the base in place.

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

In part 2 of the series, we’ll look at how the huge top is built and talk about some of the challenges of building such a huge top. We’ll check out the finish on this table later, and then take a look at the finished product!

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How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

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Welcome to my blog. My name is Derik VanVleet and I am the owner/builder of VanVleet Woodworking llc. I hope you find this blog useful and revealing. Feel free to write a comment below. Thank you!

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

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How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

There are 12 references cited in this article, located at the bottom of the page.

Right Round 52

You can transform almost any old table by giving it a new set of legs. There are many different mechanisms that you can use, but they are not as difficult to understand as they seem at first glance. For coffee tables with thin legs,

How To Make Table Legs Sturdy

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