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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:00 pm 
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Location: Central Texas
What is the best way to attach legs to a table?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:56 am 
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How long is a piece of string?
:D

Depends on the construction of the table as there must be at least a couple dozen different methods.

Is it just legs and a slab?
Legs with aprons?
Legs with aprons and stringers?
Four legs? Six? Eight?
Solid top or drop leaf?

How thick are the legs/table top?
How tall are the legs?

Round, rectangular, circular?

Personally, I like the look of aprons mortised/tennoned into the legs. This creates a solid structure to support the table and its occupants.
Additionally, it allows for several different attachment methodologies that take into account the seasonal movement of the top.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:13 pm 
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I'm making rectangle butcher block mesquite tables with four legs, but I was thinking maybe two broad legs. I can't decide. I usually use a Kreg jig with an apron. I wondered what the thoughts of other table makers were.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Are you thinking a 4x4x4 butcher block? I'd say Big fat legs set into the table with possibly inch and a falf tenons set into the bottom(DUH) about three inches.
How big is your lathe, swing of 8 inches and long enough for the legs.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:29 pm 
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Made one of those a hundred years ago (well actually 50 years ago) in high school wood shop class.
The legs need to be quite stout because they take much more abuse that a dining room table. As Frank said, beefy mortise and tenons. The easiest way is to simply make them square, then cutting the tenon is easy using a dado set on the table saw. The size would depend on the size of the butcher block top. Mine was 2 ft X 3ft by 4 inches thick, so I made the legs 3 inches square, with 1.5 inch tenons.
The difficult part is getting all four legs the exact same length!!! :wink:

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:20 am 
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Grayshadow95 wrote:
The difficult part is getting all four legs the exact same length!!! :wink:

Good luck!


When I find a floor that's perfectly planar, I'll worry more. Until then, I use leveling pads on the legs. You'll want some rubber for anti-skate anyway.

On an end-grain butcher block I'd mortise into the top and go 3/4 of the way through. Grain direction would be the same, that way. For anti-racking help beyond the shoulders on the legs, you can mortise an apron into your legs and butt it up tight to the bottom of the block. On a glued up board "butcher block" I'd go aprons and z fasteners.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:09 am 
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Quote:
I'm making rectangle butcher block mesquite tables with four legs


Ah. Cool.

I've been around a couple of true antique butcher block "tables".
Massive hunks of end grain sitting on stout legs.
None of which had aprons.

At that time I wasn't much into woodworking an didn't inspect the construction.
However, all were very solid ... i.e. no wobbly legs.

So, I suspect they were made the way NBGeorge describes :

Quote:
On an end-grain butcher block I'd mortise into the top and go 3/4 of the way through. Grain direction would be the same, that way.


Or, again as he suggests ... 4 legs with mortise/tenon aprons then whichever top-structure fastener you are most comfortable with.
I like using "buttons" (these are not mine):

Image

Route a groove all the way around the aprons.
That way you can place them where ever you wish.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:41 am 
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What Dan said, y can also buy clips that do the same thing, or use a Kreg jig and pocket hole it


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