View Full Version : How would you tackle this?

Russell Tribby
05-31-2007, 6:07 PM
One of my wife's friends asked me to make a replica of this table. I have posted it on a couple of other forums to get some feedback as to how to tackle the legs. The piece will be painted so I do not have to worry about matching grain for staining. So far I plan on making the legs and stretchers out of two pieces, with the joint somewhere near the top of the leg. Any suggestions or ideas beyond that or including what type of joinery you would recommend would be greatly appreciated.

Jim DeLaney
05-31-2007, 6:47 PM
It's gonna be hard to make the leg and stretcher assembly without resorting to some end grain - or nearly end grain - joinery, so you're gonna need to reinforce all the glue joints. I think I'd resort to dowelling the joints, and also making the joints up high on the legs - at or near their widest points. I'd also try to cut the pieces on a diagonal to avoid full on end grain joinery.

Most good wood glues will probably hold, but I think I'd resort to epoxy glues for this one. I'd probably also laminate the legs up in three or more pieces, for strength.

What wood will you be using? Since you're painting it, Poplar would work well. Basswood (Linden) would be easier to carve, but is softer and might dent more easily during actual use.

Interesting piece. I'd sure be interested in seeing progress pics as you go. Keep us posted!

Jamie Buxton
05-31-2007, 8:16 PM
Yeow. Ain't gonna be easy, at all.

Like Jim, I'd be uneasy about the joint between stretchers and legs. There isn't going to be much meat there. If somebody drags the table across a rug, I could see a leg getting ripped off.

Me, I'd think about bent laminations. One would start in the middle of a side, go roughly horizontal to the corner, and bend down to form half the leg. The other half of the leg would be the bent lamination coming from the adjacent side. There wouldn't be any cross-grain weaknesses. You'd need four different lamination forms -- two long sides, and two short sides -- and you'd make eight parts.

It'd be a very interesting and challenging project!

Ian Abraham
05-31-2007, 10:08 PM
If it's going to be painted what about laminating it up from plywood? Can be made as one piece then and no worries about end grain joins.

I'm sorta thinking about how the guys build up rocking horses etc, then carve it smooth again. Still a lot of work but should hold together better.



Russell Tribby
05-31-2007, 10:50 PM
Plywood is an interesting idea. It would be much easier than using conventional stock. I have never attempeted to bend anything so this will be a challenge for sure. Jim and Jamie, I share your concern about the strength of the joint where the leg meets the stretcher. I think the lady ordered this table and it arrived with one of the legs broken! Thanks for all of your suggestions. I really appreciate all the help. Keep it coming!