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Thread: Table without stretcher

  1. #1

    Table without stretcher

    I have a client who would like a table for their back porch (covered and screened in). She would like just 4 simple legs in the corners so no stretchers or anything to get in the way of feet, legs or pushing in chairs or bench. It is to be 70 x 35 inches and maybe teak or other hardwood. I worry about racking. Possible to make a big, heavy table with an apron and corner legs using hanger bolts? I show a 3 inch apron in the pics. Table 30 inches high. 1 inch or so thick top.

    Thanks gang!

    Scott Welty

    Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 7.29.37 AM.png Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 7.30.23 AM.png

  2. #2
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    I am finishing up a dining table. It is 40 wide by 88 with leaf. The aprons are 4 I used mortise and tenon for the legs. I added a corner block like in your drawing for insurance. I glued in the block and ran a screw through into the leg. It makes a very sturdy table. I would definitely use tenons at the leg to apron joint.
    Charlie Jones

  3. #3
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    I’ve made many tables with aprons and no stretchers between the legs. Tenons on aprons into legs or dominoes. Corner bracing glued and screwed into legs and aprons.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  4. #4
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    There was a recent article in FWW where the author used multiple pieces of threaded rod glued into the end of the leg and under side of the table top with epoxy and claimed it is very strong. I doubt this would work with a top only 1" thick, but you could build up the top to 2" where the legs are by gluing on a block only slightly larger than the leg. I'm not endorsing this approach but it seems like about the only way to get structural integrity.

    Another option would be to use a 1-1/2 to 2" thick cleat under the table top, one at each end, and attach the legs to it with M&T joints.

    Separately, I'd be worried about a top only 1" thick sagging over time if it's 70" long with no support between the legs.

    John

  5. #5
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    You should be fine, although I'd deepen the apron a bit, especially near the corners. I have the table below and it's as solid as a rock. It uses pegged M&T Joinery at the apron/leg connections.


    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  6. #6
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    Could you use cleats for the legs? As others said, the apron should work. Suppose it depends on what they want it to look like.

    Something like this: https://www.tablelegs.com/wegner-dan...raight-cleats/

    Obviously you could design them however you want. M&T the legs into the cleat to give you two solid leg assemblies, then attach the cleat to table with threaded inserts/screws (with slots or enlarged holes in the cleat to allow for wood movement). Since the cleat makes broader contact with the table, should reduce racking if the legs are firmly joined to the cleat.
    Last edited by Patrick Varley; 05-28-2021 at 12:17 PM.

  7. #7
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    Since you have aprons, then you should be able to put in additional bracing/components that will help prevent racking while not being visible. The corner braces will certainly help, but you can add more components, too. Obviously, the top still needs to be able to accommodate wood movement so any bracing is for the base only.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    If you want to use aprons use M&T joints to join them to the legs and then add a diagonal brace. You can use hanger bolts but screws are fine, too.





    John

  9. #9
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    In the construction biz, we had a phrase we used when we would go the extra yard to secure something. It was, "Well, that's not going anywhere!".

    Well, that leg is not going anywhere. Ever. That's the way you do it.

    Not that you needed me to tell you that. But for the OP and others, That's not going anywhere!

  10. #10
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    It's interesting that those legs have lathe type marks in the top and I assume the bottom. The machine that makes them must lock them in position using that and then turn them exactly 90 to do the routing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    It's interesting that those legs have lathe type marks in the top and I assume the bottom. The machine that makes them must lock them in position using that and then turn them exactly 90 to do the routing.
    Indexing lathe. Older types were mechanical (the old Legacy mills, for example) but most of this has transitioned to CNC these days. The method can even support profiles that are not "regular", such as cabriole legs.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    Yes, there are center marks both on the top and bottom of the legs, which I bought from Osborne. I have no clue how they were made, but they were very well done with very little sanding required before painting.

    John

  13. #13
    Good suggestions from you all! Thanks as usual
    Scott

  14. #14
    The customer is fond of black metal 4" square legs. I can get from Symmetry Hardware. They seem to think that just screwing four of their legs into the corners will be plenty sturdy. I have my doubts. For one thing I fear the whole thing will sag (70 x 35 @ 6/4). An apron would help with the sagging plus some cross members to put in figure eights to allow for expansion/contraction. Looking at Mahagony or Paduak. Never worked with Paduak before.

    Thoughts?

    Scott

  15. #15
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    Angle Iron "aprons" set back far enough from the edges can help keep things flat while largely being invisible. I agree that not having the extra support is going to be a nightmare over time.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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