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Installing corbels: best method?

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Forum topic by HTX_woodworker posted 06-16-2018 12:16 AM 762 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HTX_woodworker

23 posts in 437 days


06-16-2018 12:16 AM

I’m in the midst of building my take of a Stickley lunch table, and I’m trying to determine the best method of attaching the corbels. I’ve seen some other members on here use biscuit joinery, but I don’t have a biscuit joiner. I was considering using a dowel jig, but was wondering if there would be any alternate ways that might be better. I’m including some pictures for reference.

Also, I was considering using dowel joinery for the other components of the table (I had considered pocket-hole joinery, but I was wanting a stronger joint and one that didn’t need to be filled. I would have been excited to use mortise-and-tenon joinery, but I haven’t practiced that. Yet. haha) Cheers!


15 replies so far

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ColonelTravis

1976 posts in 2314 days


#1 posted 06-16-2018 12:35 AM

I put corbels in a desk using shallow mortise and stub tenons on the corbels. After doing them I realized it’s overkill to M&T something like that. Next time I do that I’ll drill holes and use dowels. I also don’t have a biscuit thing, never wanted one, but that certainly would be fast and work fine.

Here’s all my corbels roughed out. Not hard to do them this way, just unnecessary. They aren’t supporting any weight, it takes more time than other methods.

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HTX_woodworker

23 posts in 437 days


#2 posted 06-16-2018 12:44 AM

Those are some awesome looking corbels!

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ColonelTravis

1976 posts in 2314 days


#3 posted 06-16-2018 12:49 AM

The design was not mine, I wasn’t smart enough to think about doing that. They are an idea from Jim Tolpin. I asked him how he did his and he said he hammered an allen key to make the impressions in the middle area. I tried that but didn’t like how it looked, so I got a torx screwdriver and liked little stars better than little stop signs. You can’t see them until you look up close but you can tell there’s some texture there.

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HTX_woodworker

23 posts in 437 days


#4 posted 06-16-2018 01:40 AM

I was wondering how you got that textured look. Did you hammer the torx screwdriver at a 90 degree angle or at various angles?

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jmos

916 posts in 2790 days


#5 posted 06-16-2018 01:52 AM

You’ve got a lot of long grain to long grain glue surface there. You could probably get a very strong joint with just glue on the long edge. I would only use dowels or biscuits to make the clamping easier, as the corbel wont slide around.

-- John

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Woodknack

12843 posts in 2800 days


#6 posted 06-16-2018 03:27 AM

Glue and nails.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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ColonelTravis

1976 posts in 2314 days


#7 posted 06-16-2018 03:57 AM

hammered it straight down

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AandCstyle

3214 posts in 2677 days


#8 posted 06-16-2018 08:58 PM

There a number of options:
1. Stub tenons or splines-more work but no chance of seeing any daylight.
2. Just glue-splines can slip under clamping pressure and/or squeeze out can create a pain to sand out before finishing.
3. A couple screws-need to counter sink and glue in plugs, almost invisible if you choose the wood for the plugs carefully.
4. Dowels-fine if you have them, possibility of daylight.
5. Biscuits-might slip down a bit when clamping the corbel.

There may be additional options. Personally, I like to use splines.

-- Art

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splintergroup

2730 posts in 1642 days


#9 posted 06-17-2018 02:00 PM

Splines were my first thought, but given the long grain glue up, just glue and a few brads in the joint with the heads snipped off will keep the parts from sliding while clamping.

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HTX_woodworker

23 posts in 437 days


#10 posted 06-17-2018 05:54 PM



There a number of options:
1. Stub tenons or splines-more work but no chance of seeing any daylight.
2. Just glue-splines can slip under clamping pressure and/or squeeze out can create a pain to sand out before finishing.
3. A couple screws-need to counter sink and glue in plugs, almost invisible if you choose the wood for the plugs carefully.
4. Dowels-fine if you have them, possibility of daylight.
5. Biscuits-might slip down a bit when clamping the corbel.

There may be additional options. Personally, I like to use splines.

- AandCstyle

How could I achieve the grooves needed for splines without a tablesaw? currently I’m limited to a plunge router (with a router table option) and tracksaw. Could I use a 1/4” diameter straight bit and set up a jig to cut the grooves with the router?

What factors would need to be present for one to see daylight when using dowels? Dowels being too long? or ill-fitting pieces to begin with?

I had considered using the countersunk screw + plug option, but was wondering what the best way would be to drill a straight pilot hole on a piece like this, without having a drill press?

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HTX_woodworker

23 posts in 437 days


#11 posted 06-17-2018 05:54 PM



Splines were my first thought, but given the long grain glue up, just glue and a few brads in the joint with the heads snipped off will keep the parts from sliding while clamping.

- splintergroup

What size brads would you recommend if I were to go this route? This is 3/4” white oak stock.

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HTX_woodworker

23 posts in 437 days


#12 posted 06-17-2018 05:56 PM



hammered it straight down

- ColonelTravis

Brilliant. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future reference!

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AandCstyle

3214 posts in 2677 days


#13 posted 06-17-2018 09:46 PM

HTX, use the router table with a 1/4” bit, no jig is necessary, but I would suggest using stops. Test on scrap to ensure that the bit is centered on the stock. Dowels will hold in the immediate vicinity of their locations, but can’t be guaranteed elsewhere along the length of the corbel. Probably 99+% of the time, there will not be a daylight issue.

Any size brad will work, you just want something with a point that will prevent any slippage.

-- Art

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splintergroup

2730 posts in 1642 days


#14 posted 06-18-2018 03:41 PM


Splines were my first thought, but given the long grain glue up, just glue and a few brads in the joint with the heads snipped off will keep the parts from sliding while clamping.

- splintergroup

What size brads would you recommend if I were to go this route? This is 3/4” white oak stock.

- HTX_woodworker

Here is a better description (see figures 7, 8, 9)

The brads are just big enough to keep the two surfaces from sliding around when clamped.

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ColonelTravis

1976 posts in 2314 days


#15 posted 06-18-2018 06:52 PM

Also for my desk, I learned a technique for molding – small cut nails (brad nails, really) and you take a tiny gouge chisel and lift up a small piece of wood without breaking it off, tap the nail in the spot, glue the piece back down, never know it was there.

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