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Table leg extension for a friend

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Forum topic by controlfreak posted 05-21-2020 05:11 PM 523 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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controlfreak

1782 posts in 612 days


05-21-2020 05:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining

The double screw thing is what the hardware store gave her to use so lets not waste time on that thingy.

Background: I haven’t seen the setup but I think this is to fill a gap between two cabinets. The gap is not very great and was the result of not wanting to relocate a heat vent in the wall. The desire is to have a granite top with these legs which need an extension to get to the right height. Not having a way to attach the leg to the top is one problem. the other is how to keep the legs from racking when the table is moved.

Some random thoughts that come to mind:

I could add the extension via some dowels. Then add some rails and do a mortise that spans both pieces. Then place a secondary apron around the added extensions just to mask the joint and possibly add some more rigidity. I suppose I could also some sort of morticed rail at the bottom to hold that end of the legs assuming that it won’t interfere with the storage. Come to think of it I could add a shelf to do the same.

Any ideas would be welcome.


11 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

3128 posts in 3035 days


#1 posted 05-22-2020 01:31 AM

One way to do this is to drill oversized holes into both ends that are to be joined. By oversize, I mean bigger than the dowel you will use. Mix up a thick batch of epoxy, using an appropriate thickener. You’ll need enough to completely fill the voids around the dowel, and should get some squeeze out. When the epoxy is cured, of course you have to clean everything up.

The reason for the oversized hole is that it is almost impossible to drill perfectly centered, perfectly aligned holes into end grain.

This is an excellent quick way to repair broken chair legs and spindles. But making the joint strong enough to resist racking forces is problematic.

By the way, I harbor a deep antipathy to the dowel screws your are contemplating.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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controlfreak

1782 posts in 612 days


#2 posted 05-22-2020 10:40 AM


By the way, I harbor a deep antipathy to the dowel screws your are contemplating.

- runswithscissors


Thank You for the epoxy idea. I was contemplating using dowels and glue. What is a dowel screw?

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runswithscissors

3128 posts in 3035 days


#3 posted 05-22-2020 08:31 PM

That’s a dowel screw sitting on the leg in your photo. They have a lag screw thread on each end. You join the pieces by rotating one against the other, as there is no other way to turn the screw. It isn’t hard to imagine how awkward this can get as the two pieces of the assembly approach closely to each other before making contact.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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controlfreak

1782 posts in 612 days


#4 posted 05-22-2020 08:55 PM

Ah, that was something my friend got from the hardware store. I already know in my heart that it would not prvide enough strengh to join the pieces.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1541 posts in 737 days


#5 posted 05-22-2020 09:04 PM



Ah, that was something my friend got from the hardware store. I already know in my heart that it would not prvide enough strengh to join the pieces.

- controlfreak


Just my Opinion

Yeah it would, I’ve used them plenty of times.
Put a puddle a glue in between them and it’s not going to break.
I drill the pilot for the first side tight and use vice grips to put it in. Then I drill the pilot a smidge bigger for the other half and it screws right on. I haven’t had a problem getting it tight and then give it the extra ~1/4 turn to line up the faces.

But, if you don’t like them, NP, not everybody does.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6318 posts in 3824 days


#6 posted 05-22-2020 09:09 PM

Might be easier and better in the long run to turn a new leg or otherwise start from scratch.

I can’t see anyone being happy with the end result of a patched leg (structurally or aesthetically).

Good luck.
Remember, saying no is an option.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View hcbph_1's profile

hcbph_1

92 posts in 324 days


#7 posted 06-08-2020 08:12 AM



Might be easier and better in the long run to turn a new leg or otherwise start from scratch.
I can t see anyone being happy with the end result of a patched leg (structurally or aesthetically).
ood luck. Remember, saying no is an option.
- pintodeluxe

I’ve extended legs before, and I have to agree that the best solution is to turn a new leg. Even using dowels and lag bolts to join them is not as strong as a new leg IMO.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6536 posts in 1600 days


#8 posted 06-08-2020 02:20 PM

Rather than trying to line up the extension piece, I’d cut it oversize, glue it on with a dowel, and trim it flush with the sides of the existing leg piece.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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controlfreak

1782 posts in 612 days


#9 posted 06-08-2020 03:15 PM

I was thinking of epoxy and dowling the extensions and plane to size. Then mortice some rails spanning both and possibly use some dowels to lock the rails then either fill and paint or use some sort of skirt that will mount on the outside just low enough to cover the extensions. I would need to play around to see how this will visually impact the piece. I know this may be a lot of work but it would be a skill builder for me as I have never done this type of joint before.

I had to put this on hold due to not wanting to risk exposure to Covid prior to my daughters wedding this Saturday. But will still welcome any comment or suggestions to my possible plan.

View theart's profile

theart

233 posts in 1565 days


#10 posted 06-08-2020 04:16 PM

I would probably use a lap or bridle joint, but only if I was painting. If you’re planning on a stained/clear finish, get new legs. It will be less effort than getting an acceptable match.

View woodetal's profile

woodetal

103 posts in 783 days


#11 posted 06-08-2020 05:10 PM

Just this weekend I extended legs on two side tables. The new bed mattress was @7 inches taller than the previous. The result was a bed side table that was too short.
I considered the dowel option. I ended that thought quickly. At some point in time, I may want to remove the extensions and return to the original side table height. SO, I went with pocket screws in the extensions into the existing leg. Racking does not appear to be an issue. It is stable. Still, the extensions are at the bottom of the leg. So, the finish is close, not exact. Each table leg was a little off—1/8” was the greatest difference. I was not close to my shop, so I adjusted the difference by adjusting the installation to split the size differential. Not noticeable to an untrained eye. It is still a Frankenstein. Good luck. Been there done that. Brian

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