Attaching legs to skirt and skirt to table top

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Forum topic by menuisierJC posted 01-19-2021 02:06 PM 343 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 44 days

01-19-2021 02:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table leg legs skirt remove permanent permanently removable expansion contraction bracket question joining clips

I am designing a kitchen table that will seat 6. There will be four legs, one in each corner. To attach the legs to the skirt, there seem to be two general techniques. (1) Permanently attach the legs to the skirt (e.g., mortise and tenon) and attach the top the skirt with clips or another means that allows the top to expand and contract. This technique is great if you don’t need to remove the legs. (2) Attach the skirt permanently to the top and attach the legs to the skirt with a metal or wood bracket. This technique allows you to remove the legs, but doesn’t allow for expansion of the top. QUESTION: I would like a third option. Will there be a problem if I use a bracket to attach the legs to the skirt and clips to attach the skirt to the top? This would allow for expansion AND allow the legs to be removed. It seems like an obvious thing to do, but I have not seen it used.

-- Jeffrey

4 replies so far

View JackDuren's profile


1461 posts in 1969 days

#1 posted 01-19-2021 02:19 PM

View Rich1955's profile


314 posts in 400 days

#2 posted 01-19-2021 02:46 PM

I would definitely use clips to hold the top to the aprons as these allow the top to expand and contract. As for brackets to hold the legs I am not sure how strong they are because I’ve never used them.

-- Rich

View Lazyman's profile


6640 posts in 2397 days

#3 posted 01-19-2021 02:58 PM

Regardless of how you attach the skirt to the legs, unless the top is plywood or veneered MDF or particle board, you need to attach the top in a way that allows for wood movement.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View CWWoodworking's profile (online now)


1500 posts in 1188 days

#4 posted 01-19-2021 02:59 PM

Make a ladder type frame like pic above. You could mortise in the end skirts and just have it KD from the one side. Use something like this-

Personally would avoid KD legs if at all possible. I worked in furniture retail for 30ish yrs. All KD legs eventually come loose and are not that great to begin with.

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