Natural Edge Table - Attaching the Leg(s)

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Forum topic by rance posted 11-30-2012 06:12 AM 8468 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3518 days

11-30-2012 06:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: joining natural edge

Folks, I have purchased a lot of wood this last two weeks. Some of which will be used for a natural-edge table top. I’ve seen pictures of many of these. Of the ones I’ve seen, a LOT of them seem to have a hidden attachment. Most likely a mortise & tennon attachment.

My table top will be approx. 20×26 x 2” thick. I have to admit, M&T is not my strong suit. Fact is, I simply have not needed them in the woodworking I’ve done. I want this leg to fit very solid. I’ve seen the designs where there is a hidden wedge. Those are a one-shot thing. Maybe not the best joint for my skill level. Is this my only choice for a solid connection?

In addition, any suggestions as to a leg design? I’m guessing that a natural stump of some kind might look best, but I’m all for a more contemporary leg/base for it.

Anyone that can give me some first-hand advice on this would be truely appreciated. Thank you all.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

4 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30320 posts in 2695 days

#1 posted 11-30-2012 06:23 AM

I do use M&T joints to put together my table bases. I still don’t particularly like doing them, and I am definitely not as good at it as I need to be. I am working my way up to making a full dining table. I have made tapered legs for them as well as using logs. Good luck.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3594 days

#2 posted 11-30-2012 01:36 PM

Here’s a couple of ways I fasten legs to my live edge benches and tables. The first one is just drilling a 1 1/2” hole with a forstner or spade bit, and inserting a leg with a tenon that I split on my bandsaw and drive in a wedge.

Here’s the jig I made to cut the 1 1/2” tenons (any size could be made)

And here’s how I make through tenons for a different style leg. I use the cut off corners of the leg as spacers for a quick jig that I clamp to the slab. Then I drill out most of the waste and use a router bit with a bearing to follow the jig. It only takes a few minutes to square up the mortise or round over the ends of the tenon. Then I cut a slot in the end of the tenon to drive in a wedge. I usually epoxy the legs as well as drive in the wedge so the legs won’t get lose over time.

Also look at other peoples projects, you’ll find a lot of different ways to attach table and bench legs. Good luck with your project.



-- Hal, Tennessee

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3518 days

#3 posted 11-30-2012 07:14 PM

Thanks Monte & Hal. One thing I was assuming was having a M&T, but not a through M&T. Other than using that hidden wedge, how else would you get it super tight? I’m now thinking that maybe a through tennon might be acceptable, but I don’t like the look as much. Hmmmm, decisions decisions.

Hal, that’s a cool use of the sawmill to get the legs level.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View a1Jim's profile


117614 posts in 3934 days

#4 posted 11-30-2012 07:32 PM

Here’s another thread on the subject.

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