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tim

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I want to make a bench out of essentially 3 slabs of oak.

The top will be c1200mm long and 450mm wide and 40mm thick. The legs will be two solid pieces approximately the same width as the bench and about 400mm tall plus a little thicker (c50mm) because i want to taper the panel gently to the top so top of leg thickness is c 40mm. For clarity the inside of the leg will be vertical and the outside will carry the taper.

I will put a stretcher between the two legs and normally I would use wedged through mortices for the leg to seat joint. However, the slab I have for the top is really nice and I want to keep it clear of any visible joints. Will blind M&Ts work fine - it won't get any more abuse than normal benches but obviously thats still quite high and its for us (for once) rather than for a customer so I'll be able to keep an eye on it.

I think given the thickness of the materials, they will be okay but if someone has a better option I'd be really glad to hear it.

Thanks

Tim
 

Philly

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Tim
I attached the top on my bench with lag bolts from the bottom thru the legs-no sign from above then! Thats a standard bench construction method, if the plans I've seen are anything to go by.
Hope this helps
Philly :D
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Tim
I'm not sure that this is better, but it's something you may wish to consider, if only to confirm your own solution (which I think will work fine BTW).

You could:

Rout a rebate, stopped at front and back on the top inside edge of the legs (ie cross-grain)

Glue in a strip so that the grain of the strip is the length of the rebate

Rout short grooves in the inside face just underneath the new strip

Attach the top with buttons. The strip means you will not be pulling out short endgrain, yet it will be glued to the legs face-grain to face-grain (albeit cross-wise).

There will be little or no mechanical strength between the legs and the top, but if you have a chunky rail joining the two legs, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

FWIW, I'd probably use through tenons wedged with ebony.

Cheers
Steve
 

tim

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Thanks guys,

Philly - the only prob I have is that the legs are 400mm long - lot of drilling needed since I dont want bedbolt style spanner holes in the inside faces.

Steve - i'm not sure I totally understand your plan - but if I do teh obviously the buttons (or indeed a button strip) would be visible and i'm keen to use as little visible fixing as poss.

I think maybe the through tenon may still be the way ahead (I have some nice walnut scraps lying about)

If I do decide to just use M&T can you confirm that they would probably be okay?

Thanks

Tim
 

Steve Maskery

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Tim,
The buttons would only be visible when you get down on your hands and knees.

Extending Philly's idea, you could:

embed a stainless or brass nut in the underside of the top, covered with a strip

rout a groove the length of the inside of the leg, inline with each nut

rebate each side of the groove

fill in the rebate with a matching oak strip - this will create a square hole the full height of the leg

run lengths of brass or SS studding up each hole and to the nut in the seat. It can be tightened up with a socket spanner in a suitable recess routed into the bottomof the legs.

If you match up your infill strips well, it should be pretty darn invisible, and mechanically very strong. I have made a boardroom table in this way.

As I say, I'd use wedge through t's, but I'm sure blind t's would be OK too. You could fox-wedge them, but you only get one shot at that.

Cheers
Steve
 

tim

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Thanks Steve,

I think I'd just reached all of the same outcomes - I think I'm going to look at the trough option again and see how much it will detract from the look.

I have fox wedged before but its as scary as hell so I think I'll avoid if I can!

T
 

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