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Home Woodworking Plans & Articles > Part One: Simple Add-On Services

Part One: Simple Add-On Services

How to make legs and funiture feet easier to install.
Simple add-on ‘services’ can help.
This service makes it easier for you to attach the furniture feet you order to the bottom of your furniture or cabinet. With this service, metal pins designed to connect the feet to your cabinet or furniture, are factory installed in your parts. The metal pins may be one of two different kinds – hanger bolts or dowel screws.
Both hanger bolts and dowel screws are inserted into the top of the foot, first by boring a small hole, then by spinning in one end of the hardware. After insertion, both options display metal threads that project up from the top of the foot and are designed to go up into the base of your piece of furniture or cabinet.
What’s the difference then, between a dowel screw and a hanger bolt? Let’s take a closer look.
A dowel screw is designed to secure your furniture foot to thicker wood. When compared to a hanger bolt, the dowel screw has coarse wood threads on the exposed end. And, the exposed tip is pointed, just like most other types of wood screws. An undersized pilot hole is first bored into the base of the furniture or cabinet. Then, the foot with dowel screw attached, is simply spun by hand into position and snugged up gently against the bottom of the furniture or cabinet. The dowel screw threads bite directly into the thick wood of the furniture base.
If you are replacing the feet on an existing piece of furniture, you may want to look at how the existing feet are attached to your furniture or cabinet. If you find additional metal hardware – nuts, washers, T-nuts – you need the hanger bolt option. If you find nothing but wood, you probably need the dowel screw option.
A hanger bolt has machine threads on the exposed end. Machine threads are finer (1/4-20). The exposed end of the shank, where it goes up into the furniture, is flat, not pointed.
If you are attaching the foot to a board 1" thick or less, and you reach around to the backside of this board with a wrench, you can use a hanger bolt with a nut and washer (included) to secure the foot to furniture. If you are attaching to thicker stock, you may want to consider the dowel screw.
We sell the hardware separately, and we also sell it installed in the feet. In relation to the small installation fee, you can't beat the accuracy and convenience of having us install the hardware for you.

First, a definition: The mortise is a slot or recess, usually rectangular, cut into a wood table leg or wood column to receive a matching projection (tenon) from a wood apron designed to support a table or counter top. Together, the mortise and tenon form the mortise and tenon joint, a kind of woodworking joint, that joins one piece of wood to another. And together, the legs and aprons combine to form your table or vanity base.
The mortise and tenon joint, when properly done, is exceedingly strong and durable. It has been a basic hallmark of good furniture and cabinetry construction in America since the 1700’s. Much of the furniture in American museum collections has mortise and tenon
Finshed table with square pegs for heirloom joinery.

joints holding it together quite well, even after 250 years. The tenon can be secured in a mortise by glue alone. The joint is made even more durable by boring holes through the assembled joint and pegging
the joint
At your request we mortise table legs and columns so they will join up to the tenons at the ends of the support aprons. Most tables are made with aprons that are 4" wide. Most aprons for bath vanities and kitchen islands are 5 3/4" wide. Together, the legs and the aprons form the table base, on which goes your tabletop. If you are a novice woodworker thinking about assembling a table base from legs and aprons, don't be intimidated at all by mortises and tenons. Assembly of the precision-milled parts is very easy.

Typical table base kit with mortised legs, tenoned aprons,
valuable assembly tips and hardware.
Consider shopping for a table base kit. Base kits come with all the parts you need
to achieve success, including detailed instructions and even top-mounting screws. If
you still have doubts about how easy this can be, watch our short video series:
Table Building Made Easy. Matt will walk you through the basics and get you well
on your way.
We offer standard base kit designs for tables and vanities. Plus, you can get custom base kit designs if you need a special size, or want to get creative by making a base kit for a desk, bench or kitchen island.
If you are a veteran woodworker, you can really streamline production with mortise and tenon joinery and with base kits, too. Review our mortising standards if you have concerns about dimensioning. Plus, we can do custom mortising. Call us if you have special needs.
Just a couple other details about mortising:
We do not mortise legs with a top block height of less than 4". Nor do we mortise the following legs: 100-B, 110-BC, 103-D, 140-C, 140-D, 140-E, 304-S, and 304-E.
Mortising and tenoning may add an additional 1-2 days lead time to the processing of your order. Finally, milled parts are not returnable.

509-CBX Corner Brace Kit.
Kits available in three sizes.
Corner Brace Kits are some of our most popular items. When installed, corner braces reinforce the mortise and tenon joints in certain applications for table, vanity and kitchen island bases. They make a strong joint even stronger.
If you are going to be installing a top that is very heavy – think granite or 2" mahogany plank – you may want to use corner braces to give you additional strength at the corners of the base. The corner braces will relieve some of the sheer forces on the tenons. That's a good thing.
If you are going to be moving the table around a lot, say from against the wall out to the middle of the room and back for evening meals, or from room to room, you may want to use a corner brace kit. In the event, say, a table leg got caught on the carpet, the corner brace may prevent the dragging force from snapping apart the apron-to-table leg joint.
If you are building an extension-style dining table – one with table slides and removable leaves – you may want to use corner braces to give the base some extra rigidity. All that shoving and tugging and dragging – all that movement – works those mortise and tenon joints and they could loosen up. Corner braces will help to keep the joints tight.
In such cases as above, we recommend you purchase corner brace kits as a little extra insurance. In many cases – for small tables, fixed tables, tables with average weight tops, you do not need the added complexity or expense of corner braces.
Installing a Corner Brace Kit properly is a little tricky for the Do-it-yourselfer. It’s all hidden up underneath the tabletop, behind the tenons of course – so it’s never seen. However, it does require boring holes on the top corner of the leg in a precise location, or alternatively, notching off the corner, then boring a pair of holes.
We offer a Corner Brace Leg Prep Service that makes installing corner brace kits really simple. We prepare the table legs you order to accommodate any of our Corner Brace Kits. Smaller diameter legs will be bored. Larger legs will be bored and notched. You simply fit the legs and aprons together, then add the corner brace kit onto the pre-milled locations. With this service, all the parts line up perfectly. Installation instructions are included with the corner brace kits. It’s an easy way to get a little added strength in certain applications.
Again, this is a custom service, and may require an additional 1-2 days lead-time. Milled parts are not returnable.
September 5, 2015
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