Side Table Problem

I already post this on another forum so I’ll just copy what I wrote there, even the intro is still accurate ! :slight_smile:

Hi everyone, I am a passive user of this forum for about 5 years now, but now I think it’s time that I become more active. I did a BAC in Art Design but the technical side was awful so now I’m doing a woodworking program, which will finish soon. I am working on a side table and I have hard time figuring out a problem.

It’s a simple table with one leg higher that will be a lamp. Legs are in Ash and the top in MDF, which will be painted and lacquered.

I am not at home now, but monday I’ll upload pictures of the progress…

As you can see, the top of the legs are flush with the tabletop and the sides of the tabletop are cut 45 degrees. There is almost no space for making joinery, but I manage to put one dowel per leg

For sure, it’s not strong enough so I thought I could put 3/16" stainless rods in angle to help but we dont have the tools at school to bend the rods so after about 4 hours trying to manage a way, I abandon the idea.

So I tried to just put those rods between the legs like so:

Still, not strong enough and I think it break the look of the table…

So I would like to have your opinions, Which way would you make it stronger? My only concerns are that the legs stay flush with the tabletop and that the general design stay as simple as possible…

Thanks you in advance, hopefully, that is the first post of many others :slight_smile:

P.S. I’m a french Canadian, so I think my English is not bad, but sorry if I make some mistakes…

I think the strongest you’ll be able to make that thing is with brackets. Even then it’s only going to be as strong as the wood with a screw in it.

4am and still thinking about it… Hoodzy, what do you mean brackets? like L shape ?

I was thinking also that this could be the solution:

They would have 1 1/16" width and 3/4" height…Do you guys think it could be strong enough?

Yah just an L shaped bracket. The main problem you have is just lack of material for strength. So adding more to the corners is a good idea. Maybe you could change the angle of your cut so it’s less dramatic. Then you will have more material come onto the legs if you get what i’m saying??

You’re still going to have a strength issue with the height of the tall leg- if someone pulls on the top of that one, it will put a lot of torque down at the joint. It’s going to be nearly impossible to counteract that torque over such a short distance within the thickness of that top. The underside X brace you’ve drawn could work, but will probably have to be taller than you’ve drawn.

Personally I would put an apron under the top so the top thickness is visually similar to the leg thickness, which will also give you enough room to attach the legs properly. It just looks off the way you have it now (chunky legs and a wafer thin top). It could still be angled under if you like that look.