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If you are considering building a table for your home, the project may seem fairly straightforward. However, just as there are a variety of beautiful furniture legs to consider for your table, there are also a handful of table leg attachment methods, each suitable for different situations.

If you are curious about different table leg attachment methods, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six of the most popular approaches.

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1. Threaded Inserts

Threaded inserts are installed into the underside of the table, thus enabling any leg with the appropriately sized bolt for the insert to be installed. The legs can be unscrewed at any time, thereby allowing the table to be transported or stored easily. Also, if you do not have a table apron, threaded inserts are an aesthetically pleasing way to attach the legs to the tabletop.

While this is certainly a sturdy means of affixing table legs, this method does require a bit more skill than some of the other ways listed below.

2. Straight or Angled Metal Plates

Using this approach, a metal plate will be screwed into the underside of the table. A bolt is then partially installed into the table leg, with the remaining portion of the bolt being screwed into the metal plate.

This is a fast and inexpensive table leg attachment method that requires little skill to successfully complete.

man screws in legs on a wooden table

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3. Mounting Blocks

Another excellent table leg attachment method for tables without aprons is mounting blocks. This approach attaches a block of wood to the underside of the table which the leg will screw into using a partially installed bolt.

Mounting blocks often have a beveled edge for a more attractive appearance. Much like threaded inserts, table legs mounted in this manner can be easily unscrewed.

4.Straight and Angled Cleats

Cleats (which come in a multitude of lengths) are similar to mounting blocks. However, the difference here is that cleats are recessed several inches from the ends of the table and two legs bolt into a single cleat. Just like the previously mentioned options, the table legs can be easily detached from the tabletop.

Cleats, particularly angled (or splayed) ones, are great for achieving an authentic mid-century modern aesthetic.

5. Direct Attachment

The direct table leg attachment method is typically reserved for tables with metal legs and are simply affixed to the bottom of the tabletop using screws. The thickness of the legs will be determined by the weight and size of the table, though this does not change anything about this method of attachment.

The direct attachment method is often seen on tables with more sleek, contemporary designs.

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6. Mortise and Tenon Joinery

Finally, we come to the most well-known and widely used of the table leg attachment methods, the mortise and tenon joint.

woodworking workshop

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For those who are unfamiliar, this method of connecting pieces of wood has been utilized for at least 7,000 years due to its strength, stability and durability. If you are going to build a table with high-quality furniture hardware and premium wood, then you certainly want to use a mortise and tenon joinery.

In the simplest terms, a mortise and tenon joint is a peg-and-hole system when the peg (tenon) slots into the hole (mortise) and the two are glued together. While the concept is extremely straightforward, to do this well requires some woodworking skill.

Additionally, unlike many of the methods mentioned above, once the legs are attached in this fashion, the table cannot be disassembled.

Different Methods for Attaching Table Legs

As you can see, there are a variety of table leg attachment methods that you could potentially use to complete your project. The approach you choose will largely depend on the style of table, the presence (or absence) of an apron and your particular circumstances (such as if you wish to disassemble the table later).

Go over this list again, select which table leg attachment method is right for you and get to work crafting your dream table.