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I have a sofa that has detachable wooden legs with a bolt attached directly into the legs. Across the length and width of the couch, there are support beams that are permanently mounted to the frame of the sofa, and on the interior of each corner, there is a diagonal beam that spans between the two main support beams. The detachable legs are secured against the two perpendicular support beams at each corner by passing the bolt through the diagonal beams, and tightening a wing nut/washer combo against that diagonal beam.

So, in essence, the only thing holding the legs to the couch is the pressure against the support beams provided by the tightened nut.

Since there is no real "joint," the legs are incredibly unstable, and the couch wiggles quite a bit. I finally decided I might try a temporary solution by gluing the faces of the legs to the support beams. Despite being a complete beginner in woodworking, I knew this wasn't going to be particularly secure, and while it worked for a while, I sat down with some force yesterday, and the glue did not withstand that.

I was thinking about adding some dowels, but I am not sure whether there is a better way to secure the legs against wobbling. I can't remove the support beams, just the legs. I, however, do not care whether the removability of the legs is maintained. I just want secure/sturdy legs.

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    Hi, welcome to StackExchange. A picture is worth a thousand words and it'll certainly help clarify some or all of the details in this, I bet I'm not the only one having trouble visualising from the written description. Dowels and glue would certainly go a long way towards stabilising, possibly even completely immobilising, any joint, but have to have a better idea of things to suggest if they're appropriate here and/or if there might be a better solution.
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 23 at 7:31
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    Re. your attempted solution, if you used any form of "wood glue" (white or yellow) a detail that's not often included or stressed enough in instructions is that these require high or very high clamping force to achieve max strength. It's unlikely you got even close to the desirable pressure range even if you used clamps, because the majority of woodworkers under-clamp to some degree :-) Another detail that's nearly never mentioned, despite how important it is, is that only fresh wood surfaces glue at their max potential — so if you didn't lightly sand that would also result in a weaker join.
    – Graphus
    Commented Feb 23 at 7:35
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    As the kewl kids say, "pics or it didn't happen". All those words in the first paragraph can easily be replaced by a single picture that will more than adequately explain what you're trying to convey.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 23 at 16:17
  • Are you open to the possibility of exposed screw heads on the outside of the legs? Commented Feb 23 at 16:28

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