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I want to create legs for an outdoor cedar tree round table. I'd like the table top to be 18" to maybe 20" high.

How might I securely attach these legs to the tree round?

The tree round is 4' in diameter, and roughly 14" thick. So it's already 14" high. I am turning this into an outdoor table to put under a covered area. I also have four cedar logs from 8" to 12" in diameter.

I was thinking that I would cut the logs into short round legs, just striping the bark and chopping them off at 4" or 6" tall. The idea was that they that would stand on their own, I would position them appropriately and then set the tree round table top on top of these. A table.

It has since been pointed out, that if the table were to fall off its legs, even at 4" or 6", it might hurt someone.

cedar tree round and logs

Related Questions: tree round checking (1)... center rot (2)... and Original Post too long: build a table...

  • Does it really need to be that high off the ground? You can still have that as a functional table without the height and risk. I build tables from pallets not much higher than that. – Matt Aug 18 '15 at 18:41
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    Perhaps just some heavy duty casters? – Matt Aug 18 '15 at 19:09
  • Hum. Good question. I do want to get the round itself off the ground. I wasn't thinking end table height. I am aiming for more of near chair seat height, 16" or 18" say (the round is not perfectly even, so the 14" thickness is approximate). I want it to be a low, if rustic table. I'll put a water resistant finish on the top and then it's going to be on a stone surface with outdoor teak furniture. – DavidC Aug 18 '15 at 19:11
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Hrmm, my first thought would be to drill a couple of 2" holes in the 'legs' and the underside of the 'top' and make some 2" dowels to connect the two, but I'd wonder if as these things dry whether or not that would crack.

Another option would be to take a sheet of 3/4" exterior grade plywood, lay ot over the bottom of the table 'top', trace it, then grab a compass and set it for a couple inches, and scribe the the profile a couple of inches back toward the center. Then use a jigsaw to trim the plywood to this smaller size.

Use the plywood as a stand-in to mount the legs to with lots of wood screws, then set the 'top' over this base, and screw from the bottom up using the same screws (say 3" wood screws, not drywall screws.)

Oh, and I'd defintiely cut the center of the plywood to keep from creating a pocket where water could collect.

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I would certainly drill holes into the 'legs' and into the underside of the table and use a dowel to keep them lined up. I would glue the dowel into the legs but not the top since if you want to move it you might want to take it apart.

Another option would be to bolt L-brackets onto the bottom of the table and once again have holes in the legs and just 'set' the down bracket into the holes.

Last, since people are unlikely to crawl under the low table, take the brackets from the last and actually attach them to the inside of the log leg. then the whole thing is one piece but can be easily disassembled to move it elsewhere.

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You could consider splitting the legs into small pieces. You an axe or a froe. These smaller pieces will dry faster than the bigger log. Since they are split they will hold a lot of strength. In a while maybe a month - chop them down into tapered pieces with an axe. Drill a fairly large hole, something like an inch and half into the table and than insert the base. As the table top dries it will shrink over the legs and hold them really snugly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_wfWGgaxnw

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The weight of that top would certainly be a necessity for caution.

Logs connected in a triangle

If you were going to just use the logs more or less as is you could carve out large recesses for the logs that the table would then sit on. If you then also had spars or stretchers connected firmly to each of the legs (3 seems like a good number) that would make it harder for the table to topple.

I tempted to say that the sheer weight alone on this triangle of logs and stretchers would reduce the risk of injury to null but I wont the safety of other on it.

Casters?

The height increase you are looking for could come from some heavy duty casters.

Heavy Duty Caster
(source: xc-hp.com)

Not that one specifically but something of the sort. When purchasing pay attention to the weight specification of the casters. Getting at least 4 could be pricey depending but at least then you could move the table.

  • No casters. It's heavy, it's outdoors, it will be sitting on natural rough bluestone outdoor patio and there will not be any smooth place to roll it. I do like the idea of turning the three legs into a triangle, using some kind of spars to join them and then having the tree round site on that. I'll need some tough spars. – DavidC Aug 18 '15 at 23:36
  • @DavidC "it's heavy" is exactly the reason you'd want to use the casters. That way, you can actually move it if/when you need to. Casters like those can support 100s of pounds and roll reasonably well, even over rough surfaces. Much easier than getting 7 neighbors, a boy and his dog to help move the thing. – FreeMan Apr 8 at 20:30

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