I want to build the table on the photo, but can't figure out how to calculate the angle to cut the legs.

Table should be 2 m X 1 m x 75 cm (height)

Thank you

enter image description here

  • Perfect Answer from @fred_dot_u but you don't need to do any calculations, you can determine the angle empirically. You just decide on your table height and how far in from the edge of the table the leg's upper corner will be and draw it to scale. Then simply measure the angle that results.
    – Graphus
    Aug 19, 2019 at 6:04
  • BTW unrelated to your query but since you don't have a plan to follow I would highly recommend not doing the tabletop exactly as in the pictured table, with what are now most commonly called "breadboard ends". These are tricky to do well, and have a significant downside in service if you live anywhere with wide swings in humidity between winter and summer. IF the purpose is to help keep the top flat you could simply attach battens to the underside of the table, inboard of the two leg Xs. This is far easier and faster to do and at minimum equally effective, but often more effective.
    – Graphus
    Aug 19, 2019 at 6:11

1 Answer 1


Determine the displacement you wish for the legs. This measurement combined with the height, will allow you to calculate the angles required.

leg angle

To calculate the angle of the lower left corner of the white triangle, divide the height by the displacement. Use the resulting number to determine the arctangent, either by google or a calculator. For example, if the height is 300 and the displacement is 400, the math results in 300/400 or 0.75. The arctangent of 0.75 is 36.9 degrees. When I used Google to determine the arctangent, it was necessary to specify "in degrees" as the answer was first presented in radians.

If the numbers are reversed, 400/300 is 1.333 resulting in a measurement of 53.1 degrees. You can see also that the reversal is the same as 90 degrees minus the previously calculated number.

NOTE: even though the word "displacement" encompasses the entire frame, the measurement is only of the white triangle segment.

  • Important note for the OP, remember to use the number for the underside of the tabletop not the overall height. So it's 1m minus whatever the top thickness will be.
    – Graphus
    Aug 19, 2019 at 6:14

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