To pocket or not to pocket?

SWMBO wants two end tables and luckily for me the design is fairly simple. This is what she wants me to build
http://www.thomasville.com/Item4819/Cinnamon-Hill-End-Table.aspx
The assembly instructions show that the legs are the standard knockdown style with the mitered block behind the apron. I will of course attach the legs to the apron using M & T joints. The shelf is attached to the legs using pocket screws.
Is there a better way to secure that joint? If I do use pocket screws how much material do I need to leave on the Maple legs? Any other ideas or design tweak suggestions?
I am planning on having the legs taper from 1 1/2" to 7/8" over 22" leaving 3" untapered for the aprons.
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Dowel pins.
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I see a few options:
1. Notch the legs: this would suppot the shelf well but offer little interms of resitance to "splaying" of the legs. 2. Pocket hole: perfectly functional, but less classy. protrusion of a standard 1.25" pocket hole screw is <.75" into the leg. 3. M&T: the mortises (one per leg) would face each other onling the long grain of the shelf. It's a bit of a tricky joint to render, especially since the "pocket" in the shelf next to the tennon whould have to have two shoulders to properly mate with the tapered leg. That does depend, however, on of it's four-sided taper or a two-sided taper on the inside or outside. As best I can tell, the photo looks like an interior two-sided taper. 4. Dowel: basically a cylindrical loose tennon much the same as #3, but perhaps a bit easier to implement.
-Steve

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I'd dado the legs so the shelf was resting on a ledge then use pocket screws to hold everything in place. I'd want at least 3/4" of screw buried.
R
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I like a loose tenon and pocket holes.
This job is made for that snazzy($$$$) Domino.
RayV wrote:

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While I agree some what, I mentioned a dowel. I have the Domino and it came to mind immediately but after looking at the picture I felt that the tennon would be too wide for a narrow leg if made the same size.
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Notch the legs and use pocket screws. I've seen 100 year old pieces (Stickley) with exactly that detail.

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"RayV" wrote

IMO, "notch" the legs across the diagonal to hold the beveled shelf corners ... then use pocket screws to hold the shelf in the notches.

With that taper, and with the shelf at 6" above the floor (the picture seems to have the shelf a bit lower), and using a 1/4" notch in the leg, you will have approximately 1 1/4" of diagonal cross section "meat" to screw into before going through the opposite corner of the leg.
You will want to select your notch/screw size carefully with that diagonal cross section in mind.
The old pieces that I've seen built like this did not use very long "pocket hole" screws ... then again, I've only seen a few.
FWIW ....
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How did you calculate this?
I got curious and tried it myself and came up with a diagonal measurement of 1.47849599702639" at 6" up on that taper which would give the ~1 1/4" of "remaining meat" on the diagonal you came up with. It took me almost an hour to remember how to do it.
Mr Spiker (8th grade math teacher) can now tell me "I told you that you would need to know this one day..."
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"RayV" wrote

LOL ... at one time I would have broken out the slide rule and given you the answer in a minute, or less.
Today ... I use CAD! :)
I used to hate tapering legs so much that I would do anything not to screw one up and be forced to redo it ... and I was sitting on the front porch and just happened to be working, over my morning coffee, on the design of a piece I'm thinking of building when I saw your post and already had the program open.
Sorry to burst your bubble. <G>
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