When do you need a bottom stretcher

When designing a console table how do you determine whether or not you need a stretcher at the bottom of the legs? Is there some kind of rule of thumb, guidelines? My legs will be 1 1/2" square and made of walnut, dovetailed to the top rail/stiles and mortised to the rail/ stile below a drawer about 4" down. Leg length is about 40".
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You should seriously consider altering the subject line. :)
--

"Anybody can have more birthdays; but it takes
balls to get old!"
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wrote:

This was one of the first threads I read after flying to Provincetown, MA, today.
Now, THAT'S funny!
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B A R R Y wrote:
> This was one of the first threads I read after flying to Provincetown, > MA, today.
Once took a vacation to Cape Cod.
While there, walked up the stone tower at Provincetown.
After climbing to the top, much to my surprise, there stood a college classmate and his wife, also a classmate, I hadn't seen graduation.
After graduation, they had moved to New England while I had stayed in Cleveland.
They were moving to Virgina the following week and this was their last visit before moving.
Said "Hello" and "Good Luck" almost in the same breath, almost like two ships passing in the night.
That was 1969 and have never seen them again.
Lew
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Hang in there. The web does wondrous things. Last month, I got a note from a guy I went to high school with. He's out in Santa Barbara now, a goodly distance from Cross River, NY, but had to come to Tennesee for a sailplane meet and drove on here for a night. We hadn't seen each other in, according to him, 38 years.
Now, we correspond occasionally. He was the wild one of the area, and I was a willing follower, except that he went into AMF road racing and other types of motorcycle racing quite heavily, while I went in the Marines. I think he'd still race: he went back to it some years ago, just before he turned 60. It wasn't the age number that stopped him this time. It wazs the fact that he really, really doesn't like being a back marker, and he could not pick his speed up near where it needed to be to run with the big dogs.
You've still got a year's grace!
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Charlie Self wrote:
> > Hang in there. The web does wondrous things. Last month, I got a note > from a guy I went to high school with. He's out in Santa Barbara now, > a goodly distance from Cross River, NY, but had to come to Tennesee > for a sailplane meet and drove on here for a night. We hadn't seen > each other in, according to him, 38 years.
I've been very fortunate over the years.
My high school class has held a reunion every 5 years since our 10th year.
First one I attended was the 25th, boy did I go to school with a bunch of old farts<G>.
We wore badges with our yearbook pictures on them.
With out those badges, nobody would have recognized anybody.
Since then, have attended 35, 45 & 50.
The grim reaper made several calls between 45 & 50.
50 was a major event, doubt we will have another.
OTOH, never had anything with my college class.
Lew
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Ah, well. If memory serves, Gene was the only guy I got along with in HS. Our 50th was this year, and I didn't even bother checking it out. I can find plenty of fat, old people who think they're better than everyone else without leaving this county.
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Charlie Self wrote:
> Ah, well. If memory serves, Gene was the only guy I got along with in > HS. Our 50th was this year, and I didn't even bother checking it out. > I can find plenty of fat, old people who think they're better than > everyone else without leaving this county.
Couldn't wait to get out of high school, was not a happy time in my life.
Left town quickly to attend school and didn't look back.
Guess I've mellowed, as have they.
Most of us have learned that the first liar doesn't have a chance.
Was in kindergarten with some of those folks, which goes back to WWII days.
Big chunk of them have turned into snow birds and are in Florida these days.
Lew
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HA! That's hilarious. Finally figured out why people use the X-No- Archive Header :)
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Stretchers are not always structural. They can be for asthetic. A 40" tall table can be a bit spindly but a console table won't take much racking I'd assume; just sitting cuetly behind the couch or aong the wall holding up a nice vase and a picture frame.
Consider this, I made this writing table with only a 2 1/4" apron pocket screwed to the legs and some additional corner blocks across the aprons under the top, My daughters have had their computer, printer and hundreds of hours of homework, even sitting on the darn thing and it ain't broke yet, though it could.
http://www.sonomaproducts.com/Graphics/VE-WT-Large.gif
You won't need any stretchers. Depending on the material and how its implemented the legs could bow, bend, curve but I don't think you have any structural problem. If we are talking Oak or Cherry or something, 1 1/2 square ain't gona pull or twist or bow unless you mill them in a severe moisture state.

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Perfect, thanks :) I'm making a matching console table to this entry bench I made http://www.penney.org/benchgallery3/index.htm the entry bench is about 34" long, and about 20" high, the console table will be 48 x 40, and will have three small drawers.
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Nice work on the bench. A few questions.
Getting the pins right on dovetails like that can be tricky. You have to remove so much material before getting to the final sizing cut. What methods\tools did you use? Did you remove material first or cut it all with the same bit?
How is the top done, attached, etc? I suppose that quilted part is veneered over something. Is there some consideration for expansion. Those long rails might get a bit longer in the summer.
Really nice job with the poly. I agree it is best for a working piece like a bench but so fricking hard to get it to look nice and still feel like wood.
BW

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I cut the pins on the router table with a tall sliding jig, didn't remove any material prior to making the final cuts just one pass straight through the piece on each side. This left some material on the sides of the rail that I removed with a bandsaw and a chisel for the last pass.

The top (birdseye) is veneered to an MDF substrate and the entire panel is epoxied to blocks attached to the inside of the rails, so no consideration was made for expansion. Hopefully the glue will hold it all in place...

This finish is the Maloof Poly/Oil, Oil/Wax finish, bench doesn't get too abused and should be fairly easy to touch up if need be..
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wrote:

A stretcher certainly makes a piece stronger, but it can get in the way for some applications (dining table, desk, etc). Without a stretcher, you will need some other brace or apron to resist racking.
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