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I would like to attach a thin tree trunk to a flat smooth piece of wood, in order to create support for a very heavy shelf. Any suggestions on how to do it, while leaving a minimal outside marks?

Basically my question is how to attach the tubular part in perpendicular to the flat part, with no outside accessories...

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4 Answers

I would suggest a tenon cutter.

tenon cutter

It will mount in a drill. You put a tenon on the end of your wood of a specific diameter, then drill a hole (a round mortise) in the wood it will be attached to. The tenon slips right in. Use a little glue, and it will stay firmly there.

As well, this will yield a very strong joint. For example, look at how the legs on Windsor style chairs fit into the seat from underneath. Such tenons are also used on the braces between the legs in such chairs, where one member is tenoned into another.

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Looks like exactly what I was looking for... Thanks! –  Shwouchk Feb 26 '12 at 12:19
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You could use a pocket hole screw on the underside of the shelf, if I'm envisioning your setup correctly.

enter image description here

Just place the pocket hole underneath the shelf aimed outward toward where you want the thin tree trunk to join with it. You can create one with a simple jig, a clamp, and a drill.

enter image description here

Use self-tapping screws to avoid the hassle of lining up pilot holes with the trunk. Once the shelf is installed, you can finish off the look with a pocket hole plug matching the wood the shelf is made out of.

I'd recommend using wood glue to supplement the joint strength.

Also, if you plan on using this method frequently for more projects, spring for a better jig. I have the one pictured above, and it works great for small projects. After using it on several dozen joints though, I wish I had bought this model instead.

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Thanks! Sounds like a good plan in general, but I would prefer no outside visibility at all... In addition, are you sure this method would work if one of the pieces was round instead of flat? –  Shwouchk Feb 26 '12 at 12:14
    
I might cut a bit of a notch in the round piece to at least make it parallel for an inch. It also depends on how much weight you're putting on the support, how many supports you have, etc. Woodchips's answer may be better suited for your exact application. –  Doresoom Feb 27 '12 at 13:50
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I think what you need is a double threaded wood screw.

The only problem is that you can only use 1, as you'll need to rotate the work, not the screw.

Double Ended Wood Screw

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I bow to steven's superior google-fu. –  Chris Cudmore Feb 23 '12 at 21:02
    
This would not work in this case, since I have 3 legs to attach together... In addition, what would prevent it from going in too far into one side and not far enough into the other? –  Shwouchk Feb 26 '12 at 12:09
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Wood glue.

You can get wood glue stronger than screws and nails.

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Could you elaborate on what types of glue should be used, what else might be required? ie. Using water, clamping, etc. –  Steven Jun 21 '13 at 2:17
    
You will be hard pressed to find glue that is stronger than screws, when we compare equal cross-sectional areas. E.g. 1/4" diameter steel screw, versus a 1/4" diameter contact patch of glue between two surfaces. –  Kaz Apr 15 at 21:01
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