Brass Mounting Brackets

The top for the Accent Table will be attached to the stand with brass mounting brackets that I'll be making here in the shop. Metalworking is not my specialty, but it's an interesting diversion from the usual woodworking. I'm starting out with a 3/16" x 1" brass bar that will need to be whittled down to a width of 5/8".

Layout is simple, leaving enough extra material for final sizing, shaping and finishing.

I ripped the width using a hacksaw.

And then filed the sawn edge smooth. Below, the bar is set into a dado cut in a maple board. The depth of the dado sets the width of the bar, so I filed it down flush to the top of the board.

Thus.

Next, rough cut to length.

Each bracket is then squared up and made the desired length on the disk sander.

Thus.

It's about to get interesting.

With square and scribe, I mark the center points of the screw holes.

Thus.

Next, a center punch dimple at the hole location helps to steady the small diameter drill bit as it enters the material.

The set-up is fairly simple. My drill press is set up for woodworking, but that's okay. I add a backer block to the back side of the fence, two hold-downs at the sides and one holder in the front to keep the part from moving out from under the hold-downs.

Machinist precision isn't really needed here, but this set-up seems like the next best thing. The part is held very securely, safely, and with no noticeable vibration.

Next, it's time to countersink the holes for the flat head screws.

Thus.

Here's an overall view of the drill press set-up.

Next, it's time to cut the rabbets into the edges of the sliding brackets.

These brackets will hold the top down onto the stand, while at the same time allowing for seasonal expansion and contraction of the top due to changes in ambient relative humidity in the client's home.

Two, one-piece brackets will attach the center of the top to the stand. Four, two-piece sliding brackets will attach the outboard edges over the legs.

Final cleanup of each brass piece is done by hand using sandpaper attached to the cast iron bed of the jointer. I use the fence to create a consistent 90° angle at each edge. Edges are softened and surfaces are smoothed with 1,000 grit sandpaper.

Here, at last, are the six completed brackets ready for installation, plus the screw fasteners with their freshly sanded heads.

Next time, mortising the stand for the brackets and beginning work on the top. Stay tuned!

Hej då and happy shavings!

Craig