An alternative to using a wooden corner brace for stabilizing the leg-to-table skirt joint is to use a metal corner bracket. This piece performs precisely the same function and does it largely with the same degree of effectiveness. However, it is generally agreed that legs of larger dimensions are better supported with wooden corner braces than with metal. That being said, there is also a difference of opinion regarding whether the metal brace performs better if mounted near the top as opposed to near the bottom – or vice versa. We have found that we achieve better results when the brace is mounted to the center while ensuring that the hanger bolt on the upper leg will fit with the hole in the center of the metal brace. Placing the brace correctly on the adjoining table skirts is accomplished by placing the outer ends of the brace into grooves – known as kirfs — that have been cut into the backs of the table skirts for that purpose.
With the outer ends of the metal brace positioned in the kirfs, and the brace centered to correctly receive the hanger bolt, you begin the mounting process by screwing the metal brace to the skirting boards. This typically involves three screws per end – or a total of six screws per brace.
Having attached the metal brace to the skirting boards you then align the leg to the skirting boards and bring the hanger bolt through the hole in the center of the metal brace. This is then stabilized by affixing a washer and nut and tightening a nut to the bolt. The process is completed by repeating this procedure for all four legs.