Table leg attachment dilemma

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by jtrz posted 12-02-2017 05:55 AM 753 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jtrz's profile


168 posts in 1782 days

12-02-2017 05:55 AM

So I stumbled upon some Waddell round table legs while I was in Lowes the other day and since I need another table/desk/work surface for my bedroom I thought I’d give them a try. They already had a hanger bolt in them and there were some angled top mount plates right next to them so I guess it was a bit of an impulse buy. I can find another use for them if things don’t work out.

I slapped them onto a 2’ x 4’ piece of mdf with very little thought as to placement other than the angle of the leg is aimed at the corners. I had a sinking suspicion as I was attaching them that I might have a bit of a racking problem and sure enough there is. Not bad enough that it is in danger of falling down but definitely enough that I need to do something about it. Here are some pics (the hardboard on top is not attached):

So I’m going to make the top thicker, I suppose with another layer of MDF. I know cleats would improve the stability but I’d like to get this done in the next day or two and angled cleats probably won’t happen by then. I can always add them later.

I’d like to try and use the angled plates (even thought they are not meant for this type of table) because round legs just don’t look quite as good straight but I’m unsure if it is even possible to use them and get some more stability. I was thinking just a really simple flat cleat might help some but I’m not sure if it would make a difference.

Any ideas on how I can make this work a bit better with what I have? I also don’t want this table to get much higher.

Also I was thinknig I would attach the hardboard (glue and clamps or contact cement?) and use some wipe on poly . This will be in my bedroom and used for desk type duties as well as small a secondary work table where I can assemble small wood working projects. So I’m going to end up spilling coffee and water on it.

Would it be better to forego the hardboard and just seal the MDF?

Anyways, look forward to any ideas from you guys.


-- Jeff | Louisville, Ky

3 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


13019 posts in 2988 days

#1 posted 12-02-2017 07:38 AM

Stability and rigidity will come from the metal plates being securely attached and the shoulders of the legs making good contact with the metal plates.

-- Rick M,

View jtrz's profile


168 posts in 1782 days

#2 posted 12-02-2017 08:36 AM

Good point. The top of the legs probably aren’t totally flat. It would be a lot easier to flatten them with out the hanger bolt installed but I’ll see what I can do.

I think the metal of the plate is too thin a gauge. Maybe I’ll think of someway to reinforce them. The only reason I want to try and use them is that they are angled. They weren’t expensive luckily so if they get destroyed during my experiments it’s not a big deal. I’ll teach myself to make an angled wood cleat.

The real problem is that the leg to plate connection isn’t robust enough to stabilize the leg. It really is just the lower half of the legs aren’t stable enough the racking problem only has to with the lower part of the legs. Up top everything is nice and solid.

Thanks for the tip.

-- Jeff | Louisville, Ky

View jtrz's profile


168 posts in 1782 days

#3 posted 12-03-2017 03:30 AM

I’m still trying to decide what to do and can’t seem to come up with something I am totally sure would work.

I decided to pull out the hanger bolt from one of the legs and noticed that it is pretty short. I have some longer hanger bolts and I’m thinking that may help with stability. Here they are side by side:

The longer bolt has twice as much length on the screw side so I’m wondering if I would be able to just drive the bolt the extra length or if I will have to drill a bit deeper?

I’m hoping that attaching the plates with longer screws, along with a thicker table top, will add some more stability but again if anyone has any better ideas I am open.

Another option is using some threaded inserts I have. I don’t have a bench press or any type of angled drill jig so I don’t think I would be able to drill a good, accurate hole. So any ideas on how to do that with my limited tool set would be helpful. I do have a kreg R3 jig so maybe I can figure a way to use that.

Again, any ideas on how to make this little project work better would be greatly appreciated.

-- Jeff | Louisville, Ky

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics