Hairpin Legs

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Forum topic by jamestom7 posted 02-20-2018 04:56 PM 523 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 922 days

02-20-2018 04:56 PM

Hi I’m new here just after some advice on using hairpin legs.

I’m planning on building a coffee table out of walnut which will be laminated from 8 inch boards.

I’d like to use hairpin legs to keep the design simple but what I’d like to know is how likely is it that the top will eventually twist making the table wobble.

I read that the thicker the top the less chance the wood will twist. What thickness do you recommend as the wood I plan on using will be around 5/4 once milled and laminated, the table will be around 48×24 do you think this will be ok?


6 replies so far

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10477 posts in 4418 days

#1 posted 02-20-2018 05:01 PM

I haven’t made a study of it but perhaps
a lot of mid century pieces with hairpin
legs are veneered for the reason which
concerns you.

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3 posts in 922 days

#2 posted 02-21-2018 12:25 AM

Ok thanks Loren

I was waiting to see if anybody was going to reply or if anybody else had success with hairpin legs.

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5608 posts in 1360 days

#3 posted 02-21-2018 01:08 AM

I was waiting to see if anyone chimed in too. First, 24×48 isn’t all that large. The fact that you’re gluing up strips to make it lessens the likelihood of twisting. I’d probably attach two or preferably three battens across the slab underneath. Be sure to allow for movement. Also, you can miter the ends so they don’t show at a normal viewing angle. Use the same 5/4 stock and make them 3 to 4 inches wide for stability.

There’s no guarantee though, shy of adding aprons and attaching the top to it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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675 posts in 973 days

#4 posted 02-21-2018 01:28 AM

I”ve built a couple live edge walnut pieces using hairpins, and well yes they move, some twist, and well i’ve managed to salvage all but one. I did have to pad at the connection to slab on one, I also added washer pads to bottom of the hairpin, i added one to each foot, but some were a little thicker than others, and using felt, i managed to get the wobble out of it, on one it took a combination of both, washer at the foot, and a small thin pad at the slab connection, one can over come the twisting issue if its not too severe.
gotta love nature, it has its own mind.

-- Living the dream

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3 posts in 922 days

#5 posted 02-21-2018 01:36 AM

Ok thanks a lot I’ll see how it goes

Also I like the batten idea

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1 post in 828 days

#6 posted 03-30-2018 04:20 PM

You could also build a rectangular frame under the surface of the table…either out of wood or metal to help the surface retain it’s shape. I had the guys at build me a 1” steel frame for a coffee table made using reclaimed table leaves. It created a very low profile support to hold everything together.

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