How to Attach Table Legs

Two Methods:Attaching Legs With Surface PlatesAttaching Legs With T-Nuts

You can turn almost any flat, large piece of wood or furniture into a table by installing pre-made legs. Use the surface plate method to attach legs to a finished piece of furniture. Use the T-nut method to attach them to an unfinished table.

Method 1
Attaching Legs With Surface Plates

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    Shop around for table legs. You should have a number of choices at your closest home improvement store. This method is best for attaching legs to an already finished piece of furniture.
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    Pick table legs with pre-installed hanger bolts if possible. This will save you a step in the process. If they don’t have the screw already inserted, buy a package of hanger bolts for larger tables and dowel screws for small tables.
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    Buy table leg plates. Compare the hanger bolts to the surface plates to ensure the screws are a compatible size. Try straight leg plates first, although you can also purchase plates for slanted legs.
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    Install your hanger bolts inside your table legs. Measure to the center of the leg and mark it with a pencil or marker. Drill a pilot hole that extends into the center of the leg, and then screw a hanger bolt tightly into the top of each leg.
    • Start by twisting the screws in by hand. Then, use a set of locking pliers to twist it in until it feels very secure.[1]
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    Flip your tabletop or piece of furniture completely upside down or onto its side.
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    Align the square surface plate against the side against the corner. Clamp it into place or ask someone to hold it. Screw it into place with four screws.
    • If you bought a table plate kit, it may have been packaged with four compatible wood screws.
    • Repeat in the other three corners.
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    Screw the top portion of the hanger bolt into the plate. Twist to tighten. Lift the table onto its legs and check to ensure it is level.

Method 2
Attaching Legs With T-Nuts

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    Purchase four table legs, T-nuts, nuts and hanger bolts at a home improvement store. You can find unfinished legs and all the hardware necessary to install them at most large hardware stores.
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    Drill four holes through the base of your tabletop. Ensure that they are equidistant, so that your table is level. This form of attaching legs is best for unfinished tables that will be covered, upholstered or layered with another piece of wood.
    • Make sure that the hole is approximately the size of your T-nut and no larger.
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    Tap the T-nut into the hole with a hammer from the top of the base down. Continue until it sits in the hole and there isn’t any space between the top of your table base and the metal.
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    Install four hanger bolts that match the size of the T-nuts into your table legs. Measure and mark the exact center at the top of the leg. Drill a pilot hole, then twist the hanger bolt into the leg.
    • Use a pair of locking pliers to tighten the hanger bolt.
    • If you purchased legs with pre-installed hanger bolts, you can skip this step.
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    Twist the legs into the bottom of the base until they are even with the top. Then, twist a regular nut onto the top of the bolt to keep it in place. Repeat with the three additional legs.[2]
    • Test your table to ensure it is level before you finish it or attach the top layer.

Things You'll Need

  • Leg surface plates
  • Table legs
  • Hanger bolts/dowel screws
  • Locking pliers
  • Clamp
  • Wood screws
  • Power drill
  • T-nuts
  • Nuts
  • Ruler

Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs