2

I made this table: table

This is how the legs are attached to the table: How legs attach to table

It has 3 legs on the back and two on the front. The top is solid wood. It wobbles both from front to back and side to side (front to back is worse). What can I do to minimize the wobble knowing that I have limited tools and experience in wood working? I want to make the table sturdy by itself, so I don't want to screw it to the wall. A solution with readily available materials and beginner friendly would be ideal. I enjoy solving problems like these, but I think in this case I lack the knowledge to figure out a good solution. Extra points for creative thinking.

  • 2
    When you say wobble, do you mean it sways or rocks? Rocks being that the feet aren't all touching the floor at the same time while swaying being that you can push the table top and it moves more than it should while all feet are touching the floor. If swaying, you'll need cross support like Harper suggested. – HazardousGlitch Dec 20 '18 at 1:37
  • I mean it sways. Has I said in response to his comment, the problem is I don't know how to do it and I can't find any information on how to do it with the legs I have. – Meruje Dec 20 '18 at 1:40
  • Can you weld? If so that is the strongest self standing way to sure up your table legs. – David Dec 20 '18 at 3:11
  • @David Unfortunately, I can't – Meruje Dec 20 '18 at 11:07
5

Your table and legs and floor are turning into parallelograms. This is because the legs have no resistance against swinging on their mounts.

I suspect that these legs are not designed to prevent this, because they expect the desk surface will be anchored in both dimensions by something else, e.g. Being attached to a wall.

You will either need to select different legs, or find a way to brace these. This is why most desks and chairs have some sort of cross bracing between legs, but you need more than that, or you'll just have more parallelograms.

If it were me, I would use steel angled shelf brackets that have a nice triangle shape to them, and drill and tap appropriate machine screws into the legs, using the steel in the legs to hold the screws. I would not drill through the hollow legs and use a bolt and nut, because all that would do is squash the hollow leg. You would need to learn the fine art of using a hand tap, and it would also help to get centerpunches to get the pilot holes in the right place, but that is not excessively hard. Just tedious.

  • That's exactly what I was thinking from other posts I've read, but I have no idea how to brace the legs or what I can use to do it. Maybe something like this would help, between the legs and table top: 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/f585248a0b351faabb0e6533fdf331d5/… But how can I make this with the legs I have? – Meruje Dec 20 '18 at 1:27
  • @Meruje - If you have a friend that knows welding they might be able to help. Something as simple as connecting the legs to each other part way down could help. – IronEagle Dec 20 '18 at 1:48
  • @IronEagle Also another thought that passed through my mind, but unfortunately I don't know anyone who knows how to weld. Is there anything I can find at a hardware store that can fulfill the same purpose, without having to weld? – Meruje Dec 20 '18 at 1:53
  • A quick and cheap fix is getting some angle metal, aluminum or slotted steel, from a hardware store and screwing it between each set of legs at a angle, not straight. 45 degrees works well. Only need one piece between each set of legs. Be sure to get self-tapping screws as well so they will screw into the legs fairly easily. – HazardousGlitch Dec 20 '18 at 2:12
  • 1
    I think I'm gonna try Harper's angled shelf brackets, since it seems like a cleaner and simpler solution, with @HazardousGlitch self-tapping screws. If it works out I'll mark this answer as accepted. – Meruje Dec 20 '18 at 14:39
2

Since the table is wide and not very thick, even were you to correct the issue now, it likely would warp a bit over time -- specifically, the middle of the side with two legs will sink slightly. Therefore, any remedy should be adjustable to compensate for that sag.

You could buy and install adjustable furniture levelers, or you could devise your own, depending on the design of the legs... or, for the three back legs, which are out of the way, insert thin siding shingles or similar inclined planes, which can be pushed in as needed (nothing would be needed for the front legs, if you don't mind a slight slant towards the front).

  • 1
    I've tried putting some cardboard beneath some of the legs, but I don't think it's a leveling problem, but rather a structural problem since there is no bracing between legs. I've also added two steel strips to the under side of the table to avoid the middle from sinking. You can see one of them in the second image. Still, thanks for the suggestion – Meruje Dec 20 '18 at 1:33
  • The steel angle-iron is a good idea. If you put some diagonally, it would also help, because the V it makes with the other brace across the top forms a strong triangle. – DrMoishe Pippik Dec 20 '18 at 22:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.