I have a table consisting of a top and a leg. But top is wobbly due to a space/gap between top and leg. What is the easiest/fastest way to fix it?

Note that there's no attachment between the top panel and the structure underneath.

Top sitting on leg


  • Do you have a straight edge that you can use to check and make sure both parts are straight?
    – Khrrck
    Jun 2, 2020 at 19:54
  • How is the top fastened to those rails? A wider shot of the underside would be helpful.
    – isherwood
    Jun 2, 2020 at 20:04
  • fastest and easiest is to jam in a piece of rolled up newspaper into the gap ... use tape to hold it on the leg if needed
    – jsotola
    Jun 3, 2020 at 1:01
  • @isherwood The top is not fastened to those rails, it just sits on them =)
    – Megidd
    Jun 3, 2020 at 12:49
  • 2
    What happens when you bump into the table or someone leans both elbows on it? Does the top slide across its base?
    – FreeMan
    Jun 4, 2020 at 11:07

6 Answers 6


You can buy adjustable size plastic shims easily at home improvement stores or online. I would fit on to the gap's size and insert gently, using a chisel and hammer.

  • 1
    I would have agreed until the information came out about the lack of attachment between the top and the frame. Knowing that, I don't think shims will help for long.
    – isherwood
    Jun 4, 2020 at 14:34
  • I doubt shims would stay in place, especially since the top is not physically connected to the frame.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 4, 2020 at 17:41

Now that I understand that the top simply rests on the substructure--a very non-standard arrangement--here's my suggestion...

Avoid the whole issue by installing pads or bumpers at the outer ends of each supporting arm. These can be self-stick rubber pads or the kind of nail-on rubber bumpers used in moving assembly applications. This eliminates any need to fine-tune fitment, provides good stability, and affords some additional friction to prevent unwanted movement.

enter image description here


Get a small piece of paper and fold it until is fits in that gap snugly at the biggest opening. All the advantages of being cheap, quick, and fairly durable.

  • 3
    Durable? I don't know about that. I've had a fix like that on an old dining table and after 40 years, I finally had to replace it... ;-)
    – JRaef
    Jun 2, 2020 at 20:04

I would make two suggestions.

  1. Properly attach the table top to the rails using table top fasteners.

    • Table top fasteners screw into the table top and lock it into a groove in the support rail. This allows the top to expand and contract, yet keeps the top from being knocked off.
    • This is an example of the type of fastener I'm referring to: enter image description here
      No endorsement of this supplier or particular item intended or implied, it was simply the first result of a search for "table mount clip". Image from linked source.
    • It's entirely possible that using 2 or 3 of these clips on each rail will suffice to stop the table top from wobbling. You'd have to install them nearer the center of the rail where the drop of the clip will reach to where you actually have wood, as opposed to hanging into space or only having a thin section of wood above the groove which may break off.
    • I haven't looked, but it's possible that they make these clips with a greater drop that would span the gap between your table top and the drooped rail. This would be the ideal solution.
  2. If the clips aren't sufficient, plane or sand down the bowed center section of the support rails.

    • It's hard to tell exactly how much gap there is between the bottom of the table top and the top of the rail, but it appears to be 1/4" or so.
    • That rail appears to be substantial enough to be able to survive that much material removal without any significant loss of strength.
    • This will give you a flat surface all the way across the rail to support your table top.

Wood glue a shim into the gap. Only glue it to the leg, not the top. Sand first, clamp or weight right after. Once dry, the joint will be stronger than the wood it's attached to.


Thanks guys ☺ For now, I'm using some sort of plastic foam, something like @UnhandledExcepSean suggestion. Later I will use methods suggested by @isherwood or @FreeMan 👍

enter image description here

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