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Securely attaching hairpin legs?

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Forum topic by Luisdent posted 10-13-2016 01:44 PM 325 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


10-13-2016 01:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hairpin legs coffee table diy wood poplar metal legs attach strong

I have a 48” x 16” poplar wood board i just finished that I’m planning to attach four metal hairpin legs to. The legs have a few screw holes for mounting, but my concern is the wood thickness.

The wood is probably a standard piece of 1” board (3/4” actual measured probably). So using screws seems risky to me. If I don’t fully penetrate the wood I’m going to have to have 1/2” or less screw depth into the wood. Wouldn’t that be likely to crack or break free?

I don’t need to jump on my coffee table or anything, but it may have the occasional foot rest or 8 year old sitting on it.

I’ve read these forums a bit and see aprons, and structural screws, and all sorts of fancy things. However, I’d like to keep it simple, and the board is fully finished already with stain and layers of wipe on poly.

Withint reason for a typical coffee table, os there a sinple method of securing the legs? Should i just use a few wood screws for each leg about half way i to the board? Should i attach some bottom piece with screws and attach the legs to that? I’m not sure i want to glue, as the finishing is done already and wouldn’t bond well.

Any recommendations, or am i overthinking this? go easy on me, it’s my first wood finishing project. This is the opposite side, so it has one coat so far. I’m going to sand and coat it again tomorrow. then it’s done.


13 replies so far

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bondogaposis

4037 posts in 1819 days


#1 posted 10-13-2016 02:42 PM

Use 5/8” long screws, size 8 as a minimum, 10 would be better. Make a drill stop from tape on your drill bit so you don’t drill through the top.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#2 posted 10-13-2016 03:35 PM



Use 5/8” long screws, size 8 as a minimum, 10 would be better. Make a drill stop from tape on your drill bit so you don t drill through the top.

- bondogaposis

Good idea. I had seen somone make a drill stop with plastic or something. Didn’t ecen think to use tape. :-P

I knw these are silly noob questions, but do you think using screws is sufficient for this purpose as a coffee table? Straight through the legs into the board? Assuming i use a washer and the legs are typical harpin legs (a thin base plate with screw holes) would the screw length be the same recommendation?

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#3 posted 10-13-2016 03:36 PM

These are the legs

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mpounders

821 posts in 2363 days


#4 posted 10-13-2016 03:46 PM

Your top isn’t very thick, which may cause it to sag in the middle and doesn’t leave you much to screw in to. I would probably make it twice as thick and use longer screws.

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#5 posted 10-13-2016 03:56 PM



Your top isn t very thick, which may cause it to sag in the middle and doesn t leave you much to screw in to. I would probably make it twice as thick and use longer screws.

- mpounders

Without much weight on it you think the poplar would still sag? Would screwing small strips of wood underneath help that?

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#6 posted 10-13-2016 03:57 PM

Also does anyone know how much weight the hairpin legs would support assuming the wood i had was theoretically strong enough for anything?

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mpounders

821 posts in 2363 days


#7 posted 10-13-2016 05:05 PM


Your top isn t very thick, which may cause it to sag in the middle and doesn t leave you much to screw in to. I would probably make it twice as thick and use longer screws.

- mpounders

Without much weight on it you think the poplar would still sag? Would screwing small strips of wood underneath help that?

- Luisdent

You mentioned and 8 year old sitting on it and propping your feet on it! That could be anywhere from 5 to 100 pounds? Aprons are added, with the wood turned on it’s side, to prevent sagging, but that might look funny with the style legs you have. You could just add strips wide enough to mount the plates for the legs and that would add some strength and allow longer screws for the legs. I doubt if you will break the legs or the wood, but I would be worried about pulling the screws out, if I were just mounting them to a 3/4” piece of wood.

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#8 posted 10-13-2016 05:27 PM


Your top isn t very thick, which may cause it to sag in the middle and doesn t leave you much to screw in to. I would probably make it twice as thick and use longer screws.

- mpounders

Without much weight on it you think the poplar would still sag? Would screwing small strips of wood underneath help that?

- Luisdent

You mentioned and 8 year old sitting on it and propping your feet on it! That could be anywhere from 5 to 100 pounds? Aprons are added, with the wood turned on it s side, to prevent sagging, but that might look funny with the style legs you have. You could just add strips wide enough to mount the plates for the legs and that would add some strength and allow longer screws for the legs. I doubt if you will break the legs or the wood, but I would be worried about pulling the screws out, if I were just mounting them to a 3/4” piece of wood.

- mpounders

Yeah. I can always replace the wood i guess. It was a good finish learning experience. :-/

With two 2” pieces of wood, ciuld i just join them together with strips underneath screwing the together and just put the legs into the wood with screws that way?

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#9 posted 10-13-2016 06:14 PM

Is there any way i could screw all the leg screws in from the top all the way through and secure them that way? I would just need to cover them up after or use blackened screws.

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bondogaposis

4037 posts in 1819 days


#10 posted 10-13-2016 06:41 PM

Is there any way i could screw all the leg screws in from the top all the way through and secure them that way?

Yes, you could use machine screws and nuts, countersink and plug the screw holes. The difficulty will be in getting the screw holes lined up as the countersinks will have to be drilled from the top. I honestly think that is overkill. From the picture it looks like there is 5 screw holes per leg, that is going to be plenty strong if you put screws in each one.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#11 posted 10-13-2016 08:29 PM



Is there any way i could screw all the leg screws in from the top all the way through and secure them that way?

Yes, you could use machine screws and nuts, countersink and plug the screw holes. The difficulty will be in getting the screw holes lined up as the countersinks will have to be drilled from the top. I honestly think that is overkill. From the picture it looks like there is 5 screw holes per leg, that is going to be plenty strong if you put screws in each one.

- bondogaposis

That was my initial hope. I’ll grab some screws and give it a try. If it doesn’t seem solid I’ll use another board. I can repurpose this later perhaps.

If it works even better :-)

So the idea is the screws should be fully seated about 3/4 into the wood?

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#12 posted 10-14-2016 01:43 AM

Looking at the legs a 5/8 screw would go about half way into the wood. Is that a good depth?

And should I use standard #10 wood screws?

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Luisdent

10 posts in 59 days


#13 posted 10-15-2016 07:46 PM

Yay. Finished and it came out great! #10 5/8 screw did the trick. Pre-drilled holes and they went in snuge and not a single crack or anything. :-)

It seems very strong for only being in the thin wood. I think it is going to work great.

I did one coat of minwax weathered oak stain and about four coats of miwax wipe on satin poly.

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