How can i make my pine wood table more sturdy?

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Forum topic by delsa posted 12-02-2013 01:50 PM 9056 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View delsa's profile


2 posts in 1604 days

12-02-2013 01:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pine question clamp joining refurbishing rustic

Hi everyone,

I bought a second hand lovely pine dining table with extensions on either side but it’s not very sturdy and would appreciate your expertise in fixing it! I have no knowledge of carpentry but i’m pretty good with my hands and also good at following directions!

The legs of the table are screwed on with a single screw for each. See here

The legs are not very stable and I think that part of the problem is because the side planks have unglued a bit from the table top. See here

The two holes on the side plank is where the extension fits in. See here

In addition, when the extensions are on they bend slightly downwards. Here’s an image of the underside of the table

Do you think that a good quality wood glue used to secure the side planks to the top surface would do the trick? If so, how can I do this and what tools would i need?
I also think that something else might need to be added to secure the extensions as there is nothing on the underside of the table to hold them in place.
If possible, I would like to still be able to disassemble the table so that I can take it with me in a new home which might be smaller.

Thank you!!

6 replies so far

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2058 days

#1 posted 12-02-2013 02:59 PM

Gluing the legs to the underside is possible but I see a couple of potential problems with doing so:

1.) You’d have to make sure the leg was pushed into good contact with the underside of the table. Without clamps this might be hard, though not necessarily.

2.) You’d be gluing end grain. That’s not to say you can’t get a good bond with an end gain to long grain bond. But you’ll really need to pour the glue on the top of the table leg because the end of the leg will suck up some of it. Also, if there is finish sprayed on the top of the table leg the glue might not penetrate.

You could try sinking some long screws through the side planks into the table legs. That would give it another attachment point. But the screws would be visible.

You may be able to use a pocket hole jig to reattach the side planks to the underside. Unless you can easily take the table apart you’ll be having to drill your pocket holes with the jig sitting on the side planks. The advantage of the pocket holes would be that you could hide them.

The glue will just be a couple of bucks. Long screws aren’t terribly spendy either. A Kreg pocket hole jig can be kind of expensive however.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2815 days

#2 posted 12-02-2013 04:20 PM

The legs are mounted backwards. Inside out. Correcting that will help a lot.

It looks to me like you might have a dutch pullout table there. Does the top lift straight up, with dowels holding it in place?



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3306 days

#3 posted 12-02-2013 05:07 PM

lee is right
the legs go outside
and are pulled tight to the rails

the metal brackets have screw-holes
to attach them to the rails
and the leg has a double threaded ‘lag bolt’
(one end with coarse threads for the leg)
and the other with machine threads for a nut
to tighten it to the bracket
(you need to use two nuts locked together
to get the lag into the leg
so you don’t mess the machine threads with a vise-grip on them)
the lag goes into the leg at a 45* angle
the bracket rides slightly away from the leg
so it can be tightened

the more you tighten the lag bolt
the tighter the leg is pulled to the rails
they can be dis-assembled for transport
by undoing the nut

here is a link for them

welcome to LJ’s

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View delsa's profile


2 posts in 1604 days

#4 posted 12-02-2013 08:28 PM

Your guys are geniuses!!! Took just one look and figured out what was wrong!
I fixed the legs the right way and now i have a sturdy table.

Thank you so much!!!!!!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2655 days

#5 posted 12-03-2013 02:04 AM

Yep’ David (Patron) has never failed to give me excellent advice.

Welcome to the best woodworking site in existence!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bondogaposis's profile


4682 posts in 2316 days

#6 posted 12-03-2013 02:59 AM

The legs are mounted backwards. Inside out. Correcting that will help a lot.

Absolutely, they’re on backwards.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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