Attaching hairpin legs to plank tabletop?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by JiveHouse posted 04-14-2014 02:00 PM 4960 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JiveHouse's profile


2 posts in 1739 days

04-14-2014 02:00 PM

Hello all, Im a noob to woodworking but Im thirsty to learn proper techniques and everything so I wanted to ask if there is a proper way to attach hairpin legs such as these to a plank tabletop and get the same look without using aprons? Thanks!

5 replies so far

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2681 days

#1 posted 04-14-2014 03:24 PM

What is wrong (in your opinion ) with the way they recommend to mount these legs in the link you provided? Mounting the legs
Hairpin legs are easy to mount and demount. This is done with your tabletop upside down. Simply position one leg at a time in the corners of the tabletop, about 2 ½” in from the edges of the tabletop. Attach temporarily with 2 screws. Do the same for the other three legs. Flip the table over, and evaluate. Use your own aesthetic judgment to reposition the legs as you see fit. When you achieve the look that is right for you, finish attaching the legs with the remaining screws.

My only suggestion would be to mount each leg to a wide piece of 1/4” plywood using only 2 of the four screws,then use two longer screws and attach the leg and the plywood to the table top,and a few shorter screws to secure the plywood. but you might want to dry fit the legs and see if the legs looks alright with the 1/4” plywood without an apron.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View JiveHouse's profile


2 posts in 1739 days

#2 posted 04-14-2014 03:30 PM

Well, my main concern is that those directions seem to be directed at attaching the legs to a single flat board tabletop instead of planks. I plan on gluing the planks together but I dont think the glue alone will make the top strong enough to hold any significant weight. I could run a board underneath the planks crossways but I wouldnt want the board to be seen from sides.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2183 days

#3 posted 04-14-2014 03:41 PM

A properly made long grain glue joint is stronger than the fibers on most woods.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2681 days

#4 posted 04-14-2014 03:47 PM

And a few extra dowels won’t hurt,the wider tops have at least two stiffeners/cleats but we don’t exactly know how wide your table top is.
I remembers years ago we used to manufacture metal(low profile) stiffeners shaped like “L”,I wonder if they would show as much as wood cleats.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View bondogaposis's profile


5149 posts in 2586 days

#5 posted 04-14-2014 03:47 PM

I don’t think the glue alone will make the top strong enough to hold any significant weight

That is why most tables are constructed differently with an apron that is mortised and tenoned to the legs. It is a time tested construction. But if you like the the hairpin look, simply gluing planks together edge to edge will be plenty strong enough for most uses. Tables generally don’t have a lot of weight applied to them unless you intend to dance on it or set an engine block on it, but for normal dining if it can support a few hundred pounds spread out over the whole table will be more than adequate. BTW, if you go with the cleats as suggested in the instructions make sure and use oversize holes or slots in the cleats to allow for wood movement. Another tip, use a depth step on your drill when drilling into the underside so you don’t drill all the way through.

-- Bondo Gaposis

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics