Most tables come with legs. But sometimes, the supplied legs just aren’t good enough and you think that you can do a better job yourself.
Making your own chair and table legs brings all kinds of benefits. It allows you to adjust the height of your seats and table areas so that they are more appropriate for your dining room, living room, or outdoor areas. You don’t have to stick with regular, run-of-the-mill factory designs but can actually create something truly bespoke.
Making table legs is a skill that anyone interested in woodworking should learn. If you haven’t done it before, start with smaller legs and then build your way up from there.
Step 1: Prepare The Wood
The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare the wood. Do this by binding the wood with vices for a few days so that you can straighten the grain and eliminate any annoying twisting,
Step 2: Square The Edges
You’ll need the edges of the lengths of wood to be around three inches square. This will give you the surface area you require to transform them into thick, circular table legs. Cut the wood using a regular table saw or use a benchtop wood jointer.
Step 3: Round Over The Edges
The final step in the process once you finish cutting is to round over the edges of the table legs. Technically, you don’t have to complete this step if you’re making a rough-and-ready table or tench for the shed. But if you’re planning on bringing it inside or allowing kids to use the table, it is the safer option. Sometimes wood glued together can have sharp edges and the ends may splinter.
How you round off your table legs depends on the type of equipment that you have available. You can use a ⅜-inch round-over bit to round over the edges to give the wood legs an attractive finish. You’ll need to do this by hand which means that the final product won’t be perfect.
Ideally, if you have a lathe, you should use that. This way you can spin the piece of wood and then carefully remove material in whatever pattern you like, achieving a more professional result.
Please note that if you do use a machine lathe, you should use a single, solid piece of wood, not two or three pieces stuck together.
Step 4: Treat The Wood
The final step is to treat the wood, preferably so that it looks like the rest of the table or chair that you plan on pairing it with. If you are going to place the table outside, you will need to apply several coats of protective resin. For indoor applications, a simple varnish should suffice. If you are making the table top at the same time, then treat all the pieces of wood in the same fashion.
Making your own table legs can be enjoyable and rewarding. It’s a great way to customize your home and make legs that are appropriate for your applications. The hardest part is creating the interface so that they fit your existing table tops.