Table Legs From Reclaimed 2x4

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Introduction: Table Legs From Reclaimed 2x4

This instructable was born from having an abundance of 2x4s laying around following a recent eviction of chickens from a rather large coop. For some reason whenever I have made tables or items requiring legs in the past they have always ended up lopsided, or wobbly, or just looking unsafe in general. In an effort to make this work out better this time I used the internet and the spare wood from my disassembled chicken coop to construct legs for a table made form the same coop. I was originally planning on purchasing legs( I was quite tired of having terrible legs) so I looked on the interwebs and found an add for "The greatest table legs money can buy". They looked nice but they were $250 a piece and aluminum. Being a little out of my price range I decided I would just make them from my spare lumber. I think the resulting table legs turned out pretty awesome looking, and they were very inexpensive.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

For this instructable you'll need the following:

  • Three 8' 2x4s
  • Sixteen 2" wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Saw that can cut angles (I used a Ryobi)
  • Drill/Driver
  • Sand Paper
  • Stain (optional)
  • Saftely Lenses
  • Breathing Protection

Step 2: Make Your Cuts

For each leg you're going to need the following pieces cut

Angled lengths(at *15)

  • Two 27" 2x4 (these are your vertical supports, looking at the board from the side the cut should look like /______/ for both cuts). These are the bottom two boards in the image.
  • One 6" 2x4 (this piece will act as a horizontal center brace, looking at the board from the side the cut should look like \____/ ). This is the top board in the image.

Straight Lengths

  • 1 24" 2x4
  • 1 15" 2x4

Step 3: Sanding

I strongly recommend sanding before assembly. The first leg that I made I decided to sand afterwards and it made the whole thing that much more difficult due to the sharp angles involved. I used an orbital sander with 80 grade paper to take all the rough edges and splinters out of the reclaimed lumber, afterwards I went over again with 150 to make them really smooth.

Step 4: Assembly

Taking the two vertical support piece and the 15" straight cut piece, line them up on your workbench, or shop floor to determine where you're going to want to put your screws (or dowels). I eyeballed four points and drilled the requisite holes. Before putting the screws in to join the pieces I lathered the connecting surfaces with wood glue. Once those were together I placed the 24" piece on top of the vertical supports, drilled requisite holes, applied wood glue and used the 2" screws to join the pieces. They are starting to take shape. The last bit of assembly comes with the center support brace. Take the piece and place wood glue on both of the cut surfaces. Drop the brace between the V as shown in the image and make sure it's level before leaving it to dry. I used a mallet to ensure it was snug, although you could probably just knock it down with your hand.

Step 5: Now for Something Completely Different...

In this photo, you can see the result of a completely chance occurrence. I accidentally dropped a screw off of the top level piece while I was joining pieces, and this bugger landed standing up with the tip in the smallest crack I didn't realize my shop floor had.

Figured I'd share the happening.

Step 6: Finalizing and Personalizing

After the assembly and sanding (if you chose to do it last), you may want to choose to stain like I did. I like darker furniture so the stain I used is called Kona. There's normally a good selection of stains and paints at your local hardware/paint store.

The final product really turned out a lot better than I had anticipated, especially since the only thing I had to buy was some more sandpaper as I had everything else already laying around.

Thanks for reading my first instructable. I hope it helped and please post photos if you try these out.

Cheers.

2 People Made This Project!

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25 Comments

0
MarkT6
MarkT6

9 months ago

My wife and I trying to build a 30 inch by 6 foot table used 5/4 edge glued board that is about 60 pounds. Do you think these will be sturdy enough?

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 9 months ago

I think it should hold. A few things though, when you're joining the vertical pieces to the bottom pieces, if you have the ability to use dowels instead of screws I would strongly recommend it as it will leave a stronger and more snug finished piece. Also, leave the glued pieces enough time to adequately cure completely before you put any additional stress on them. With the weight you're going to be placing you may want to consider one extra board cross-connecting the two stands, connecting at the center horizontal piece. like V---V if that makes sense? I really hope it turns out well. Good luck

0
MarkT6
MarkT6

Reply 9 months ago

This is our first table. We are going to be building a second one soon. We are finding 2 inch screws aren't quite cutting it. We are going to use 2.5 for our second table. Used pocket hole screws to attach the top of the V to my crossbars. Waiting for glue in all other spots to harden to see if that will be strong enough. Would like to be able to take the table apart so I didn't glue down the V's. Used the cut list I provided in other comment plus 41.5 inch crossbars. Crossbars are glued and screwed to table top.

IMG_20220420_191352075_PORTRAIT.jpg
0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 9 months ago

Wow, Mark. That looks really great. Thanks for posting it, I may borrow your measurements to make a new one! Great work!

0
MarkT6
MarkT6

Reply 9 months ago

Thanks! I ended up at 28.5 inches high. The table top is exactly an inch so to the top of my Vs is 27.5.

0
MarkT6
MarkT6

Reply 9 months ago

Thanks for the tips! Do you think that cross bar can be on the table and not on the ground?

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 9 months ago

Okay, so in the sketch(I'm no artist mind you) I put four points on on both sides of the top horizontal bar where a cross bar should be connected if you were going to fasten it to the bottom of the table. I would do wood glued dowels in those four points to connect the cross 2x4 or whatever you're fixing to use as the cross support. Screws and nails get loose, and with a 60 pound table top you want to be as secure as possible, so dowels are definitely the way to go. I imagine if you went with 5/8" dowl or larger you should be pretty solid. Let me know if there is anything else, and thanks for using my design.

IMG_1818.jpg
0
MarkT6
MarkT6

Reply 9 months ago

What do you think of this? I am trying to get the leg height to around 28 inches and then we are going to add another inch with the table top. To get there, I modified this to have 27 inches on the top cross bar, 25.75 on the 15 degree cut, and 16 on the floor. This cuts this down to two 2x4s. I have loads of smaller pieces to add in the 6 inch piece- just not good longer boards so I have to buy get new studs. So my cut list is 27, 25.75, 25.75 and 16 for each stud and then scraps for the 6 inch pieces.

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 9 months ago

That all sounds great, taking into account the thickness of the top and bottom 2x4s that should be fine. Perhaps making the vertical pieces shorter than the top cross bar will make it sturdier? I hope this works out and that's awesome you were able to get it down to two 2x4s.

0
MarkT6
MarkT6

Reply 9 months ago

The measurements on this work but not sure if it will stand- what do you think.

0
MarkT6
MarkT6

Reply 9 months ago

Thanks. I will try to post when we are done! We'd like to have the ability to take it apart because assembled we can't get it out of our basement but may have no choice with the dowel rods if we want it secure.

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 9 months ago

Hey Mark, so somebody had asked before if it was possible to make it collapsable and I suggested possibly putting hinges... I know this is becoming more and more complicated, but the hinges could make it collapsable if you were able to secure a locking mechanism when they're fully extended.

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 9 months ago

I think the cross bar could be on the underside of the table, but believe it will be most secure if it is connecting the two center support braces. That being said if you put them there then you will have to contend with the support being at knee level if you have chairs or something under it. Let me draw something up and I'll get back to you with something that should be secure. I'd hate for you to ruin a good project...

0
vicdamon2005
vicdamon2005

11 months ago

How high was your table?

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 11 months ago

The table ended up being right around 30". The particular table I built these legs on I actually eventually sold.

0
Josselle18
Josselle18

Question 2 years ago

I am newbie. Could it be done foldable?

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Reply 1 year ago

Hey, yes it totally can be done foldable, you just need sturdy enough hinges and clasping brackets to hold the legs to the underside when it's folded!

0
mpschilp
mpschilp

Answer 2 years ago

I don't see why not, do you mean to fold the entire table? I imagine if you mounted the legs with a set of hinges instead of mounting fast with screws or nails to the top, and used some sort of cotter pin, or lock once they were in place then it would work nicely. Now I've got to try it myself. Great idea!

0
Kat_gueth
Kat_gueth

2 years ago

How tall do these table legs end up being?

0
Atax-9
Atax-9

Reply 2 years ago

I followed the spec and ended with with 750mm height (not including table top)