How to Make Folding Legs

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Make Folding Legs
A table with folding legs is a practical and versatile piece of furniture. (table image by Dmitry Nikolaev from Fotolia.com)

Folding tables can provide extra seating during special occasions when there is not enough seating at the regular dinner table. In cramped living spaces, a table with folding legs is a practical investment as it can be stored away easily by folding the table's legs. This, of course, creates "new" space. Just like any piece of furniture, folding tables can be expensive although it doesn't always mean they have good quality. With some basic carpentry skills and materials, you can build your own table with folding legs that are as sturdy as you need them to be.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tabletop
  • Cedar stock, 4-inch by 4-inch
  • Jigsaw
  • Hand sander
  • Tack cloth
  • Paint or stain
  • Paint brush
  • Paint pan
  • Pencil
  • 4 hinges and hardware
  • Drill
  • Drill bits

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Select a tabletop that measures slightly more than twice the size of the wooden legs. The wooden legs will measure approximately 29 inches, so the table should be roughly between 65 and 70 inches long.

  2. 2

    Cut the cedar stock into four pieces, each one measuring 29 ¼ inches long. These table legs must all be the same length and width.

  3. 3

    Use a hand sander to sand down the table legs to remove any rough edges.

  4. 4

    Clean the table legs to remove any dirt and dust with a tack cloth.

  5. 5

    Pour paint or stain that matches the tabletop into a paint pan. Use a paint brush to paint or stain the folding legs.

  6. 6

    Allow enough time for the paint or stain to dry. Read the label on the paint or stain to determine drying time.

  7. 7

    Turn the tabletop over to expose the underside.

  8. 8

    Place each leg against the corners of the table and draw the outline of the table legs' tops onto the underside of the table with a pencil. The legs should be approximately 2 inches to 3 inches from each edge of the table and in the same location at each corner.

  9. 9

    Place the hinges on the underside of the table against the boxes drawn on each corner. Mark the locations of the screw holes from the hinges on the table top.

  10. 10

    Remove the hinges from the table and drill pilot holes into each of the marked spots. Use a drill bit with the same diameter as the screws from the hinges.

  11. 11

    Secure the four hinges to the underside of the table using the provided screws and attached hardware.

  12. 12

    Place the legs against the hinges. Mark the locations of the screw holes for the hinges on the top of the legs.

  13. 13

    Use a drill bit with the same diameter as the screws provided to drill pilot holes for the screws in the four table legs.

  14. 14

    Secure the table legs to each hinge with the provided screws and attached hardware.

  15. 15

    Fold the table legs underneath the table and turn the table top over onto its top side. Unfold the legs to use the table top. Fold the legs under the table to store the table.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment with cedar stock pieces of different widths for thinner or thicker table legs.
  • Make smaller tables such as coffee tables using various other measurements for the legs and table tops.
  • Always use caution when working with a jigsaw or hand sander. Wear safety goggles for protection.

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