Woodworking: End table refinishing project (part 5)

Pretty stoked about having most of the components of the table, the time was drawing near to fully assemble it. But permanently. Not just by using gravity to keep the pieces together while they rest on cereal boxes.

With all the decisions up to this point, there was still a surprising amount of work to do, and that included figuring out the entire leg situation and even which screws to use.


The original legs made no sense to me for this table. They were farm-looking, and from the beginning I saw this table as mid-century modern with tapered legs.

“These are the Houston Astros of legs.” -William Hubbs Rehnquist

But when considering MCM legs, there’s so much to think about! From a design perspective, should the legs point straight down or be angled outward?

Straight down is a valid option!
Angled looks good, too, though.

I went back and forth between the two, and I decided on vertical legs. I’ll cover more of this decision next post.

And the legs themselves are important! Which wood? How long? How much?

Luckily for me, I have a lot of flexibility when it comes wood for this project. The table is made of at least two distinctly different woods as it is, so any hardwood should work, right?

Cue: trying to find the thing you want on the internet that should be simple but so, so isn’t.

I found a lot of legs that would be good if they didn’t have that ferrule at the end. I want the legs to be wood all the way down without a metal cuff. Imagine my surprise at how this made tracking down anything good substantially more difficult.

But there were options on Etsy that seemed very promising. Range of woods, hand-turned, decent reviews. Search over, right? Wrong!

The legs were made in Turkey. Hard pass on buying from Turkey. They’re killing Armenians again. Stop it! Stop killing Armenians!

Then I came across a lot of listings with legs made of “sustainable hardwood.” these were later described as being made of rubberwood. More research. Rubberwood is what’s left over when they’re done draining the trees of what they need to make rubber. It’s sustainable because the wood is trash otherwise.

A huge problem with rubberwood is that those with latex allergies are affected very negatively by coming in contact with it. While I’m not having guests over in the near future, I don’t want to think of my home as a hazard for someone I like. I also don’t know how rubberwood finishes.

I contacted a local woodshop because I’d prefer to buy local if I can. Especially during hard times for small businesses. No reply.

Finally I got through to a manufacturer in Illinois that directed me to a retailer in South Carolina. I ordered a set of four 19″ ash legs. Hooray!


I grew up with mainly two types of screws: Philips and flat head. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. I have never preferred flat head over Philips. Flat head is hard to grab at high speed. Philips is the only logical choice. But only if it’s between the two.

I had seen Torx over time. My bike’s disc brake rotors are held on by screws with Torx. Torx allows for more consistent driving and better seating of the driver. But Robertson does something similar. While Torx has a star pattern, Robertson is a tapered square.

I’m done with Philips if I don’t have to use it. I don’t want to strip screws, and I don’t want to have to remove stripped screws. So it’s down to Torx and Robertson at which point it was down to cost. For this size screws on amazon, Torx was the winner.

Just so easy to drive Torx!

And with the first side in, moving on to finish up the entire top part.

The DeWalt impact driver is earnings its keep for sure

With the legs on their way, I had purchased mounts on amazon that were supposed to work fine. I decided to mount those.

Yes, these are Philips, but I didn’t have an option.
The excitement I get from looking at these photos again is kind of awesome.

With the mounts successfully installed, it was time for assembly!

Very exciting day for me!

It seemed the legs were the last things to do, and shortly after I received them, I’d have a great end table.

When has that happened in 2020?

More next time!

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About raabidfun

I'm a guy living the #raabidfun lifestyle. I figured I would create a blog about crossword puzzles I do. The idea is to do the NYT crossword and the WSJ crossword daily as much as I can. That includes when I don't finish and have clearly failed. They can be difficult. Also I am not an attorney, and any legal analysis in this blog reflects my interpretation, which means it can be flawed and should not be relied upon for use in legal matters (especially against me).

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