Woodworking: End table refinishing project (part 6)

I had expected that this would be the final installment of the end table refinishing project and that the next woodworking project’s first installment would be next week, but it turns out that we get at least one more post about this table beyond this one. How great is that?

Last week I told you about the 18″ ash legs I’d ordered. I was looking forward to those legs. I got the shipping confirmation. I was tracking their progress from Illinois to Los Angeles and their expected delivery date. But there was no progress. I called South Carolina, and South Carolina said that it was shipped from Illinois, and maybe there was a different tracking number used. I called Illinois, and ultimately it looked like the the package had been lost by UPS.

When I heard that, I immediately felt for Tucker Carlson. But the loss of this package seemed to be real instead of the fake-lost fake Hunter Biden documents.

The seller’s customer service was very nice and offered a replacement. And since they didn’t have ash legs available immediately, they asked if I would be OK with white oak legs instead. I didn’t mind darker legs, and it wasn’t like the rest of the table was consistently one type of wood and that this would throw off the coloration of the piece.

I tracked the legs all the way from Illinois to LA, and then it was time to get to work.

I sanded them down and got them ready for the teak oil. But I had to figure out how to let them dry without a problem.

Then I realized that the mounts I had ordered on amazon came with like a T-nut for hanger bolts. This kit came with hanger bolts, too, so all you really needed were legs that were drilled out in the center. Pretty convenient. But I could install these nuts into the top of a cardboard box.

I drilled out the holes first.
Ready to go!

So I started the process, and I was on my way.

Look at how this perspective makes the leg look like a dowel without taper.

So far so good! Table is so close to being finished! Hooray! No problems here!


I checked the legs against the table, and there was definitely not enough space for the hanger bolts to be screwed in all the way. I had to come up with solutions!

hey, it could work!

I decided to see if the nut would work as a spacer. It fit, sure, but it was all kinds of sketchy.

Well, there ARE legs on it!

It actually looked pretty nice, I think! I was happy that I chose straight leg mounts over angled leg mounts. Right?

But I had to figure out a solution that could actually not be super sketchy. Which this setup absolutely was.

So I got some washers that I decided to use as spacers. Just for the time being. You know, unless they worked great. Then forever.

Unsightly much?

Not only did this approach not look good, but the play that was the result of the imperfect fit made the table noticeably wobbly. I hadn’t put weeks into this to have the threads stripped and the table fall down.

So it was back to all kinds of research. I needed not only to get the enough space between the mount plates and the table but also the proper mounts.

And this gave me the opportunity to reconsider my choice of using straight mounts over angled mounts.

So I talked to the seller in South Carolina about the mounts they sell–the ones that are made with the legs in mind–about if there’s enough clearance to accommodate for the 3/4″-long hanger bolts without having to add a buffer between the mount and the table. Ultimately, the answer was yes.

This time I decided to go with angled mounts.

As they were on their way, I did some calculations so I could be ready with what I needed to finish up this project and be happy with it.

I knew the leg mounts were made with an 11-degree mount angle.

The table is 14″ wide. The legs are 18″ tall. How big does the piece of wood need to be to affix to the underside of the table so the legs can hit the floor where I want them to?

OK so I have a right triangle. Makes it a little easier.

The hypotenuse of the right triangle is 18″ because the legs are at an angle, and the angle is 11 degrees. So if I want the legs hit the floor at about the corners of the table, I have to figure out where the offset should be.

I can do that simply by sin(11 degrees) and multiply that by 18. I get a little more than 3.43″. So you take away about 7″ overall from the 14″.

But that’s from the center of the leg. I need to know how long a block of wood has to be to accommodate the mounts.

The mount is a square 2-3/8″ on a side. So I need to add half of 2-3/8″ because only half the mount would extend beyond the center of the leg.

Except that I want the mount to be at a 45-degree angle so the legs point to the corners.

But we’re lucky. A square is made of two isosceles right triangles. To find the hypotenuse, we just add the squares of each side and take the square root of that. So sqrt( 2 x 2.375^2). That gives about 3.36″.

The actual design of the mounts cuts off the corners to make an octagonal shape, and the screw holes also are recessed from the edge. It seems like I can get rid of about half an inch overall. I’d have to add about 1.5″ to either side of the piece of wood. So I have 14″ wide – 7″ for the sweep of the leg + 3″ to account for the size of the mount. I’ll need a block of wood 10″ long. Also the width of that block of wood needs to be somewhere in the 2.75″-3″ range. As for thickness, I’d need 1/2″ to 3/4″.

Equipped with that information, I went to House of Hardwood where I hadn’t shopped in about two decades. But as you’ll see in my next woodworking project series, I knew that was the place to go.

I found some hardwood in the scrap area. I got two pieces. They cut them to 10″ long. Back in the car, I was on my way home with the blocks of wood I needed and the California shutdown looming.

With any luck, next week’s post will be the last of this project’s series. And then I can begin the next one.

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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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