Submitted by No-Awareness-1834 t3_zx691z in DIY

Hi there, I bought a table some time ago and unfortunately the quality is so bad that I can’t trust anyone sitting at it or putting a drink on it because it wobbles so heavily.

I was thinking of drilling some cross bars into the legs and the bottom of the table but I cannot find anything that would fit the legs and make it more sturdy. My idea would be to screw a metal bar going from the middle of the leg to the middle of the table-bottom.

My question is, with the shape and position of the legs, what could I get/make that would work? Normal L brackets don’t fit because of the weird angle and shape of the feet. Everything is made out of pretty cheap particle board.



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SumhDhood t1_j1ynefh wrote

Easiest and cheapest way I can think of is to scrap those legs in favor of some screwed together/laminated 2x4s and a can of spray paint to match the table color.


No-Awareness-1834 OP t1_j1ynx4w wrote

Would getting a set of wide, sturdy metal feet like this help? Or would that not be sturdy enough in particle board?


MelodicCampaign4314 t1_j1zemhq wrote

It’s ikea/ poly board…the issue starts being where it is bolted…honestly get some strong glue /sealant and put it in the joints after you unscrew them and then put it back together…doing much more is a waste you are better just getting a stronger table .


SumhDhood t1_j1yof5h wrote

Those would probably work great for stability but the requirement for them to be toward the ends of the table for balance might prohibit you from sliding chairs in and out.

Also, not cheap.


No-Awareness-1834 OP t1_j1yp82k wrote

True, they also have them in an A shape but I could always lift the chairs over the bar if necessary. Either way I’ll probably go for the A shape bars as they’re cheaper. I also probably should’ve specified my idea of the price instead of cheap.

Thank you for the suggestion!


SumhDhood t1_j1zdbt3 wrote

The A-shaped ones... if they come to a point at the top, you'll probably want some plywood squares(like 1' or more) to help distribute the table weight. I wouldn't trust particle board to hold a table in two places.


MeisterX t1_j20yrbd wrote

Or "table legs" on Amazon and just bolt those metal bad boys in, jobs done.


Toad32 t1_j1z1ju1 wrote

This. Remake the legs.


monkee67 t1_j1z7asj wrote

why is it wobbly?

are the legs firmly attached to the desk? are the points where they screw in, intact. because if this in not the case, whatever brackets you put on to firm it up, is still a temporary fix.

if no start there - screws can be reset ect, youtube superglue hacks to find out how to strengthen screw holes

so if the legs are firmly attached i would use 1/4 " all-thread (threaded rod) and make a diagonal cross brace from leg to leg

drill holes thru the legs using the hex nuts to hold each side , that will triangulate them. you could put the bars low to the ground or higher up.

you are going to need nuts on both sides of the legs, so 8 nuts.

if you want to get crafty with it you could use some sort of tube to sleeve over the all thread. this would help by creating opposing forces.

shopping list.

2 pcs of 1/4-20 threaded rod long enough for the diagonal 8 pcs 1/4-20 nuts. maybe acorn nuts on the outside of the leg, hex nuts for the inside

optional sleeve, could be pvc or emt or copper tube (hard not soft) big enough diameter to hide the nut inside

that's my fix.


ClankyBat246 t1_j2040b7 wrote

Basically this.

If you are going to fix a problem you need to understand why there is a problem instead of just doing what you think might solve it.

As stated 95% of the time moving the thing loosened some screws and they just need tightened.


monkee67 t1_j209uz3 wrote

> If you are going to fix a problem you need to understand why there is a problem instead of just doing what you think might solve it.

wonderfully succinct.


Icooktoo t1_j21nrnm wrote

>if no start there - screws can be reset ect, youtube superglue hacks to find out how to strengthen screw holes

ETC = Etcetera. there is no ect. It stands for nothing.


monkee67 t1_j21s1a6 wrote

you know evry once in a whle my fngrs dn't type rite.

esp before coffee. which tht ws


gnisna t1_j1z74ff wrote

Reattach the legs with PL and whatever is currently holding it. Cheap easy way you can do it for a cheap table. Every other suggestion is too much investment and time for something made of chip board.


MelodicCampaign4314 t1_j1zf5hd wrote

Finally someone who actually knows when to cut losses….More than 5$ and they might as well put it towards a new table.


danauns t1_j1zdobf wrote


However these legs are attached to cheap particleboard, disassembling the thing, and liberal application of PL on all hardware and contacting surfaces - they will be rock solid. I would be tempted to even do a caulk style bead around each leg as a final step to really lock them in.

Don't over think a solve for a cheap piece of furniture folks. I'm all for fixing stuff and avoiding landfill, but the right fix here is PL. New legs? Adding cross braces? Absolutely not necessary.


TheSnootBooper t1_j2084ka wrote

The internet says PL is polyurethane adhesive? Why that instead of another adhesive? I'm asking to learn - not doubting you.


FoxyOne74 t1_j20ga9h wrote

Not who you asked but I think the answer would be pretty universal. PL glue such as PL400 or PL Premium is kind of the go to glue for trades people. Not expensive, readily available, and it works very well if you use as directed.


TheSnootBooper t1_j20ht74 wrote

That's the impression I got, but it's weird I haven't heard of it. I'm not a tradesman but I've done a fair bit of work at my house.

Is it gap filling? Something you'd use (among other things) to stick two pieces together where you may not have as much surface contact as you'd want? In this case, it will fill in gaps in the screw holes in addition to being adhesive?

Again - just looking to learn. The next DIY project is always around the corner. >.<


FoxyOne74 t1_j20kwsb wrote

Within reason it's gap filling. I think if used as the original commentor of this thread suggested, it will probably make the desk feel fairly sturdy.


No-Awareness-1834 OP t1_j21kf4u wrote

So I would just detach the lags, add PL and stick them back and for good measure add some around the legs on the inside too? That seems pretty cheap and easy


gnisna t1_j21rm3n wrote

No need on the exterior, as PL is an adhesive, and not a caulking. It wouldn’t hurt, but it won’t help much all that much. Plus it’s kinda ugly.


wee-o-wee-o-wee t1_j1z7op5 wrote

The easiest way I can think of would be to head to Ikea and buy 4 of their white desk legs. Would cost about $15-20, and comes with all the hardware.


fangelo2 t1_j1z44rx wrote

Remove existing legs. Buy some metal hairpin legs and install them


Coal_Morgan t1_j1ze3yd wrote

If the particle board is an issue you can replace the screws on the hairpin legs with bolts, nuts and washers and the extra surface area of the washer and ability to apply tension to the bolts will lock them in nice and tight.

Edit: Hairpin legs are popular right now and it'll make the table look higher quality to


MelodicCampaign4314 t1_j1zevrv wrote

I feel like we are venturing into the spend more fixing vw buying better stuff to begin with…he will still have a Frankenstein ikea abomination. Id just put rubber cement on the legs and a washer on the top and of that did not work id buy a cheap used desk and refinish it


NotElizaHenry t1_j1zsw6n wrote

Counterpoint: hairpin legs look cheap and do not go with the style of this table. Hairpins need to be matched with a top that is also visually light and airy. This looks good; this looks dumb and clunky.


Coal_Morgan t1_j20sjci wrote

Counter to the counterpoint.

The table above is closer to the light and airy one by 3.5 inches versus the 4 foot height of the other picture.

Hairpins often go with a table with a skirt and the side of the above table is about the same width as a skirt.


afgunxx t1_j1z0h6c wrote

For the rear 2 legs you could do an X crossbrace between them. Metal, and you can use tools to bend it to the shape of the legs. Connect in the center where they cross for additional stability.

For the front 2 legs, consider using flat metal straps and screw in to the bottom of the legs; no bar to raise the chairs over, just a small metal strip.

If my ideas don't make sense, LMK.


DoingItLeft t1_j1zbv7o wrote

I was thinking something similar, maybe a strip of metal with holes like pipe hanger for the back and a shelf bracket for the front.


afgunxx t1_j1zccl4 wrote

You want something rigid enough that it won't bend under mild stress; pipe hanger metal might. More like flat bar (hardware stores sell that too).


ToolMeister t1_j1zdfol wrote

Get some angle brackets and screw the entire desk to the wall. No more wobble and not visible


WhiskeyAlphaRomeo t1_j20y2gv wrote

This was going to be my suggestion as well. L-brackets will hold it all in place.


Chopbacca t1_j230nr6 wrote

I have a wooden piano stand with two legs on front and the back attached to the wall with L brackets. Doesn’t move at all.


cloistered_around t1_j1z2plw wrote

Ooh, those legs are pretty bad for a desk. And given the shape of the legs that wouldn't give you much material to add cross braces near the bottom. But if you want to give it a go I'd just Google desks in general and copy their cross bracing.


sticklebackridge t1_j1znt8l wrote

Honestly the legs are fine if they are attached securely. Cross bracing would look terrible and be difficult with those legs, so unless this is utility furniture, I wouldn’t do it. A mortise and tenoned cross bar would look nice, but can’t imagine that would be worth the while.


outofmemory01 t1_j1zggqg wrote

So your best bet is examining the attachment at the leg and table interface. It was 'strong' once...and could be made to be so again. Reinforcement inside the table could solve the problem. But as you only provided photos of the exterior hard to determine.

The fact that it's up against a wall...presumably 'permanently' you do have the option to attach the table itself to the wall. This would transfer some/most pushing force into the wall instead of the legs.

Reinforcing the legs could just require gussets. Imagine a flat piece of wood triangular shaped going from leg to table. This would allow the table to be used as normal and spread out the loads applied due to leverage.

For 'x bracing' you've got to make some decisions. You can 'box' the legs by using horizontal devices across the floor - but you already addressed this in another comment.

For decisions do you remain 'in tension' or attempt to solve both compression and tension? In tension means x bracing...which can be done with wire and/or flat metal strips. They'll resist pulling but not pressing thus requiring an X. They don't necessarily have to go all the way down either - but the height you're at any crossing elements will obstruct seated usage - and possibly seat storage. But wire cross bracing can be as simple as screw in eyelets and wire with wrapped ends - or as complex as wire rope with thimbles and wire rope clips.

If you can manage legs in the center across each long end that would also transfer the push/pull energy differently.

You could also criss cross from diagonal legs. It would make the underside look cluttered but would be less disruptive to seating and storage use - this still would require the wall side legs to be criss crossed laterally too.

The best solutions will involve forces being applied to screws in sheer and not tension. Depending on the leg material you could cross with strips of metal from bottom flat (underside) of leg to the opposite.

But seems like your wisest solution would be to replace the legs - which you're seemingly wanting to lean toward anyway.

Really this boils down to what you wish to spend and how aesthetic you want it to look.

You could also pocket hole screw holes into the legs and add hard wood 'washers' inside the table - going through the particle board and into the chunk of hardwood/washer (with glue) - but as I can't see the inside no way to see how easy/economical that would be.

Also - for whatever you choose to do...start with cardboard and fiddle with the shape referencing from leg to underside. Angles aren't impossible to work with...and the curved surface means either grinding/filing a convex for greater glue surface or going with attachments with less glue interfacing.


bill2009 t1_j1zmfdt wrote

Leave the legs alone and bolt it to the wall behind it


No-Awareness-1834 OP t1_j21m489 wrote

I don’t know about drilling more holes in the wall and not being able to move the table again


ThurstonHowell3rd t1_j231iwd wrote

This reminds me of junk furniture my stepkids find for cheap/free at a yard sale and then bring it to my house to fix.

If it were me, I'd get some 1x4s, rip it to 3" wide and use that to make an apron under the table to connect the legs to each other. I'd run screws through the side of the leg and into the end of each apron piece, plus epoxy glue on the apron ends that contact the legs), and then glue/screw the apron to the underside of the table.

You do that, and it's not going anywhere. And that is about as cheap as it gets without having to replace the legs.


TomatBerra t1_j1zbufz wrote

My quick solution is to fold up some paper, and stick it under the shorter leg. Keep adding until no wobble.


merdub t1_j1zkdvo wrote

Cardboard drink coasters work very well for this application.


greensoulsnake t1_j21hmsh wrote

Also, those felt round things to stop legs from scratching glued on for a more sturdy temporary solution


NotElizaHenry t1_j20v9qn wrote

OP, can we please talk about your incredible floors??? I’m obsessed. Are you in Europe?


JudgeJebb t1_j1z3onv wrote

Gey yourself a red squirrel. Much easier.


Transki t1_j1z85di wrote

Check out IKEA. They sell legs separately for their tables and desks. You may find a set that matches.


joeroganfolks t1_j1z9oyi wrote

Get a long enough ratcheting strap and tighten it around the 4 legs near the top. Don't over tighten it but just tight enough that it's holding the 4 legs inward. Should remove the wobble


crzymazy t1_j1zqo3c wrote

Just disassemble and reassemble with gorilla glue in every joint and screw hole. It will be super solid. Try to wet the holes/surfaces first though. The gorilla glue likes it. 🦍🦍


bcvickers t1_j1zst3p wrote

If that's what I was working with I'd figure out a way to triangulate from the legs back up to the bottom of the desk with some dowels or something similar. Honestly those legs are pretty spindly for a table that size, at least based on the pics.


Grower7690 t1_j2091fu wrote

Screws or super glue?


4_jacks t1_j20aoow wrote

How are the legs attached to the base?

If possible, add Wood Glue. I think you'll get more stability from the wood glue that you imagine, all without having to add unsightly modifications.


No-Awareness-1834 OP t1_j21lsan wrote

They’re attached with a metal plate on the opposite side of the particle board, around the size of the leg, I could take it apart and add glue to both sides, but it might be the shitty quality of the particle board that allows it to bend too much.


Pawel_likes_guns t1_j20tvau wrote

Just use 20mm of homogeneus steel on every corner of the legs, should help


sw212st t1_j214uqe wrote

Stickyback plastic


l397flake t1_j21k7pa wrote

Go to a thrift store and buy a table, by the time you do an EFFECTIVE repair you will have spent more money and time than a used table.


ShabachDemina t1_j21mkjz wrote

Wood glue my dude.

My old dining table, which has been moved like 8 times, used to be a grandparent's, and was one of those pull-apart styles with leaves to make it l o n g e r, was super wobbly. Creaking and swaying all over the place.

I took the legs off and apart, and placed a good dab of glue in every single joint and screw hole.

It's gonna be a bitch to disassemble when I move again, but that whole table is SOLID now. I wouldn't have trusted sliding it across the floor before, now I can reasonably(?) stand on it if I need to dust this one weird window that's kinda high in my dining room.


empousaa t1_j226c0m wrote

I've built particle board furniture for years and I can tell you that a screw in that board cannot hold much. Buy 4 metal legs which have at least 4 mounting holes each. Otherwise the only cheap option are 2 full panels left/right connected on the wall side of the desk with another panel 30-35 cm in height which you'll eventually have to screw it to the top part with metal brackets or if your brave/accurate enough, use wood pins Moreso, once you screw a screw in a particle board it is esential that you don't over screw it and break the thread. Multiple screwing in the same hole also weakens the bond. Do not use a guiding hole. Use screws as long as possible not to exit the other side. Particle board furniture can be sturdy too but it has limitations and it's highly recommended to deconstruct it if you plan to transport it to another location. If you want to make it extra sturdy and easy to break apart, mark the mounting plate holes of the metal legs and screw faucets in, the use metal screws to connect the legs. Hope this helps you and good luck


cantesa t1_j227ike wrote

Is it wobbly because of the legs, or the floor being uneven? Haven't seen if this was considered. You can also bolt the table to the wall with two 'L' brackets.


VictimaCircumstance t1_j22w9iz wrote

Take those rubber feet off and tape coins onto the legs until they level, replace feet and relaxeabit.


AsTheWeedTumbles t1_j276sdy wrote

As the saying goes... Cheap, Easy, Good. You can have 2, pick 2.

Can't really tell how the legs attach to the desk. Is there a way you could get a piece of plywood, actual plywood not particle board or OSB, and sandwich it on the other side of the particle boars screwing through plywood, through particle board, and into the center of the leg? This plus adhesive on all contact points may be sufficient. Obviously you would want to paint any exposed wood.