Table legs come in many shapes and sizes. The method used to attach the legs to the table also varies. These variations are usually determined by the design of the leg and can range from braces and brackets to direct application to the table. Leg assemblies are used for tables with folding legs. A screwdriver or a set of wrenches are all the tools required for this project. In the cases where the leg is secured with a combination of screws and glue, you may need a chisel to separate the glued joint.
Place the table on a bench or other work surface so the bottom of the table is facing up. This will allow you access to the bottom of the table so you can locate the screws holding the leg assembly to the tabletop. Back the screws all the way out with a screwdriver to remove each leg assembly.
Back the screws all the way out with a screwdriver to remove each leg assembly and carefully detach the leg braces. Corner braces are often used to attach legs to a table. Turn the table upside down and locate the corner braces. The ends of the braces fit in a groove cut into the apron and are secured to the apron with screws. The table legs attach to the braces with bolts and nuts. Back out the nut with a wrench until the leg is free from the brace or back out the screws holding the brace to the apron.
Remove Apron Legs
Take off the apron. Some legs are attached to the table apron with dowel pins and glue, and then the apron is secured to the table. The apron secures to the table with L-shaped brackets or there may be pilot holes for screws drilled through the apron. Locate the screws holding the apron to the underside of the table. Back out the screws with a screwdriver.
Remove Screws and Legs
Unscrew the legs. Turn the table upside down and locate the bracket that is secured to the underside of the tabletop. Remove the legs by unscrewing them from the bracket or back out the screws holding the bracket to the table. This method holds true whether the legs are made of wood or metal. The leg itself may be threaded, or the leg may contain a threaded metal dowel that screws into the table bracket.
Table legs can be secured directly to the table with a combination of screws and glue, or fasteners and glue. This method applies glue between the leg and the apron, secured through the apron with screws. To remove the legs, back out the screws and put the tip of the chisel against the back of the apron at the apron/leg joint. Removing the screws may loosen the glue enough to separate.
Wood glue may be dissolved with a mix of warm water and white vinegar. Mix two cups of vinegar in warm water, so that the vinegar makes up 30 percent of the mix. Use a soft cloth to soak the solution and apply to the joint, saturating it completely so that the mix reaches the glue. Repeat on each table leg, and mix another batch of two cups of vinegar water. Repeat the process. It helps to leave the cloth wrapped around the joint for 15 minutes. The glue should be soft and pliable.
Tap it with a hammer to separate the parts. Always work glued joints apart gently.
Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.