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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Metal Legs for Rustic Furniture

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Over the years, I’ve built a few projects using lumber I reclaimed from an old barn on my grandad’s property. I had just enough leftover boards to make a coffee table, so I made one.

I tweaked the look of the 3/4-in. boards with a little wood stain, then fastened them onto a 3/8-in. plywood backer using 1” wood screws. The construction left a notable bit of flex in the table top, so I screwed two 1x parallel hardwood boards beneath the plywood, oriented perpendicular to the reclaimed boards. (The 1x support boards were reclaimed stair treads.)

But wait! Those 1x support boards did more than just strengthen my table top. They also provided a mounting place for a pair of metal leg assemblies made by Semi Exact. The U-shaped metal legs bolt onto the table from beneath, so I used them as a spacing guide to position those 1x support boards before screwing them beneath the table top. Once they were in attached, I squared up the legs and used lag screws (4 per connection) to attach the metal legs into the 1x supports. Legs completed!

The clear-coated metal finish gave an awesome “industrial” look to my rustic-style table, plus, using the legs made it soooooooo much easier to build this coffee table than constructing wood legs from scratch.

Last step in construction was to measure the table, cut miters in the edging boards, then attach them around the table top them using wood glue and brad nails.

Final step to complete this project is to coat the entire tabletop in clear wood epoxy … but that’s a story for another blog post.

The Semi Exact company offers lots of cool-looking (and labor-saving) hardware items for construction of rustic furniture. I’ve become a fan and have a couple more projects lined up where I’ll use their products. Check out their stuff at

Construction steps

I spent a lot of time rearranging the boards to determine the best color scheme for my table.

Since I was planning to eventually coat the table in epoxy, I pre-sealed the boards with polycrylic.

I spray-painted the plywood dark so it wouldn't show between the board joints.

When attaching the boards, I clamped all the joints together and presssed them flat from above.

Make sure your wood screws aren't long enough to penetrate the face of the table top.

The boards and backer are assembled, and I'm sizing up the edging boards.

Unboxing the U-shaped metal legs from Semi Exact.

I chose a clear-coat finish, but the legs are also available in jet black, white, and raw steel.

I used the legs as a guide when spacing the 1x support boards beneath the table top.

Once the supports were fastened, I pre-drilled and lag-screwed the legs into the boards.

Here's the table before I add the edging.

When joining miters, it's a good idea to color the mating faces to help hide the seam.

I used a nickel as a trim gauge to ensure all boards lay below the edging in wait of the epoxy.

I clamp the edging from all sides when fastening.

Bowed and warped boards are not uncommon with reclaimed lumber.

I clamped the warped board from the top, bottom and sides to muscle the corner joint into shape.

I fastened the miter joints with wood glue and brad nails, and nailed the edging into the table top.

-- M. Weber

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