Some time ago I joined some cuts from a live edge slab of wood to make a somewhat square, live edge coffee table top, then I finished the top with a special version of teak oil called Teak-Olje and both those articles and videos can be found here:  Part 1   &  Part 2.
This final video and article are a quick overview of installing some Steel Legs to the coffee table and something I have not worked with in the past, so a whole new experience for me.

Watch this video on YouTube here >

I started off by purchasing ready made steel legs from one of the big box hardware stores rather than trying to make my own. There was not many choices of steel legs that I could purchase locally, but did find some inverted "V" shaped legs that I liked and that looked very well made ...

 The legs that I purchases were raw steel with a light coat of oil on them. I knew that I wanted the legs black so my first option was to have one of the car painting shops paint the legs black for me. I felt a coat of automotive paint would probably last longer that simply going to the hardware store and buying off-the-shelf black spray paint.

Option 1 - Getting the legs painted professionally. As it turned out, getting someone to paint these legs satin black, in a timely fashion and something approaching a reasonable cost, was just not happening.

Option 2 - Along the way I found a company that sells automotive paint, including  black undercoat paint and black satin top coat paint, that I can spray on myself. Maybe not quite a good as what a commercial shop could do, but they told me that once done, my coffee table legs would turn out excellent ... and they were correct and they gave full instructions on what to do.

First I had to wash all the oil off (obviously), then dry the steel and wipe it thoroughly with an alcohol to make sure all the oil is off, the then finally, with a very fine fabric pad (about 400 grit) I had to scrub the entire steel legs. The purpose of this is to give the undercoat spray something better to adhere to the steel with. Next I sprayed on the undercoat. The can said I could spray on a top coat in 20 minutes, but decided to wait overnight to get a very hard undercoat.

The next day I wiped the legs off with a soft cloth to make sure there was no dust on them and sprayed the first of 3 top coats of black satin automotive paint. 2 coats were done on one day, about 6 hours apart and the final coat was sprayed on the next day. The results were ... as they told me, outstanding. The steel legs turned out perfect and had just the right amount of sheen on them.

Next I need to prepare the underside of the live edge top. I glued on 4 square pieces of plywood 4x4 inches and painted them black to match the legs. The purpose of the plywood was to give me a little bit more depth to install the screws that would hold the legs on, and to help ensure the large screws i was using to attach the legs on with would not split the wood ... I don't thing they would have, but always good to be safe ahead of time than trying to fix a cracked top that has been already finished and prepared ready to use. 

Lining up the legs was a bit of a chore because there really are now staight edges, except the ends of the live edge and I didn't want to trust them to give me perfectly parallel leg spacings, so I decided to cut a blank piece of used plywood that was 30 inches long and parallel end to end. This way I could butt the legs up to the plywood, then use that to align them on the back, and ensure that the legs are absolutely parallel to one another. Once that was done, I drille pilot holes in each of the legs then drove the screws through the leg holes and attached them to the live edge top.

The final job was to make sure the legs would be flat. Nothing worse than a table that rocks back and forth. To check this I placed the table on my table saw which has a flat top from end to end. My reasoning was, with one side of the legs fully attached and the other side attached on one side, with the table sitting on my table saw deck if there was any rocking from one side or the other of the table,   could use some very thin shims to make sure the legs would sit flat. As it turned out, the legs were already flat and no shimming was require. This doesn't mean that the the top may not move and slightly warp in the future, hopefully not, but that is something that is always a possibility.

The table was finally delivered to it's new home and I must say, with the grey fireplace back drop and the dark blue carpet it looked outstanding. The pictures give an idea just how beautiful the contrast and the wood against the fabric and rock really looked ... a perfect match.

Copyright Colin Knecht