A table with a wobbly leg is a sure way to ruin even the best motorhome, but this handy project could fix the issue…
To begin, turn it over and see if loose leg-fixing screws are the cause of the problem. Start by firmly but gently retightening them.
If, like mine, your table is basically constructed from a chipboard core with melamine laminate faces, you might find that the screws just rotate in their holes – this will never be a success, as you cannot easily replace the screws with longer or fatter ones.
Table meets its match
The solution to this is to remove the screw-on legs entirely, and use pieces of matchstick with a coating of PVA wood glue to fill the holes. Not only will this reduce the hole size, it will also provide a much better grip for the original self-tapping fixing screws.
You can cut two filling pieces from each match, which must then have one side tapered with a craft knife before coating with glue and partially inserting into the hole.
Partially fit the second tapered match before very gently tapping them both into place with a small hammer.
You must take care to avoid pushing down on the melamine top face and if in doubt, keep a hand underneath to ensure you are not tapping too hard.
The tale of the tape
Although this will probably provide an excellent fixing, a belt-and-braces measure that I added involved putting powerful double-sided tape on the back of the leg-fixing plate before it was refitted.
This was not your common or garden high-street product, but something described on the internet as ‘High Performance Acrylic Foam Tape’ as used in the automotive trade.
A quick rub over both of the surfaces using methylated spirits will remove all traces of grease before the tape is applied to the back of the plate.
After removing the protective film from the sticky tape, position the plate over the screw-holes very precisely, as it will be difficult to reposition it to insert the screws.
The end result was a very firm fitting, as the tape complements the fixing screws. I rather hope that I never have to try to remove these legs!
If you’re looking for a table to take on tour with you for your awning or outdoor eating, be sure to take a look at our best camping table guide too.
A step-by-step guide to fixing a wobbly table leg
1 Use masking tape to label the exact position of each leg before removing any of the fixing screws.
2 Tap the tapered, glued matchsticks firmly but gently into place in the screwholes, using a small hammer.
3 Carefully degrease both of the contact surfaces with methylated spirits before you apply self-adhesive tape.
4 Double-sided tape is incredibly strong and will supplement the screw fixing.
5 Use a bradawl to provide a centre starting hole for each self-tapping fixing screw.
6 Back in its place, the table is now as firm as it ever was – and hopefully will stay that way!
Looking for more great DIY inspiration? Then be sure to head to our Back to Basics – DIY & Maintenance category, where we’re sharing simple projects that could make all the difference when you’re on tour!
Future Publishing Limited, the publisher of practicalmotorhome.com, provides the information in this article in good faith and makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Individuals carrying out the instructions do so at their own risk and must exercise their independent judgement in determining the appropriateness of the advice to their circumstances. Individuals should take appropriate safety precautions and be aware of the risk of electrocution when dealing with electrical products. To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither Future nor its employees or agents shall have any liability in connection with the use of this information. You should check that any van warranty will not be affected before proceeding with DIY projects.
Looking for inspiration for a ‘van you can stay in full time? Then be sure to check out our best motorhome for full-time living guide!
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