Wood Shim Side Table with Tapered Mid-Century Modern Legs

DIY side table made with an upcycled wood shim table top and modified Waddell mid-century modern tapered table legs painted black.

The top of this side table is made of ordinary cedar wood shims, and the legs are customized Mid-Century Modern tapered Waddell brand legs.

DIY side table made with an upcycled wood shim table top and modified Waddell mid-century modern tapered table legs painted black

The “wood shim wall art” project started as a “table top for a small side table” project.  But, a couple of things happened along the way.  I made the wood shim table top and had DIY legs in mind, but after I got the legs made I decided 1) the legs were very difficult to make, and 2) the legs didn’t look great with the table top.  So I scrapped the legs and set the table top against a wall and decided to wait for inspiration on the legs.  Over the next few months, I tried several leg styles, but wasn’t happy with any of them.  No, it’s not all butterflies, bunny rabbits, and rainbows in the DIY Furniture Studio!

At some point, I realized that the wood shim table top looked good against the wall, so good that I hung it on the wall.  Ta-da.  It was destined to be wall art all along!

wood shim wall art

I knew at some point I would find the right legs for the shim table top.  Well that time is now.

The table top was made by gluing wood shims together, cutting off the long sides to form a clean rectangle, then sanding, and finishing.  See the detailed tutorial for the wood shim table top here.  (Yes, it is the wall art tutorial, one and the same!)

wood shim side table gluing the shims
wood shim side table clamping the glued shims
wood shim side table cutting the sides

The legs for the wood shim side table are modified Waddell brand tapered table legs.  I love these legs in general, but didn’t love the glides on the tips of the legs for this side table project.  I figured out how to remove the glides, leaving the ferrule (metal toe cap) for a sleeker, more streamlined look.

wood shim table top with black mid century modern tapered legs

I’ll show you an overview of the Waddell leg makeover in this post, and you can go here for the full Waddell brand leg makeover tutorial.

First, I cut the metal ferrule with a tube cutter.

using tube cutter to cut glide off Waddell furniture table leg
close up of cut ferrule of Waddell leg by tube cutter

Then, I cut through the wood using a coping saw to remove the glide.  After this, I sanded it a bit with 100 grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood and metal.

cutting end of Waddell leg with coping saw

You can finish the legs however you like. I taped off the metal ferrules with painter’s tape and painted mine a variety of colors.

painting modified Waddell mid century tapered legs with ferrule
mid century modern leg with ferrule

The only thing left was putting the legs on the wood shim table top.


  • four Waddell metal table leg straight top plates
  • drill and bit
  • painter’s tape

I aligned the top plates at the corners on the underside of the shim table top, then marked the location for the pilot holes.  I used a drill bit that was a little thinner than the screws that came with the top plates.  I put painter’s tape on the drill bit as a depth guide so I didn’t drill the pilot holes through the table top.

Use top plates to attach Waddell legs to shim table top

Here are a few more photos.

Waddell tapered leg makeover
wood shim side table with multicolor mid century legs
Waddell legs painted several colors for shim table top side table

So the wood shim wall art can be wall art, a table top for a wood shim side table, or both. I have it hanging on the wall right now, but left the top plates on and can use it as a side table by just screwing on legs.  As always, I hope my tutorial helps you with information and inspiration!  Until next time……