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J.Dorval's picture

I seem to remember that I read an article years ago on how to accurately cut chair legs, ensuring that they would all end up the same length. Any advice?

MikeHennessy's picture

(post #115940, reply #1 of 13)

Hold the chair steady on a flat surface so it doesn't rock. Get a spacer, like a thin piece of wood, and use it to mark around the bottom of each leg. Cut on the line on each leg. The chair will then sit on a flat surface without rocking.

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

J.Dorval's picture

(post #115940, reply #2 of 13)

Thank you very much. Your method seems so simple that I am almost embarrassed I asked.


I will proceed as suggested.


Many thanks.

MikeHennessy's picture

(post #115940, reply #6 of 13)

No problem.


But a warning: If your house is anything like mine, chairs that sit perfectly on the flat bench will nevertheless rock a bit when you put 'em on the decidedly unflat floor of a 100 yr. old house. ;-)


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

roc's picture

(post #115940, reply #3 of 13)

Recently I read a good one. Danged if I can find it. I think I was reading a blog that I got to the other day from the profile page. The person had many entries in the blog so may have been a member of FWW staff. I will keep searching.

Seems like they hung the long leg off the table saw marked it with a plane blade with the back of the blade on the table then trimmed to the line.

Seems like another one was to put precisely thicknessed shims, say 1/8 ", under all the short/correct legs. Raise the table saw blade to touch/same shim thickness. Then do as Gary Rogowski is doing in this video.

I don't make chairs , yet, so I am no doubt over complicating it. Any way the Gary video :

http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=29412

The nerd in me wants to level the tablesaw then put the level on the table/chair seat to determine which way to "tilt" the totter before trimming. No need. It is just a personal problem. You understand.

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )


Edited 9/30/2009 3:14 pm by roc

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

J.Dorval's picture

(post #115940, reply #4 of 13)

Thanks for forwarding this information.


I simply need to cut the four legs of a bar stool that is currently too high for its purpose.


Another woodworker suggested that I should identify the length to be cut, then cut a piece of wood that I would use to mark the circomference of each leg. The four legs should then be the same length.


I told him that it sems so simple that I am almost embarrassed that I asked.


Thanks again for taking the time to answer me.

roc's picture

(post #115940, reply #5 of 13)

Ahhh I see now.

You're welcome.

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

boilerbay's picture

(post #115940, reply #7 of 13)

Roc,

"Seems like they hung the long leg off the table saw marked it with a plane blade with the back of the blade on the table then trimmed to the line."

I've seen this method more than any other (not on a TS -but a flat ref. surface like a torsion box) and it serves well.
I also use the equal shim and mark technique.

The last thing I would do is the direct TS thingy.

Gary's method is OK, all things being flat and even and small - like your throat plate and for those tables that conveniently fit on a TS top.

Doing the TS thing to me seems to invite some form of Murphy* to visit. Maybe a corollary such as "The more your trim, the more you will trim on successive legs with more tear out until your bar stool becomes a foot stool."

Which is a variance to Amara's law in that "We tend to overestimate the effect of a TS blade in the short run and underestimate the effect on the leg in the long run" or Murphy's Extended Law: If a series of events can go wrong, they will do so in the worst possible sequence -- with power tools.

Also doesn't work to well on larger coffee tables, a high boy or a dining table.

*Of course in conjunction with Hofstadter's Law

BB

Scooter1's picture

(post #115940, reply #8 of 13)

I use a template. 

Regards, Scooter "I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow." WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934

Regards, Scooter "I may be drunk, but you're crazy, and I'll be sober tomorrow." WC Fields, "Its a Gift" 1934
joinerswork's picture

(post #115940, reply #9 of 13)

J.


At the risk of being a smarta$$, use a stop block with your crosscut fence for all 4 legs.


But, in a more serious tone:


Place a piece of 1/4" plywood in top of the tablesaw top, or other suitably flat surface.  Place the offending chair (at least two legs of which are on the plywood) on the sawtop as well.  Determine which leg is too long by rocking the chair on its longer leg(s).  Bearing down on that leg, saw its end off by laying a handsaw flat on the plywood, and crosscutting the end off the leg, removing one sawkerf's length from the leg's end.  Repeat as needed.


I have also used metal furniture glides to even-up unequal length legs on antiques which I am reluctant to shorten.  Add a glide to one or more of the legs to make up the difference in length.  Common flat washers may be added under the heads of the nail-type glides to increase the additional height.


Ray

J.Dorval's picture

(post #115940, reply #10 of 13)

What I am dealing with is the need to shorten the four legs of bar stools that have found a slightly differnet purpose and need to be lowered.


I was looking for a tip that would allow me to cut the legs while not ending with a rocking stool.


One member suggested that I identify the length to be cut, then cut a piece of wood that I would rest against the bottom of each leg the mark the cut line.


Thanks for taking the time to write.

CStanford's picture

(post #115940, reply #11 of 13)

Glue up scraps of wood or various thicknesses of plywood until you've made a conveniently sized block of wood whose thickness represents the amount of length you'd like to remove (You can glue up solid wood and plane down to the exact thickness you need).  Put each bar stool on the flattest surface you have in your shop.  Slide the block up to each leg and make a pencil mark that corresponds to the point where the block touches the bar stool's leg.  Saw each leg at the mark, splitting the pencil line.  If the legs are splayed (and I'm sure they probably are), use the block to register your flush cutting saw - doing so will make sure that the bottom of the leg sits fully on the floor and not just on one point of each leg (a common flaw for mass produced chairs) after the sawing is done.


Edited 10/2/2009 1:03 pm ET by CStanford

J.Dorval's picture

(post #115940, reply #12 of 13)

Many thanks for taking the time to write.

Woody.or's picture

cutting stool legs (post #115940, reply #13 of 13)

This is in my opinion the best way.

Cut all the way around the leg a little at a time so it does not splinter.

Wooden box equals the amount you want to remove minus thickness of saw blade.

sand the bottom of the legs once they are cut and bevel the egdes.

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