Shop Tips & Tricks #22: How to Stabilize Anything With Legs

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Blog entry by GnarlyErik posted 05-25-2017 11:41 PM 2550 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Jacking sideways, or "Walking the Jack." Part 22 of Shop Tips & Tricks series Part 23: Drywall Screw Helper Kit »

How to stabilize anything with legs – except maybe some politicians! It does not matter how many legs the item has either. (Anything with just three legs is self-stabilizing.)

We’ve all been irritated with a jiggly chair or table which just doesn’t want to be steady. This is a simple little trick which makes it easy to correct the problem – and maybe be a hero to your lady or friend too. The idea is very simple, but I’ve noticed that many people approach this situation from the wrong end. No matter how much you measure and trim it never seems to fully correct the issue.

Here’s how to do it perfectly right out of the gate in one easy shot:

First, place your table or other item on any FLAT surface. Note that it doesn’t need to be level at all, just flat like a driveway, garage floor or even another table top. It’s a good idea to check the surface with a straightedge first, in BOTH directions as well as diagonally to make sure. (If the surface is not flat it can make the issue even worse!)

Next, brace or chock your item so it can not rock. Note which leg (or legs) are not in contact with the surface. Choose the most obvious (worst) leg, and make a wooden gauge as thick as the gap between the shortest leg and the flat surface.

Use this gauge to mark all the other legs on all their sides, and also mark the shortest leg too to be sure all is well on all sides of that as well. Round legs must be marked all the way around.

If you need to LEVEL an item like a table, you should place it on a flat, LEVEL surface first, then level the table by blocking or wedging the table level before you make and use your gauge.

Now, carefully trim all the legs to your marks – a back saw is best for this if you have one. Now when you stand your item back on any flat surface it will be rock solid, I promise.

See my sketches below:

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

1 comment so far

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5464 posts in 2274 days

#1 posted 05-28-2017 03:37 AM

Great tip!!!
How many time have I took a short cut thinking just one cut would get it done. NOT!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

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