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How to cut down chair legs

Marking all the way around

How To Cut Down Chair Legs

Yield: A quick and easy way to lower the height of a chair
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: Free

Materials

  • Sandpaper

Tools

  • Hand Saw
  • Pencil

Instructions

Step one: Find a level and flat surface

  1. Place your chair on a hard level flat surface, this could be a dining room table. You can keep it on the floor if it is tiled, for example. The main thing here is that it is relatively level and flat.
  2. Place chair on a flat level surface

Step Two: Do your calculations, Work out how much you want to cut off!

  1. Work out how much shorter you want to make the chair, then find a book or scrap of wood that size. If your seat height is 54cm from the floor and you want to lower the seat height to 50cm you will need to find something 4cm deep. This could be a book or several CD cases stacked on top of each other. I managed to find a 4cm scrap piece of wood that will do here!
  2. marking the height

Step Three: Marking up

  1. Place your depth gauge (in this case a piece of wood) on the flat surface up against the chair leg and mark off the height with a pencil. Repete this process around all 4 sides of each leg. If you have round chair legs this technique works just as well. You will just need to keep turning your piece of wood as you mark your line until you get back to where you started and your lines hopefully meet up.
  2. Marking all the way around

Step 4: Cut Legs to length

  1. Once you have marked all 4 of your chair legs, or 3 if you are working on a stool. You can start to cut your lines with a handsaw. There is no rush just take your time and slowly cut the line as accurately as you can.
  2. Pro Tip: To be more accurate, cut to the waste side of the pencil line. In other words, keep your saw to the side of the line that will be getting cut off. This way you can always see the pencil line for a reference during your cut. You will also ensure that you are cutting off the exact amount. If you cut directly on the pencil line you may be cutting off 1mm or 2mm (thickness of the saw blade) more than you need to.
  3. Use a handsaw to make the cuts
  4. I find it easier to mark the waste side with a pencil squiggle, so I don’t forget which side of the line I am cutting to.
  5. Carefully cut off All your legs with a handsaw, place your chair on its side and keep rotating it around until you have cut down all the legs.

Step 6: Sand Down

  1. As my old technology teacher would say “give it a light sand to smooth those sharp edges”. I find that 60 grit sandpaper is the best to have on you, when you just need to quickly sand the odd edge or two.
  2. Sand the edges

Step 7: Done!

  1. Place your chair back on the ground, then sit back, relax and enjoy the world from a whole different perspective, in your new optimum seating height!
 To cut chair legs down all you need is a handsaw and a bit of ingenuity. You don’t need any fancy tools or equipment. The last thing you want to do is cut your chair down incorrectly and leave yourself with a wonky chair for life.

To fix a wonky or wobbly chair you will need to use the exact same process. Make sure that you slide something under the chair leg first then follow the steps below. You might want to use a thinner depth gauge if you just want the chair to sit flat on the ground.

Step one: Find a level and flat surface

Place your chair on a hard level flat surface, this could be a dining room table. You can keep it on the floor if it is tiled, for example. The main thing here is that it is relatively level and flat.

Place chair on a flat level surface

Place chair on a flat level surface

Step Two: Do your calculations, Work out how much you want to cut off!

Work out how much shorter you want to make the chair, then find a book or scrap of wood that size. If your seat height is 54cm from the floor and you want to lower the seat height to 50cm you will need to find something 4cm deep. This could be a book or several CD cases stacked on top of each other. I managed to find a 4cm scrap piece of wood that will do here!

marking the height

marking the height

Step Three: Marking up

Place your depth gauge (in this case a piece of wood) on the flat surface up against the chair leg and mark off the height with a pencil. Repete this process around all 4 sides of each leg. If you have round chair legs this technique works just as well. You will just need to keep turning your piece of wood as you mark your line until you get back to where you started and your lines hopefully meet up.

Marking all the way around

Marking all the way around

Step 4: Cut Legs to length

Once you have marked all 4 of your chair legs, or 3 if you are working on a stool. You can start to cut your lines with a handsaw. There is no rush just take your time and slowly cut the line as accurately as you can.

Pro Tip: To be more accurate, cut to the waste side of the pencil line. In other words, keep your saw to the side of the line that will be getting cut off. This way you can always see the pencil line for a reference during your cut. You will also ensure that you are cutting off the exact amount. If you cut directly on the pencil line you may be cutting off 1mm or 2mm (thickness of the saw blade) more than you need to.

Use a handsaw to make the cuts

Use a handsaw to make the cuts

I find it easier to mark the waste side with a pencil squiggle, so I don’t forget which side of the line I am cutting to.

Carefully cut off All your legs with a handsaw, place your chair on its side and keep rotating it around until you have cut down all the legs.

Step 6: Sand Down

As my old technology teacher would say “give it a light sand to smooth those sharp edges”. I find that 60 grit sandpaper is the best to have on you, when you just need to quickly sand the odd edge or two.

Sand the edges

Sand the edges

Step 7: Done!

Place your chair back on the ground, then sit back, relax and enjoy the world from a whole different perspective, in your new optimum seating height!

The finished chair

The finished chair

 

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