Elevating wooden legs off ground

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by TravHale posted 12-06-2016 09:47 PM 976 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TravHale's profile


7 posts in 1763 days

12-06-2016 09:47 PM

I’ve made a simple rustic outdoor sectional couch/bench out of reclaimed wood, and i’m looking for a good way to raise the 2×4 legs off of the ground and away from water/moisture. I thought about using large bolts or screw, but worry that option might split the wood over time.

This is pretty much the first thing i’ve ever build out of wood, so I have very limited exposure to the norms of the craft.

Here is a pic of one side of the sectional. I’m also wanting to fashion some sort of metal cap for the exposed raw ends of the the 2×4s—any input on that?

10 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2687 posts in 3122 days

#1 posted 12-06-2016 10:46 PM

concrete comes to mind. Maybe bricks or those concrete pyramid shaped things used to support floor joists.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View TravHale's profile


7 posts in 1763 days

#2 posted 12-06-2016 10:50 PM

concrete comes to mind. Maybe bricks or those concrete pyramid shaped things used to support floor joists.

- Jim Finn

Thanks for the reply. I should have been clear that the furniture will be sitting under a covered carport on top of concrete. I’m only trying to raise it maybe 1/2in to protect the legs from the occasion flooding of the carport under heavy rain.

View MrUnix's profile


7045 posts in 2399 days

#3 posted 12-06-2016 11:06 PM

I’ve not done it specifically with wood furniture, but I have a lot of metal furniture that lives out on the patio, which is a concrete slab. Some is under cover, some not, but they all have problems with moisture from the concrete slab, both from weather and from the natural ability of water to penetrate concrete from the ground. For those that didn’t already have little plastic feet on them to keep them off the slab, I attach a rubber pad to the contact points to accomplish that. Nothing specific for the task though – I often will get the rubber door mats for a buck or two at the BORG when they go on sale or are on clearance. Cut them up in appropriate shapes and glue on (usually with epoxy or sometimes just spray glue). They are usually somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2” thick (but I’ve seen thicker), so provide plenty of separation. And you don’t need much, so the rest of the mats get used for stuff like putting under machinery, like under the welder sitting on a metal cart, drawer inserts for heavy tools, and lots of other stuff.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View gerrym526's profile


275 posts in 4009 days

#4 posted 12-06-2016 11:47 PM

I think your first idea of bolts through the bottom of the legs is the right solution (one I’ve used with outdoor patio tables I built). They offer adjustment at each leg to accomodate uneven surfaces, and keep the wood off the ground or concrete.
Wouldn’t worry about the wood splitting if you pre-drill pilot holes. Don’t know what species the reclaimed wood you used is, but if it’s softwood you won’t have anything to worry about.
The best wood for outdoor furniture that’s affordable (teak isn’t) is white oak. The grain structure is tight and resists wicking up moisture from the ground. I built a glider swing with wooden trestle legs supporting it over 20yrs ago, it rests on my lawn, and the wood still hasn’t rotted.


-- Gerry

View TravHale's profile


7 posts in 1763 days

#5 posted 12-07-2016 06:08 AM

Thanks for the advise, and affirming some of my own intuitions. Leaning toward bolts, but not fully decided—still want to keep an eye out for other solution.

The wood I used is old pine studs (i believe longleaf pine) sourced from historic homes in Birmingham, al that have undergone renovations. It’s pretty nice wood, I imagine a lot of what I have is pretty old.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


722 posts in 3473 days

#6 posted 12-07-2016 07:48 AM

Hockey pucks.

Relatively inexpensive, easy to drill, won’t alter the seat height all that much.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Woodbum's profile


834 posts in 3266 days

#7 posted 12-07-2016 12:21 PM

Try adjustable metal feet that you can buy in the hardware or big box store. They tap into the bottom of the legs and are height adjustable so that you can level the piece of furniture on un-level concrete patios etc. They keep the wooden legs up slightly off of the pavement so that they don’t sit in water. They have worked well for me on all of my cypress and redwood patio furniture. Good luck, work safely and have fun.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View bondogaposis's profile


5088 posts in 2551 days

#8 posted 12-07-2016 02:08 PM

Use carriage bolts and T nuts. They will raise it off the ground to any desired height and level the bench at the same time. No chance of splitting because the weight of the bench will be born by the T nuts.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View LittleShaver's profile


421 posts in 820 days

#9 posted 12-07-2016 02:28 PM

I’ve had good success with the screw-on chair slides they sell to protect hardwood floors. Seem to be basically a HMW plastic donut with a screw/washer recessed in the center.
I have Teak table and chairs and Jarrah Adirondack chairs with stools all on a tiled patio. I added the sliders to all of it to allow it to be moved around one person. The stuff is incredibly heavy.
They also sell a nail-on type of slider. These have been banned by the wife after an unfortunate incident on a slate floor.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Cooler's profile


299 posts in 1044 days

#10 posted 12-07-2016 02:56 PM

Rubber furniture feet.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics