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Adding 1" to the legs of dining room chairs

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Forum topic by AllanK posted 11-08-2018 04:05 PM 1390 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AllanK

39 posts in 4251 days


11-08-2018 04:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chair leg extension question joining

A friend of mine has a dining room table that is a little too high for his 12 chairs, so he asked me if I could add about 1” or 1-1/4” to the bottom of the chair legs. He doesn’t want to just add levelers, because they look hokey when extended to 1” or 1-1/4”. He would prefer something that blends in. So I’m looking for ideas on how to do this. As can be seen from the photos, the front legs are almost vertical, so a square bit added shouldn’t be a problem, but the back legs sweep back, and I’m concerned that a simple add-on bit, even if cut at the correct angle, may be “pushed” back under load. Any ideas would be welcome!

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."


36 replies so far

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mahdee

4006 posts in 1941 days


#1 posted 11-08-2018 04:10 PM

Why not cut the dining room table legs shorter instead?

-- earthartandfoods.com

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shawnn

116 posts in 1538 days


#2 posted 11-08-2018 04:10 PM

It might be less noticeable to add extensions at the top of the legs, or add a skirt to the chairs and use the skirt to extend the legs; either of those methods would probably be more structurally sound. Or maybe shorten the table legs?

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1240 posts in 2284 days


#3 posted 11-08-2018 04:10 PM

I’d take the table down an inch rather than try to bring up the chairs. No matter how you attach blocks to the chair legs it is into end grain and inherently weak.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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JADobson

1240 posts in 2284 days


#4 posted 11-08-2018 04:11 PM

Looks like we were all typing the same thing at the same time. OP I think you got your answer.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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BroncoBrian

831 posts in 2132 days


#5 posted 11-08-2018 04:17 PM

Phonebooks worked for my kids.

-- I think they could take sesame seeds off the market and I wouldn't even care. I can't imagine five years from now saying, "Man, remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank."

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AllanK

39 posts in 4251 days


#6 posted 11-08-2018 04:25 PM

Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately, cutting the table is not an option, it’s a 12’ table with an ornately carved base, no legs. Also, as the photos show (maybe the photos weren’t up when you first read the post?) the chairs are upholstered and the upholstery covers the top of the legs. Not sure I want to get into that…

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."

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AllanK

39 posts in 4251 days


#7 posted 11-08-2018 04:27 PM

BroncoBrian, phonebooks are exactly what they used to see if raising the chairs would work. The wife is quite petite, and I was concerned that her legs wouldn’t reach the floor. They do.

-- "Stupidity is forever, but ignorance can be fixed."

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sras

4919 posts in 3302 days


#8 posted 11-08-2018 04:36 PM

Hmm – looks tricky. The challenge is both structural and cosmetic.

The cosmetic element can be met with color matched wood, tight joints, and continuing the shape. Not easy but possible. I’d recommend a few prototypes with copies of the original legs.

The hard part is structural. You might try gluing the extension on and then drilling and fitting a dowel. Basically a floating tenon after the extensions are in place. Either that or use a lag bolt instead of a dowel. Might work – might not. Again I’d build a prototype or two and test it to failure.

Explain this process to your friend along with an estimate of the number of hours (double your guess – you’ll be low). Then suggest he buy taller chairs.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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BroncoBrian

831 posts in 2132 days


#9 posted 11-08-2018 05:04 PM

Can you add caps to the bottom? You should be able to add material and secure it for strength, then a decorative cap that covers the new material.

-- I think they could take sesame seeds off the market and I wouldn't even care. I can't imagine five years from now saying, "Man, remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank."

View BFamous's profile

BFamous

174 posts in 294 days


#10 posted 11-08-2018 05:36 PM

I know you said you can’t trim an inch of off the bottom of the base – but could you take an inch off of the top where the change would be unnoticeable?

Modifying the table seems both like the easier option, and the better ergonomic solution. What’s the current seat height of the chairs? Wouldn’t raising that an inch make them uncomfortable for the average adult to sit in?

And back to the chair legs… As an option to not have to deal with the upholstery, could you flush cut the legs off, reattach them to a 1” thick base (cut to be the same size and shape as the bottom of the chair), and then attach that base under the upholstered part to make it look like original two-piece design?

Can’t say I like that approach much, but I don’t think anything you add onto those back legs will hold up or look good. Going straight down will be inconsistent with the design, and going backwards to continue the curve will have questions around strength AND it will mean the bottom of the back legs wont have the same visual alignment to the back of the top of the backrest.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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jbay

2748 posts in 1072 days


#11 posted 11-08-2018 06:17 PM

I would put a small reveal at the seam and maybe another above it to look like it was made that way. I don’t see why you couldn’t glue the piece and countersink a 3” screw up into the leg to hold it.

-- “Hanging onto resentment, is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” (Ann Landers)......

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Scap

44 posts in 100 days


#12 posted 11-08-2018 06:45 PM

Since altering the table seems to be a no-go, what if you didn’t do any thing to the legs of the chairs, at all?

Remove the upholstery, add a riser block to the seat frame and have the chairs reupholstered.

The integrity of the frame isn’t compromised, and that would be the best way to have it look unaltered.

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WoodenDreams

209 posts in 84 days


#13 posted 11-08-2018 06:59 PM

Have you considered drilling holes 1 1/2” deep, added 1/2” or 5/8” hardwood dowels, then epoxy extensions at the bottom of the legs. I’ve done this once for a client, and he was happy with it. But if it was my table, I’d shorten the table legs. Changing the leg height may change how comfortable the chair is to sit in.

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DS

3024 posts in 2594 days


#14 posted 11-08-2018 09:39 PM

+1 I was going to suggest the same thing.

These are sometimes called a sabot (Shoe)
They can be bought or made using aluminum square tubing.


Can you add caps to the bottom? You should be able to add material and secure it for strength, then a decorative cap that covers the new material.

- BroncoBrian


-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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CWWoodworking

184 posts in 352 days


#15 posted 11-09-2018 02:56 AM

I like the cap or reveal idea.

Probably a no go on tearing it apart and making new legs as it looks like it was made half way decent

You know the manufacturer? That may help determine if it’s worth tearing into.

The seat cover is. Slip cover design so front is easy to get to. But if it’s good quality, the back leg goes all the way to the top. Harder to replace.

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