uneven legs

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Forum topic by watermark posted 04-16-2013 06:24 AM 3150 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View watermark's profile


483 posts in 1970 days

04-16-2013 06:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I glued up the legs for this table using dowels. I applied glue and snugged the legs to the slab and then set it on the a flat level surface and applied pressure to make sure the legs were all solid on the ground. I then flipped it back upside down to let the glue dry without the squeeze out running down and ruining my finish. I guess one of the legs moved when I set it upside down to dry or the glue pushed the joints apart unevenly because now one leg is about 1/8” off in one corner and the table rocks if you put weight on the sides

I would like to know if anyone has advice or ideas to remedy the wobbly table. It sits fine on carpet and with one of those little felt stickers for chair legs on the uneven corner stops the wobble on solid surface. My idea is to flip it and re-level all legs with my router jig or add 4 small plugs on all 3 legs to be sanded down and fine tuned to sit level on what ever surface it finds a home at when I sell it.

I am hesitant to run and ask questions but after searching through past forums and not finding answers but learning a lot I feel like by asking it also helps future LJ members.

Thanks for any ideas

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

11 replies so far

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3026 days

#1 posted 04-16-2013 07:04 AM

I like to shim the legs however necessary..then use a pull saw and stay parallel to whatever you are calling flat..Remember to account for the blade..

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3026 days

#2 posted 04-16-2013 07:10 AM

Too fine tune it , although looks like a beefy table….Glue some sandpaper to your flat surface , and work away..

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2998 days

#3 posted 04-16-2013 12:34 PM

What kind of glue did you use?
If the long leg is wobbly, then can you just rock and twist it loose and remove it.
Then you could reattach it correctly.
If you used urethane “Gorilla type” glue, I would remove all legs and start over.
I have had nothing but frustration with this kind of glue when used in an application where it is subjected to shear forces. And a leg attachment is almost all shear loading.

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2604 days

#4 posted 04-16-2013 01:21 PM

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2034 days

#5 posted 04-16-2013 01:39 PM

I had similar issues when building benches (and small tables for give-aways). I’d make sure the legs were level using an area of my shop floor that I checked and KNOW is level. Several times after I’d give one away, the person would come back and say “It wobbles”. And therein lies the problem.

You have no way of knowing how level someone ELSE’s floor will be.

So I used to tell the people that got my stuff to try it in several different areas of the floor, even spin it around several times to be certain, then let me know which leg I need to fix and I will do a bit of sanding.
It was a no-win situation

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View watermark's profile


483 posts in 1970 days

#6 posted 04-16-2013 06:41 PM

Thanks everyone for the ideas.

Widdle- I like your ideas but I’m not real confident with the pull saw and those legs are real hard wood. I like the intuitiveness of the sandpaper idea but might have issues explaining why sandpaper is glued to the garage floor :) I will keep it in mind for smaller tables for sure.

Crank49- I used elmers glue and the legs are all solid to the table just rocks from side to side if you put weight on the outside.

Joe- That’s exactly why I am hesitant to set up my router jig because it may sit perfect the way it is where ever it finds a home.

Is it really unprofessional of me to sell it as is with a packet of felt furniture pads for the customer to use to level it in its final location?

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3026 days

#7 posted 04-16-2013 07:26 PM

The video is about what i do..Except i use the pull saw as the chair sits…the plexiglass or equivalent gets notched on three sides and use that as a guide horizontally to the floor’ with my left thumb slightly presses down as i saw with my right .. it parallel…Playing cards work well for shims.. But as you mentioned about all floors being different..With that amount of leg surface on your table..mabye some small leather pads would be an idea ?

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 2699 days

#8 posted 04-16-2013 07:32 PM

If you’re good with a plane, then take very small passes on the bottom of the leg in question, and check the wobble between passes

View 489tad's profile


3370 posts in 3039 days

#9 posted 04-16-2013 08:12 PM

Is there a gap between the bottom and top of a leg? If so I’d cut the dowels, clean up the surfaces and start over. If not I would plane the longer leg.

Nice bench.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2718 days

#10 posted 04-16-2013 08:36 PM

Set the table on what you know to be a flat and level surface (I use the table saw for this). Draw a scribe line on the longer legs then trim to the line. Really easy and works every time.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View watermark's profile


483 posts in 1970 days

#11 posted 05-05-2013 03:57 AM

This is the solution I came up with. Just had my wisdom teeth pulled and not up to poking around in the shop yet but seems like it will do the trick and easily adjust with a little sanding to sit level on any floor.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

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