How to level the legs of a table/chair

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Wood furniture is beautiful and durable. It has the toughness to withstand the day-to-day rigors of life and still retain its natural beauty. One of the more common problems with wooden tables and chairs is that through use, time or never having been cut correctly at the factory, they can develop wobbly legs. Don’t throw that old chair away. This problem can be corrected with a little ingenuity, patience and know-how.


Check the floor where the chair(s) is situated. Move the chair(s) out of the way. Use a long 4-foot level and lay it at different angles in the area of the floor that the chair sits on. If you are leveling multiple chairs, do the same for those areas of the floor as well. No, this will not level your chair legs, but it will let you know how much of the wobble is floor-related. Rotate the chairs to check each leg.


Set the chair on a totally flat surface (like a saw table). Move the chair toward the edge of the flat surface until one of the four legs is off the surface. Rotate and mark each of the legs at the point the other three legs are in full contact with the surface.


Use your earlier markings in Steps 1-2 to measure the thickness of a block of wood you will use to make your marks and cuts on all four legs. Look at all four legs. Find the longest distance from your mark to the flat surface. That is how thick your block of wood needs to be for you to mark your legs for the adjustment cuts. For instance, if your longest distance from the mark to the surface is 1/4-inch, your measuring block needs to be at least 1/4-inch thick, and thicker if you want to remove slightly more. (Thick cardboard, a strip of paneling or thin plywood is ideal.)


Stand your chair on the flat surface. Take your thin block of cardboard, paneling or plywood and place it on the flat surface beside the bottom of the chair leg. Use a pencil, scribe or piece of chalk to mark your legs one at a time. Place your pencil on the leg of the chair where the block is being held against it. Rotate the block around the leg while holding the pencil in place.


Use a skill or circle saw to make your cuts on your marks. Check your chair's legs after making your cuts. Sand lightly and evenly each new cut on each leg. Rotate and lightly sand your chair leg ends on your work surface until all four legs are equal.


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