Even legs nightmare!
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Tagged: bench legs, even legs, table legs
- This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 11 months ago by Matt Cromwell.
3 April 2018 at 10:18 pm #517068
So at college we had some spare 2*4s and got to make some tables and benches out of them. These were done with chop saws and other power tools, and were more rough and ready than the typical Paul project, but still fun. The problem is that both the benches i made (with half-lapped legs crossing at an angle, like an X) had slightly different length legs and had a wobble to them.
At that point i had take the benches home. At home i was told to strike a straight line across the leg bottoms, flip the bench on its side and saw them off. Feck me it’s been the most infuriating thing i’ve ever done! The legs vibrate and bind on the saw when i saw, and the whole thing bounces and walks around the chipboard floor no matter how hard i hold it with my free hand. The cuts ended up being complete crap and the bench ended up with an even worse wobble, but now is an inch shorter.
Is there a proper way to do this??? I’ve just wasted an hour and a half making my bench worse and getting p*ssed off and drenched in sweat from the effort of trying to saw to a line while using my other 3 limbs to wrestle a bouncing bench into staying still.
@WAYLANDER There’s often some way to get the leg being sawn into your vise, even if the rest of the table or bench is at some whacky angle, maybe supported by a bucket, a block of wood, and a paint can on the corner. There will be very little ability to adjust the angle of the cut, i.e., it won’t be strait up and down. You’ll need to put your body at an odd angle, probably, but the work will be solid and stable. Just ignore the weird position and focus on the layout line and it’ll go fine.
If that doesn’t work, the next step is to find a way to clamp it to something steady, maybe the bench in some way or a pole. Sometimes you can put a bit of wood in the vise that extends upwards or downwards and then clamp your work onto that in order to get a bit above or below the vise.
the joys of work holding! That’s what has allowed Kreg and other to make an industry of jigs and clamps. Screw it to the floor or clamp it against the legs of your bench or even to a door frame. Whatever it takes to give yourself that “3rd hand” that Paul mentions frequently. Keep your scribed line as close to the floor as feasible. No point cutting off more leg than needed. Paul has shown this technique a couple of times.5 April 2018 at 8:16 pm #518658
No vice and no bench at home yet, so of the options above i guess my best bet would be to clear some wall space and try and clamp the bench into a doorframe somehow. If not, and since they’re destined to be outdoors benches, i could just prep the wood and put em into my garden and blame the wobble on uneven ground…
Since you are saying “benches” and not “bench,” is there a way to clamp one bench to the other and have someone have a seat on the second bench for mass? If there is a jack pole / support pole in the basement, that might work. If there is a rough door opening someplace, you might be able to grab on with a hand screw style clamp, perhaps with some spacers to not hit the casing, and then go from there. For example, once the hand screw is on the door frame, you could clamp a scrap of 2×4 to the hand screw and then the bench to that. You’re going to but at least a bit of stress on this, so think about consequences for the wall sheathing. Do you have a porch / patio with a rail and a strong, accessible newel post? You could grab that with a hand screw. Find a neighbor with a fence.
Keep thinking….you’ll find something.12 April 2018 at 6:56 pm #522902
So i gave up. I spent well over 3 hours in total of rasping, filing, and using handsaws to correct a wobble in both benches and made no noticeable improvement at all. That’s a silly time investment to result ratio. The benches are 4′ long and about 22″ high and made of 2*4s, there was no realistic way i could clamp them, not at home anyway, which made getting a clean saw cut impossible. And trying to rasp/file a 2*4 to size with hand tools is a ridiculous amount of work.
I think next time i do a project like this i’ll think long and hard to try and get the angles and measurements for the leg cuts right the first time, either that or invest in a belt sander to correct mistakes. I hate “losing” against a problem like this, but at this point this is just holding me back and wasting my time.12 April 2018 at 7:03 pm #522905
End result that i’m leaving them in. Apart from giving them a few coats of oil before they go outside.
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