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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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I'm new to woodworking.. I have built a couple of chairs and a table. But, I don't understand how to make the legs of these items match the floor with an angle. I will appreciate any instructions on how to cut floor angles on wooden legs. Thank you.. Ray Shelley
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 09:57 AM
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Hi,

I would get a block of wood (or anything that is flat enough and the right thickness - i.e taller than the highest part of the bit you want to cut off) and tape a sharp pencil to it.

Then you have a fixed gauge with which you can mark the bottom angles of the legs, either directly off the floor (if you're confident that the floor is flat), or preferably from a known flat surface like a planer bed or some other bit of machinery with a nice flat machined bed. If you use the same gauge for all the legs they will all be the same length.

Then saw them off with a handsaw to the line; I recently did 24 baby chairs this way and it was much quicker to do by hand than muck about making jigs and whatnot, plus it covers up the inaccuracies in the chairs themselves..

A jig will cut all the legs at exactly the same angle, that's great, but only if all the legs are exactly the same angle, which they almost certainly won't be, so a scribing gauge like this will make them all correct in relation to the floor, which is what you want.

Then, if you like, you can add felt pads to the bottom of all the legs which will take up any minor (sub millimetre) inaccuracies in your cutting.

I hope that helps.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 10:04 AM
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Ray

Try this: Make your legs longer than needed. Assembly your chair. Shim up the bottom of the chairs (if needed) to level the chair. With a square piece of wood of cut to the height desired trace a reference line around your legs at final chair leg base. Cut to the marked length. I would use a Japanese pull saw if you have one.

There are without doubt any number of other methods that our forum members will suggest. It depends on how many chairs you intend to make. My method is OK for a few, but for production you will need another method.

Regards
Ben
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 01:10 PM
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can you measure the angle of the leg where it comes out of the seat? if so, then it is easy because that is the same angle on the other side at the floor.

there is a concept in geometry called transversal lines. essentially, if 2 planes are parallel (ie - floor and seat), then the angle out of one (the leg) is the same as the opposite angle going into the other one.

Last edited by Chris Curl; 09-24-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks you all, very much. You have solved my problem. Let me make sure I understand the process.. I place the legs on a level field. Then place a block of wood against the bottom of the leg, draw a line, then cut the line drawn. Do this to all legs, with the results being, all legs flush to the floor... Thanks again.. I may have to do this on my next project, due to the fact that the current legs are cut to the exact lenth I need.. Should have asked sooner!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 04:06 AM
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Yep, you got it

And if they are round legs you just run the line all the way around in the same way.

One extra note I forgot, if the chair/table wobbles at all before the cut, then you should shim it 'level' so that it doesn't wobble when its on the flat surface before you make the mark; that way you should eliminate any wobble with the finished cut.

If you're a beginner (and if you made chairs then you're already a good way in so forgive me if this is patronizing - and may the router forum forgive me for encouraging hand skills ) - I can't recommend enough the value of practice cutting on scrap wood. At college, we'd be given a length of square planed timber which was solely for marking and cutting. Mark it square, cut to the line, mark it square, cut to the line..over and over again..until you run out of wood. Then get another piece.. boring for a 16 year old, but well worth it in the long run, you never forget!

Cheers
Jim
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Jim, that's not patronizing, that is just good advise.. Thanks for your concern...
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