How to fix a tippy chair or small table the easy way using a table saw

Level Legs the Easy Way

 In Shop Blog, Techniques, Woodworking Blogs, Woodworking Videos

In the February 2013 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine contributor Gary Rogowski of The Northwest Woodworking Studio delves into the old problem we’ve all experienced – legs on chairs, stools and tables that don’t sit flat on the floor and rock to one one side then another. Gary also presents a really quick and easy way to solve the problem using a rather unconventional method on the table saw. It’s a really cool trick that I’d never seen before in my 30 years in the shop.

Take a look at the Gary’s video. I guarantee you’ll adopt this simple, foolproof fix for four-legged furniture that wobbles.

– Steve Shanesy

For more on using the table saw, check out “The Ultimate Table Saw Guide” at This DVD includes three complete books on a single disc!


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Showing 12 comments
  • divingfe

    very clever…. to avoid the “chew-up” experienced by another writer—make sure that only a TINY bit of the saw blade protrudes.

  • Marhk

    With all due respect – tried it – chewed up the flat bottom of a leg. Won’t try it again.
    I would rather chamfer the edges and then use a block plane. Makes a much neater job!

  • Grantman

    Great trick. One thought: what would one do with a table that’s bigger than the table saw’s table?

  • Sleeping Gnome

    Great simple tip.

    Reminds me of a similar tip where you taped a piece of 60 grit to the table saw and scraped the offending leg until it was no longer tippy.

  • keithm

    A reminder that if you have nail-in glides, felt or teflon pads on the bottom of the legs, you’ll need to remove them all prior to your cutting.

  • BillT

    Neat and simple method. But –

    Eye protection? Hearing protection?

    In my shop, both are mandatory any time I’m using the table saw. Prescription eyeglasses alone aren’t enough.

    And no, I’m not a “safety nazi” – just good practice. An acquaintance of mine nearly lost his eye a few months ago when a piece kicked back and hit him right in the eye. He’s still regaining sight in that eye months later and going through repeated surgeries. It’s events like that that remind you to keep on your toes and don’t take shortcuts.

    • desbromilow

      you can see him remove the tethered ear plugs after he turns the saw off – so he did use hearing protection – Can’t comment on his glasses, but I do know my prescription glasses are safety specs – but the side shields are more noticable on mine.

      The trick is great – all I need to do now is build a chair, buy a table saw, and build one of those tiny brass block planes.

  • Barquester

    You can cut either of the two that stay on the table when you rock the chair. Unless it’s way, way off.
    What a neat simple solution, praise doesn’t get any better than that.

  • AL

    That’s a neat looking method. I especially like the fact that the blade is only about 1/64″ above the table.

    Take Care

  • Conrad

    Smart man that Garry!

    One question though. How do I know which of the 4 legs is the cultpret that needs trimming?

    Great mag and great vids folks, keep up the fantastic work!

    Conrad Bennett

    • rroselavy

      A tippy chair will always rock in one (diagonal) direction. Only one of the two legs in the opposing diagonal direction needs to be trimmed to make all 4 legs coplanar. It does not matter which of those two legs to trim, unless you want to make your chair seat perfectly level. If so, a level placed across the seat of the chair should help indicate which of those two legs needs trimming.

      I find that so many floors are uneven that making a chair’s feet perfectly coplanar is often fruitless. Also, a chair may flex slightly under load, enough to alter (and sometimes correct) the planarity of the four legs.

      Cannot hurt though…

  • Bill Lattanzio

    I have to admit that is pretty ingenious.

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