Shortening the Legs on a Stool

Topics Covered
1. Yard Sale
2. Shortening the Legs
3. Final Product
4. Final Thoughts

Yard Sale
Hey, how do you like my stool ? That’s it in the Photo below. I bought it for $2 at a yard sale. I figured having a second stool, in my shop, would mean less moving around of my current stool.

Shortening The Legs
The height is the only functional issue I have with this stool. The original height was 29-1/2″, from the floor to the top of the seat.

I found the above height to be higher than what I wanted. The height from the floor to the top of the seat that I want is 24-1/2″. Looking to shorten the stool height by 5″.

What follows is the step-by-step procedure I used, for shortening this stool.

But first I need to note, this was written and photos taken after I had finished shortening the legs. Anyway, if you wonder about any of the Photos in this post, hopefully this explanation will answer any questions you might have.

Step 1 — After determining that I wanted 24-1/2″ for a height from floor to top of seat, I
used a bevel gauge as shown in the following Photo. I set the bevel gauge to the
angle between the floor (table saw table top) and the outside edge of one of the
legs. I clamped a piece of plywood to the leg shown. I used the plywood because
of the fluted surface on the legs.

Step 2 — Next use the bevel gauge setting, from Step 1, to set the angle for the table
saw blade. This is shown in the Photo below.

Step 3 — Pictured below is the method I used for measuring where to cut the stool legs.
My goal here is to reduce the stool height by 5″. However, since the legs are
angled relative to the floor, you cannot just measure and cut 5″ off the legs. And
that is why I used the scheme shown below.

Here’s the breakdown on what is going on in the above Photo.

1. First, Board #1 at the right end is cut at an angle. The angled cut of Board #1 is
the angle determined in Step 2 above. The Photo below shows Board #1 butted up
against the tilted table saw blade.

2. The length of Board #1 is cut to 24-1/2″. This 24-1/2″ length is on the bottom side
of Board #1, the side laying against the table saw top. If you want or need a different
floor to top of seat height, then use your height requirement in place of the 24-1/2″
length being used here. (The top side of Board #1 is less than 24-1/2″, since the right
end of Board #1 is cut at an angle.)

3. The right end of Board #1 is butted up against the angled table saw blade. This angle is
the angle determined in Step 2 above.

4. The right side of the triangle is shown butted up against the left wall of the miter
gauge slot. Board #1 is then butted up against the triangle.

5. A spring loaded clamp is shown being used to clamp down the left end of Board
#1.This helps to hold Board #1 in place.

Step 4 —Position the stool seat top as shown in the Photo below to line up with the left end
of Board #1. I used a wood ruler to align the top of the stool seat with Board #1.

Step 5 — With the stool seat top aligned with Board #1 (As shown in Photo above),
measure the overhang distance off of the left side of the table saw top to the
bottom side of the stool seat. This is shown being done with a 6″ steel ruler,
in the Photo below. The distance is 1-1/2″.

A closeup of the above 6″ steel ruler is shown in the following Photo.

Step 6 — Using the 1-1/2″ measurement obtained in Step 5 above, I ripped two strips of
OSB. Each of the two strips being 23″ x 1-1/2″ x 3/8″. Other than the 1-1/2″
dimension, the other two dimensions are not critical. The 23″ and 3/8″
dimensions just happened to be what I used (Woodworkers’ choice).

I brad nailed the two strips of OSB to the stool legs, as shown in the Photo
below. The two OSB strips are butted up against the underside of the stool seat,
and brad nailed in place with 1″ brad nails.

Step 7 —Looking at the Photo below, use the OSB strip currently against the left side of
the table saw, as a fence. Keep the OSB fence strip against the side of the table
saw, and push the stool across the table saw to cut the two legs resting on top of
the table saw.

The steel plate shown on the leg, at the front of the table saw, is placed there
strictly for the purpose of taking this Photo. Without the steel plate the two stool
legs, resting on the table saw top, wouldn’t sit flat against the table saw top. Hey,
remember it’s a $2 yard sale stool.

Step 8 — Rotate the stool to place the remaining two legs on the table saw table top, and
repeat Step 7.

Step 9 — With all four legs now cut, remove the two OSB strips brad nailed to the legs. I
had two brad nails that didn’t come off along with the OSB strips. I used a pair
of lineman pliers to remove these two brad nails, from the the stool legs.

Final Product
The following Photo shows the shorten stool sitting on top of my table saw.

Final Thoughts
Modifying the stool height went smoothly. It doesn’t wobble. And, I like the fact that the stool only cost me $2.

One possible glitch here, is that the stool has to be long enough for the stool to extend beyond the left side of the table saw top. Otherwise, this method will not work.

Regarding using the left side of the table saw top, this is because my table saw blade mechanism tilts the blade to the left, for angled cuts. If your table saw blade tilts to the right, then you would obviously use the right side of the table saw top.


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Until Next Time, Take Care