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How to Make Adjustable Legs



A viewer, James, had asked for a how-to video about making adjustable legs that can be set at the height you want, adjusted for leveling, and collapsed as needed.

Kevin shows a piece of 1/2" square tubing and a piece of 1/2" solid metal rod that can slip inside the square tubing. The square tubing is the fixed part that is welded or otherwise permanently affixed to the table. The round steel rod is the adjustable leg. You also need a nut and a bolt.

Drill a hole in your fixed leg to fit your bolt or screw. Kevin likes a bolt because you can tighten it with a wrench. You can also just weld a wrench or a small piece of stock to the head of the bolt and use it as a thumbscrew.

Just weld the nut on the outside of the leg being VERY careful to center the nut over the hole. The easiest way to do that is to put the nut on the bolt, letting the threads of the bolt stick through about a quarter inch. Stick the short end of the bolt into the hole. That'll keep it centered.

Now it's time to get out your welder - TIG, MIG, stick, oxygen-acetylene, whatever - and weld that nut on.

Kevin is using the AHP AlphaTIG 200X set at about 72 amps. He clamps the square tubing into a drill press vise that he clamps to the table. Next he comes in with some filler rod and gets a tack on one side, then on the other.

Then Kevin cools it off by simply running some water over it so he can get that bolt out - he doesn't want to weld the bolt into the nut. He screws the bolt all the way out and welds the nut all the way around, then lets it cool down.

If you have a tap-and-die set, use the right size tap to clean up the threads - after all, it was red hot from welding.

With the nut on the fixed leg, slide the moveable part inside the leg to where you want it, then screw in the bolt.

If the leg isn't holding tight enough, note the mark where you have been screwing the bolt into the moveable leg. Then drill a small dimple into the moveable leg. Don't drill all the way through, which would weaken the leg. The dimple just needs to be a little bigger than the diameter of the end of the bolt to hold the leg tighter so it doesn't slip.

There's no advantage or difference using a square and a round piece of steel. You can use two pieces of square or two pieces of round, too.

Kevin is ready to go back to work, you might want to wait one more moment to see Caron address his fans .... (no, he didn't know he was being videotaped) ....

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