Cutting off legs of a table

I recently completed a free-standing cabinet/sideboard that will sit next to the kitchen cooktop. Its top must be the exact same height. I have ordered a granite top for the cabinet (which cost more than my house) and now realize the cabinet will be too tall (by about an inch). I have been agonizing how to cut-off the legs so that they are (a) square and perpendicular and (b) exactly the same length so the cabinet will not wobble. The cabinet is too big and too heavy for the Unisaw so my guess is I will have to resort to using a hand saw with some sort of fence to keep the saw perfectly square and perpendicular. So, I turn to the learned and wise woodworkers of this newsgroup for guidance and inspiration.
Thanks in advance.
Dick Pewthers Austin, TX
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You can use a circular saw or a hand saw. The trick is getting them all them same length. Instead of relying on a mark, use a guide of some sort. Lay the cabinet on its side and mark where you want to make the cut. Now take a board and put in on the leg so it hits the underside of the cabinet top. Put the saw blade in place to the cut mark and now mark the board at the edge of the saw. Cut the board to that length and make the cut. Use the board as your guide to make the other three cuts.
Repeatability is more important than accuracy. If the legs don't wobble when in place, you did good. If they are too short, you put the plastic guides on the bottom to bring it back up. If you cut them really short, like two inches, just put a stack of washers under the plastic guide to shim it up. :)
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Think about putting leveling feet on the legs, and then precision in cutting the legs off is moot. Cut off to the same length as close as you can, attach the leveling feet, then adjust to height AND levelness to match your counter
John
wrote:

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Sat, Feb 19, 2005, 2:40pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@snet.net (EdwinPawlowski) says: You can use a circular saw or a hand saw. The trick is getting them all them same length. <snip>
Yep, very true. But, no prob about no wobble, several ways to do that. A brick, and some matchbook covers always works well. Or, if you prefer being a bit more exact, you get a really big sheet of sandpaper, and pull the table back and forth across it, until you get the legs the propr length. No prob.
JOAT Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong. - David Fasold
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Dick,
Try this trick. Mill a piece of stock to the amount you want to cut the legs down. Say it's 1-1/4" you want to remove from the length of the legs. Take a section of 2x4 and mill it flat to 1-1/4" and minus the thickness of the flush cutting saw you have.
Cut the milled 2x4 into 4 short lengths of about 6" long. Place the sideboard on a flat section of your floor or if it will fit on your workbench it will make this easier. Place one of the 2x4 sections next to the leg and place your flush cutting saw on top of it and start cutting. Go about an 1/8" deep then move the 2x4 section and saw to the other side and cut another shallow groove. Do this on the remaining edges. On the last edge, keep cutting until you're within a 1/8" or so of the halfway point. Do this on all sides. On the last edge you may have to lift the piece up a bit to keep the weight from closing the kerf. Saw completely through.
Now place the 2x4 plus some shim material that equals the thickness of the flush cutting blade (about 4 business cards?). Do the next 3 legs. By first doing a shallow cut all away around, you can use that to guide you as you cut all around the edges.
Do one leg and you'll know why you're doing it this way. Keeping everything level insures your legs will all be the same length.
Bob S.

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Dick Pewthers wrote:

Bore corresponding holes in the floor! Then when SWMBO wants you to rearrange it, you can tell her it has to stay where it is.
Actually, that's not a half bad idea. The four pieces of wood and flush cut saw suggestion is plausible, but what if you instead made four "coasters" for the feet? If your legs are square across the bottom already, you could even do this upside down to avoid the weight problem. If you have rounded bottoms, or some narrow profile that would be too tippy, you'll have to do it with the piece right side up on the floor. Either way, Forstner a hole of suitable depth in four pieces of scrap big enough to serve as a guide for the four or six flush cut saws you will go through on this miserable project. Saw for 36 to 94 hours, and viola.
(And yes, I said "viola" not "voil.")
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