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Heavy duty adjustable feet

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  • Heavy duty adjustable feet

    This is not new to me, but it works well so I thought I'd post it for those who might find it useful. Having now made the stand for my belt sander project, I needed adjustable feet for it. Sometimes you see those blind nuts hammered into holes in the bottom of the cabinet, then a bolt inserted and then you can adjust them to height to level the stand, etc. I liked the idea but don't consider it very robust. What I've done in the past, and just finished doing again for this project, is to combine a carriage bolt, a standard nut, and a washer into a heavy duty foot.

    I turned the round off the head of the carriage bolt to leave about 1/8 to 3/16 of thickness to the head. Then I turned a shoulder on the nut to the point where it could press-fit into a standard unmodified washer. In this case I used 1/2 inch hardware, so the carriage bolt is 1/2 inch, the nut is a standard 1/2-13 nut, and the washer is 5/8. That hole size allows for a shoulder to be turned onto the nut, without removing much meat, but leaving six 'corners' on the nut. I think I had to turn it to .628 or so to suit the washers I had, but you'd measure and turn to suit. The 5/8 washer is considerably thicker than a 1/2 inch washer, so it made the case for me to choose the 1/2 inch bolt size to end up with a stronger 'flange' on the nut.

    Pressed the prepared nuts into the washers, then drilled three holes in the washer, using the flats on the nut as a guide to spacing the holes. End up with three mounting holes in the flange, which is good enough. I chamfered them as I plan to use countersink head screws to mount them, but that doesn't really matter. The screw heads wouldn't extend downwards enough to interfere with any wrench you might use to adjust the feet, so at this point the feet are done. Using a carriage head bolt you end up with a wider contact patch than you would with a regular bolt, plus you still have flats on it to engage with a wrench- in this case a 1/2 inch wrench for a 1/2 inch shank bolt.

    Sometimes I'll drill the mounting holes the same diameter as the bolts, which is what I did in this case. Other times I've drilled them a tap drill size, then once the flanged nuts are mounted I'll run a tap through. This usually means the bolts used for the feet won't turn easily by hand, but will with a wrench. This is a means of providing enough friction to keep them from turning on their own. I didn't do that this time, but I doubt there'll be any problem.

    Considering the size of the hardware I used (1/2 inch in this case) the foot assembly has a minimum height of 7/8 inch- that's with the bolt turned all the way in.

    Took me all of about 1/2 hour to prepare four feet. Hope somebody finds this method useful.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    I just use the carriage bolt head as is. Works very well especially with angled legs. Weld in the nut, lock nut if required, but I rarely use one.


    • #3
      Yeah, it's not imperative that you turn off the rounded head- I did it because I liked the idea of having some surface area in contact under the feet, instead of a point-like contact. And of course if your stand is metal, you use a metal-working method of mounting the nut, like welding.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-