Help me put legs on this shooting bench

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by Jim R, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Jim R

    Jim R Active Member

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    I have aquired a solid, 3 inch piece of oak that was to be used as 1 of 2 swinging doors in a bank lobby. They decided not to use these 'cuz the boss said it would make the bank look a like a saloon. Anyway, I got 'em both.

    My idea is to make a somewhat "portable" shooting bench for mainly gong ringing at my farm, but will also be set up to take a deer at long range. My dilemma is that I am having trouble engineering a system to attach legs to this platform. I have envisioned using pipe and turning each leg into a fitting bolted to the bottom of the table to set it up. I also want to make the bottom of the legs pointed sharply to drive the legs down into the ground to stabilize the table. Without employing a welder, can you think of anything else I might do or use to complete this project? Any ideas appreciated, Jim R
     
  2. BHP9

    BHP9 Well-Known Member

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    Jim:

    If you want to use pipe for the legs with spikes, at some point you will need a welder.

    But that's a simple solution.

    You get 4 caps (closed at one end and threaded at the other) for the pipe, take the caps, along with 4 spikes and get them welded to the caps. The spikes would need to have enough heft like 7/16" - 1/2" thick and 4" - 6" long.
     

  3. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Take a look around some of the hardware stores. They make plates that are threaded in the center to except 2 1/2" pipe and that have 4 bolt holes for stove bolts to go thru the top with nuts to hold the plates to the top. Everything from angled to straight threaded plates. Just takes a bit of searching is all. Not sure myself what their called though.
     
  4. Jim R

    Jim R Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll go poke around a little this weekend and see what I can find. Thanks again for the ideas! Jim R
     
  5. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned using the flanges will get you a connection for the legs. You will probably find them in the electrical fittings area of your hardware store. For a decent looking job I would use carrage bolts with the round tops countersunk just enough to fit flush with the topside of your table. Some areas have them both in galv. and SS. IF you have a Forstner bit set this is easily done, use your flange as a template, set the holes where you want them then mark them. Then using the Forstner bit just drill down about 1/8" or so, then drill through with the proper sized bit for your bolts. IF you use the Forstner first it will, or should give you a clean edges around the hole on topside.

    On the actual legs, if you want them to be pointed on the ends there are also a couple of options. One use the welded points on the caps, however this isn't going to give you any way to level it on uneven hard ground. Another is to use threaded pieces with a locking nut to enable you to level it up and lock it in place reasonably quick. An easy way to do this is to get a threaded coupling that fits your legs. Get a reducing bushing which is the same size as your pipe but reduced down to 1/4" or 1/8" pipe depending on what your using for the pointed part. This will allow you to drill out and tap the hole to the size and thread of your actual foot. You can use several things from this point on to accomplish a decent foot, I would suggest 1/2" all thread rod. This can be found at your hardware store in several lengths and is easily worked with. You can also find wing nuts that will fit it and make locking them in place quick and easy. Tap the reducer bushing out to 1/2"-13tpi and your set. Then all you would need to do is gring a point on the ends and screw them in. You should only need about a foot for each leg but even that might be too much. The more you have out the more shakey it will be.

    Another option is if you have a friend who is an electrical contractor or if you can get hold of some aluminum conduit. I have found that the 1" will perfectly slide into the 1-1/4" makeing a very stable lightweight adjustable section. If you went this route you could simply drill a set of say six 1/4" or 3/8" holes an inch apart through both pieces and use them for a major adjustment (use the spring clips like for tractor attachments for the pins) and then have the all thread on the bottoms for minor adjustments. You could also set a couple of the small bulls eye levels in the top if you wanted to get that particular with it as well.
     
  6. BHP9

    BHP9 Well-Known Member

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    I was just going to mention abour sliding legs and hitch pins, but you beat me to it.

    Thanks.
     
  7. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    For the same amount of money you could go buy a portable shooting bench and use the doors for a really great reloading bench. :)
     
  8. Rustystud

    Rustystud Well-Known Member

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    Fold table legs..

    Horrible Freight sells folding legs for tables. I bought mine on sale for $12.00. With a bandsaw,a mig welder some pipe and flat metal stock you can be as creative as you wish.

    Rustystud
     
  9. asa

    asa Well-Known Member

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    portable benches

    What I did was use 2" cam locks. I used alum ones made a big T out of alum and welded one half of each cam loc to this, then threaded the other piece to the leg. I also install a reducing T half way down the legs so that I could put a brace in with 1" camlocs. Then I fastened my 1 1/2" hardwood top to the alum T. This way I just pop open the cam locs and the legs and braces come off in know time ready for storage. The only problem I ran into was I had to replace the rubber washer inside the cam loc with hard plastic. The legs would move a bit with the rubber. Solid with plastic.