Looking for metal legs for monitor stand.
October 21, 2009 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Can I make or buy a version of these metal desk legs?

I've made myself a monitor shelf out of an IKEA Shelf and these legs. However, it's a bit too high for my liking. The legs should be around 3" instead of 4".

I've been looking for something like the IKEA Slinga brackets, except without the extra edge sticking out. Have you seen or heard of something that matches that description? About 5-6" long and about 3" high. Preferably in stainless steel. I'd rather purchase it somewhere, but I can build it if it's not terribly difficult and doesn't require expensive tools. It's for a work desk, so it needs to look "nice".

Can you help me with my search? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Atarah to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
I'd have a look at the 'big box" hardware stores. Look for some tubing that might be what will "look nice". They do carry metal tubing in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as colours. Round, square, large, small, gold and silver. You could just cut it to the length you want. They probably carry something you can attach at the ends to secure them ( similar to what you have in the round tubes already). If you wander through the store, I'm sure you'll find something you can use. My first thought was wooden dowling. But you said maybe stainless steel. Try the plumbing dept. for something chrome.
posted by Taurid at 10:37 PM on October 21, 2009

I am holding a Capita leg in my hand as I type this: I fetched one from my junk box to make sure I remembered right. I have used them in a few projects and they are truly great parts, far better and much stronger than the typical Home Depot versions. Yes, you can shorten them.

The key to this is that there's no actual threading on the pipe-shaped piece, it's just a plain cylinder, so you can cut off either end of it once you can get a clear shot at it. If you unscrew the top (plate) part completely (the part you use to adjust the height) you'll see that it threads through a black plastic spacer and then into a threaded metal washer thing inside the hollow leg itself. Remove the spacer and toss it, and you have shortened the "lowest possible" height of the leg by about 1/3" already.

If you need to shorten more than that -- and it sounds like you do -- there are three ways to go, all of which involve cutting pipe. You can get a nice accurate $10 pipe-cutter at the hardware store; ask the nice man at Lowe's to do it for you; or you can it yourself with a hacksaw and a miter box if you're very patient and careful to keep it straight. But first you have to get the thing more apart.

The smartest way is to pull out the actual foot (the part with the skate that touches the floor) straight out from the bottom by inserting a long thin screwdriver through the thread hole and smashing it with a hammer a few times, being careful not to mangle the threads you are passing through while you're doing this. You'll now see that the bottom foot pops off: it was held in by a plastic piece itself, which it's probably still attached to.

Now you can trim the naked/rough bottom "pipe" to any length you like. Be gentle, because if you compress the pipe at all, the round plastic insert won't fit back inside. Once it's cut and sanded a bit to keep it square and free of nasty metal shavings, slip the foot and its insert back in, tap it a couple of times to get it flush, and your leg is shorter and perfect again.

Another way to do the same thing is to cut the other end instead, the plate end, but to do that you have to tap the metal threaded part in more deeply to make room to cut (it's friction fit), and then trim off the excess pipe on top to get back close to the threads. It's very hard to tap it in straight without accidentally tilting the insert inside the pipe. If you tilt it, you've made it impossible to screw the top plate back on. I don't recommend this second way for this reason (too finicky) but it will work. I did this a couple of times before realizing the other end was also removable with a bit more force.

I mangled the first one I shortened and had to replace it, so you might want a couple of spares or practice legs.
posted by rokusan at 4:28 AM on October 22, 2009

(Also, thank you for the great idea on what to use my extra Capita legs for. My desks will soon all have little hutch shelves!)
posted by rokusan at 4:29 AM on October 22, 2009

Response by poster: That's really helpful rokusan! I'll definitely give that a try this weekend. I'm not that great of a handyman, but I think with your directions it shouldn't be too hard. I'll let you know how that goes. And if it doesn't work out, then I guess I'll be spending a lot of time at Home Depot or Lowe's. Thanks a lot for your help!
posted by Atarah at 8:04 AM on October 22, 2009

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