Introduction: Furniture Risers - Help Cleaning Droids Catch More Dust Bunnies Under the Sofa

About: Trying to learn faster than I forget. It will be cool to make some stuff along the way.

We got a cleaning droid. A Neato to be precise - it's a lot like a Roomba, but it's a Neato. It's a cleaning robot, not quite R2D2, but it's getting there. The kind of thing that likes to wake up and make a lot of noise while bumping into things when you want peace and quiet. Aside from getting stuck on shoelaces and moving the cat bowls from one room to another, this thing manages to fill it's basket with dirt on a regular basis. But it has it's limitations... furniture induced limitations. As hard as it tries and as persistent as it is, it just can't fit under the coffee table or the sofa. Until now!

There was a need.

I created a solution.

Custom foot risers to lift the furniture.

I did two sets - one for the coffee table, and one for the sofa. This isn't fine furniture we are talking about, but its comfortable and I think the cleanliness will out weigh the in-congruence in design.

EDIT : 8-15-18 - added video of same project for a different robot and different sofa.

Supplies Needed:
Wood - as thick as needed for proper clearance.
Stain - to match existing finish
Screws - to affix riser to furniture
Felt pads - so you don't mar the floor

Tools used:
Straight edge
Chop Saw
Band Saw
Drill press and drills
Belt Sander
Paint Brush
Screw Driver

Step 1: Measure Clearance for Cleaning Droid

How much taller does your furniture have to be for the little cleaners to get underneath?
Select your wood accordingly. I used a nice piece of Oak 1" thick for the table risers and a Pine 2"x4" for the sofa.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Wood Blocks

Flip your short sofa or table over.
Sweep out the dust bunnies and cat toys that were hiding under there.

I was able to unscrew the sofa foot to bring it to the shop, but had to do the table leg measurement on location.

I traced the bottom of the existing leg onto the wood to get the widest point measurements.  This will be the mating surface at the top of the new riser. 

Cut the four blocks to size on the chop saw.

My furniture has an angle cut into two sides of the legs, so I used a straight edge to follow that edge, marked it and cut on the band saw. I matched the angle of the second side and cut it as well.
Repeat process until you have enough.

Step 3: Drill Holes for Mounting Risers

Screwing the riser to the furniture will be very secure. Drilling a pilot hole for the screw with a counter sink will let the screw seat well and prevent your wood from splitting.

I drilled a larger hole than the size of the screw head, then drilled a smaller hole about the size of the screw shaft.

Step 4: Finish Sand Your Risers

Using the belt sander, I cleaned up the surfaces and edges.
A smooth finish will make the stain look better.

Step 5: Stain the Risers

Use your favorite stain - or better yet, use one that matches your existing furniture.
Mine was a mahogany color and it had a polyurethane coating built in.

Glop it on, smooth it out, and watch it dry. Seriously - sit down and watch it dry. Contemplate how this simple project will cut down on dust in your home. How the cats will have an easier time collecting lost toys and how far you will have to reach if the droid gets stuck under the sofa. If you are done with your zen moment, go do something else - this stuff takes a while to dry.

Step 6: Drill Them and Screw Them On

Flip your sofa and table upside down and remove any old felt pads or slider buttons.
Line up the risers and using a drill bit a bit thinner than your screw, drill a pilot hole into the existing table leg or sofa foot.
You can add wood glue at this point if you like. I didn't, but you could for a more permanent bond.
Screw them in snugly.

Step 7: Cut Felt Pads, Stick Them on and Be Protected

I got large pads of felt slider material so I could cut to fit.
Do that. Cut four pads to fit on the bottom of the stack. Peel off the backing and stick them on.

Step 8: Flip Your Furniture Back Over and Test Out Your Cleaning Droid

Put everything back where it goes.
Enjoy your new view... it's a little higher than before!
Test out your Neato or Roomba and see if they can get in there and rustle up some dust bunnies!

I used the tools at the Tech Shop in San Carlos California to create this project.

It was nice to have a full wood shop at my disposal, so I used it. You can do this with hand tools if you like, but it's faster this way.

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