Mikes Shed

Practical help for the vertically gifted

In this feature Mike will give practical tips to help us tallies in everyday issues like how to make your office chair go higher etc (Mike doesn't have a West Country accent but i like to add one on when reading it ;)) Please email us (in the form below) if you have any practical tall issues you would like advice on?














First up it is how to make an affordable tall walking stick:

A couple of folk were asking about tall walking sticks?


The Issue


  • I’m 6 feet 7 inches tall (2.01metres) and well built. Substantially well built.....

  • I’m getting no younger

  • My knees don’t work as well as they used to – osteoarthritis – and I need a walking  stick to assist my stability when I walk


The Problem


  • Finding a walking stick tall enough and strong enough for my needs and preferably one that folds for when I travel

  • What several suppliers call “tall” isn’t really...... (strike 3 attempted purchases!)

  • There are several (premium!) suppliers out there of lovely strong walking stocks who want to relieve me of over £100 to meet my needs

  • Plus some extra money for a tall version that allows me to adjust to my height, rather than “Joe Average”

  • Ouch.


The Eventual Solution






  • . Other models are available – but these seem strong...

  • Order three at £9.45 - £15.54 each plus carriage plus VAT – under 45 quid.

  • Take delivery.

  • Take apart all three stick.

  • Cannibalise one stick, removing the two centre sections of the stick (leaving handle and bottom section and ferule as spares)

  • Insert one extra section into each of the two remaining sticks and reassemble

  • Voila! Two strong walking sticks, suitable for a taller person, folding and able to support the weight – at about a third of the price of a single premium one.


Mike Tunstall – “I are an engineer.........”

Mike’s Shed – adjusting the world to suit you, rather than compromising with the world all the time……


There are some tall folk who compromise the way they live, their health and stature to live in a Standard world. I know – I was one of them and used to grumble about everything being from “Toy-Town”, rather than the real world. There may be somethings that are harder to manage – seats on aircraft and buses and trains for example, but many things can be adapted quite simply – like gas lift office chairs and folding walking sticks, as the Mike’s Shed column (as Simon so kindly named it!) has covered in the last two newsletters.

Here are some of the things I have adapted to suit me and an indication of how.


Sofas and arm chairs


  •   Sofas and arm chairs. Add a set of lifting blocks or raisers , a disabled height adjusting frame or new longer legs . These will usually offer you a height raise of upto 4 inches or 100mm safely. There are longer ones  but you need to consider weight and safety when using the 4 to 12 inch (100mm to 300mm) replacement legs available. These legs are more robust  and may be more suitable for taller, larger, heavier(?) people                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

  • Or consider making them yourselves from 100mm x 100mm wood. Sometimes it is safer and more secure to replace the existing legs with longer ones using steel double ended screw dowel and castors or furniture feet, rather than adding a raiser leg or block.                                                                                                                                                          

  • Adjust Bed height. All of the above plus consider fitting as a simpler solution. https://www.castors-online.co.uk/ maybe a specialist industrial/theatrical supplier site, but actually, for years I had under my bed 6 inch/ 150mm lockable castors  - much easier to move around and very stable. Buying an extra-long valance covers the castors up.








  1. Bed Length. Most popular portable solution to extend a bed is the Bedstretch. I usually prefer to build or buy my beds extra long (and wide) but not everybody can do that….. On a cruise, Cunard once built a 12 inch extender for the head of the bed to allow me to fit! And at my suggestion, they made it dismantlable, so that they could reuse it quickly for other tall people! Apparently it is a common problem, but they had never considered a reusable solution, but made from scratch when asked…..!                            




  1. Desk and Table. Interesting issue here is that you have to fit people of different heights around the same table. Generally, the “standard height” for much furniture was based in British Standards defined in the post war rationing period in the late 1940’s, so it is fair to say that they are a little dated. You can often afford to raise a table or desk by 2 or 3 inches without negatively impacting others using it. That is a matter for negotiation. All of the above approaches work, but again, you cans sometimes buy complete longer replacement legs for certain desks and tables, which are more aesthetically pleasing for instance -.





   3.Other Options. I use a 2 inch or 4 inch (50mm or 100mm) memory foam/dense foam seat cushion with some chairs. Not only is it more comfortable to sit on, but also raises you a few inches, depending on the rigidity of the foam cushion that you use.





There are lots of simple adaptations that you can make to adjust the world to suit you. Try them or talk to others who have done the same! If you ask suppliers, you will usually get one of two responses –


a. “we’ve never been asked that before – there is no demand”….. Courteously point out that there is (or walk away) as you are the living proof that there is demand and shared TPC experience says it is substantial and worth paying attention to.

b. “Yes, I’m sure we can help you adapt that – this is what others have done” – in which case shout about it and tell others and ask Simon to put them in the Directory of suppliers…..


 I will soon try and address some of the more fundamental things you can do, whilst buying, building and refurbishing property, rooms, fittings or furniture – If you are investing anyhow, consider investing in stuff that works for you, rather than doesn’t.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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