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How-to: Tapered Square Leg?

 
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


A good repeating client of mine (retired) is an ex-deck builder and cabinetry hobbyist. He emailed me with this tonight, and I gave him my solution(s), but thought I'd check here for something really elegant.

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I am building a bar high table and the legs are 36" long and 3" in diameter. I want to taper them on all 4 sides so that the top is 3"x3" for the first 6" down and then the taper starts. The bottom should end up as a 2"x2" diameter leg. So that means I have to take 1/2" off each side, at the bottom. A conventional tapering jig won't work because once I cut the first two sides, the taper will be against the fence and the remaining sides will have a different taper. And even if I could hold the 6" straight edge against the jig, by the time I get to the bottom of the leg, the jig will be out past my rip fence, so I will have nothing to guide it against.

So how do I cut 1/2" angled cut on a 3" square leg, on all four sides?
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:25 PM   #2
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


I've always used a jointer to cut tapered legs. Just tape a shim block at the top of the leg so the leg doesn't cut for the first 6" and set the jointer for 1/2" depth of cut. If he doesn't have a jointer that will cut that deep, he'll have to do it in several passes and adjust the shim block. He could also draw the taper and cut to the line with a power plane if he doesn't have a jointer. He might also want to leave the line and finish it off with a belt sander.

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Old 05-11-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


I use a clamping sled for the table saw.

Similar to this one.

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Old 05-11-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


what he^ said.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:55 PM   #5
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


table saw.
modify the above jig- to support the cut off and a block at the front.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


why would you need to do that...all you need to do is adjust the jig .
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:58 PM   #7
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


After you rip the first 2 tapers with the jig, pin the cutoffs back on, then make your next 2 cuts. Remove the cutoffs, viola, 4 equal tapers.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:01 PM   #8
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


Quote:
Originally Posted by loneframer View Post
After you rip the first 2 tapers with the jig, pin the cutoffs back on, then make your next 2 cuts. Remove the cutoffs, viola, 4 equal tapers.
To make it perfect wouldn't you have to shim for kurf?

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Old 05-11-2010, 10:07 PM   #9
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole82 View Post
To make it perfect wouldn't you have to shim for kurf?

Cole
You slide the cut off up the leg before you pin it back on.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:08 PM   #10
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trim40 View Post
You slide the cut off up the leg before you pin it back on.
Gotcha thanks
never used that method before.

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Old 05-11-2010, 11:34 PM   #11
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


If you do not want very small pin holes use double sided tape.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:21 PM   #12
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


Quote:
Originally Posted by loneframer View Post
After you rip the first 2 tapers with the jig, pin the cutoffs back on, then make your next 2 cuts. Remove the cutoffs, viola, 4 equal tapers.
First thing I thought of.

But he wouldn't want the pin holes, so I suggested applying them to the jig instead.

Thanks for the ideas, guys. I'll post an update when I hear what he wound up doing, and how it worked.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:34 PM   #13
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


as someone who never has to do this type of thing. I'm always curious how it's done. I know about tapering jigs but never bought one because I don't build tables or furniture with tapers on them. I should practice one some scrap wood so I know how to do them correctly. thanks for the post Tins
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:05 PM   #14
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


Norm would have not cut all the way thru last bit of the taper then flipped leg.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


After I saw this video...

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/ar...to_taper_legs/

...I started doing them this way. Good results and fun to do...
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:51 PM   #16
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy E View Post
Good results and fun to do...
Don't get no better'n that. If you have a jointer.

Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:51 PM   #17
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Re: How-to: Tapered Square Leg?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy E View Post
After I saw this video...

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/ar...to_taper_legs/

...I started doing them this way. Good results and fun to do...
The jointer is the way to go. However, there is no reason to mark every leg and make two cuts per taper. You just need to make an L-shaped shim block to rest the top of the leg on to stop it from cutting until you get to your start point. Just set the jointer to the depth of the taper, mark the start point on your first leg (better yet, test leg made out of scrap), hold the bottom of the leg down on the infeed table and the top of the leg on cutter where it will start cutting and measure the distance between the top of the outfeed table and the bottom of the top of the leg. Cut your L-shaped shim block to rest the top of the leg on, make a test cut, adjust the thickness of your shim block by cutting it down or adding tape as necessary. Once you have it perfect, there is no reason to mark any of the other legs and now you can hold down on both the top and the bottom of the leg instead of having the top of the leg bouncing around as you try to push it through the jointer.

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