Project on a whim #4: Dovetailing for legs

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Blog entry by Les Hastings posted 02-24-2008 11:29 PM 1735 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Reeding Part 4 of Project on a whim series no next part

The flats are now cut and I’m ready to mill the dovetails for the legs. First I’ll mill a slot with a 3/4” straight bit, this will make it easier to do the dovetailing. I made the cut in three pass’s for depth so it wouldn’t be hogging out to much at a time. This takes about five minutes.

whim leg slot

After the relief slots are cut I changed the set up slightly for the dovetails, the dovetail bit is installed and the process is repeated to make the dovetails. The dovetails are cut with just one pass up one side and down the other to form the slots. This takes about five minutes as well.

whim dovetail

whim dovetail end

Now that the dovetail slots have been milled I went back and carved in the reeds at the top end of the post. This takes about 40 minutes or so to complete. Then I went ahead and sanded the full length of the reeds at this time.

whim carve bead

Now the post is ready to do some leaf carving. Next time I’ll get a pattern made up of the leaves and do the lay out on the post and get started on the carving of the leaves.

whim post

I’ll see you all next time!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

8 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 02-25-2008 12:28 AM

I had never heard of a Legacy before I saw your posts. This is one fantastic tool. I can see why it is such an important tool in your operation. With it you can do some really nice woodworking but, while the tool is nice, it really couldn’t do anything without your guidance and direction.

This piece is coming along just great and I really like this format whereby the individual steps are posted. Give me this as opposed to watching any reality show on tv.

Keep the posts coming. They are appreciated.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4017 days

#2 posted 02-25-2008 04:00 AM

Looking good! Not roughing out those dovetails is a mistake a beginner can make. I like that you pointed
it out for them.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4189 days

#3 posted 02-25-2008 01:40 PM

this is just so… awe-some.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4080 days

#4 posted 02-25-2008 03:39 PM

WOW nice stuff and great work that you do with it.

keep posting.

-- Hope Never fails

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3991 days

#5 posted 02-25-2008 04:37 PM

I think this is a great commercial for the Legacy. And a great display of your talents, Les. This is the kind of thing I expect from FWW. Maybe you should consider doing an article for them when this is done. Thanks for sharing the how-to.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

405 posts in 3861 days

#6 posted 02-25-2008 08:42 PM

I’d like to echo the comments of the others here…I’ve been following your progress and enjoying the detail and photos you’ve provided. I’ve also only seen ads and read forum posts praising the legacy…it’s nice to get a better sense of what it can do in the right hands. Keep ‘em coming! Thanks!

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 3802 days

#7 posted 02-26-2008 12:09 AM

Thanks everyone for your comments!

I’m just a fan of the Legacy and its capabilities, I’m always finding new ways to use it. It can be a big investment though for just a home shop, mine stays at work most of the time. I use it there a lot.

We have one of the first ones that came out in 1991, then it was called the Woodchuck. The ones they make now are a far cry better than early ones were, they’ve come a long ways.

As time allows I’m going to start trying new things with the Legacy, I’ll let you know how that goes.
I’m glad everyone is enjoying seeing its use’s.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3962 days

#8 posted 02-26-2008 06:53 PM

I agree with what’s been said: you’re making that tool look really attractive. I’m reminded though, of a friend of mine who could hit extremely long drives with my 3-wood. You’ve got a gift :).

-- Robb

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