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Misc. Shop Stuff #52: How to Stretch Table Legs

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 03-23-2015 03:52 AM 1408 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 51: Too Much Wood? Part 52 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 53: Cam Clamps, Anyone? »

1. Start with a pile of legs that are each a couple of inches short.

2. Pull the broken wheels from the bottom of the legs. It’s the hole from those wheels that lead to the fix.

3. Cut a ‘fifth leg’ into 3” lengths. Those are doweled and glued to the squared bottoms.

4. When the glue is set, head to the lathe.

5. Some sanding, then cut excess off before a little rasp work and sanding finishes the process.

These legs will be primed and painted, but vintage walnut legs are definitely better quality and stability than the pine legs sold at the blue box stores today.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --



12 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6476 posts in 2066 days


#1 posted 03-23-2015 03:56 AM

Is this for the commission project? Resourceful solution.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#2 posted 03-23-2015 04:04 AM

I made five of them, using one in destructive testing. The glued seam didn’t break, the wood did. We’ve got a winner, so I have four reclaimed for the table and two for the front of the buffet. Very pleased, moving forward.

With the wheels, the legs were the right height when aprons were in place. Remove the wheels, there was a hole in the ends and the aprons were uncomfortably low.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View terryR's profile

terryR

6324 posts in 1776 days


#3 posted 03-23-2015 12:34 PM

Great looking work, Smitty. sure wish I had a lathe that long…

Any problems with getting the old legs centered to re-turn?

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#4 posted 03-23-2015 12:46 PM

Top of the legs have three square corners, which solved that end. For the bottoms, it was less exact. I set each in the lathe ‘tight’ at the headstock, and adjusted tailstock location while slowly rotating the piece by hand. Worked very well!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1643 posts in 1740 days


#5 posted 03-23-2015 12:55 PM

Reported Sighting of the elusive ‘Board Stretcher’.

Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and digest Smitty’s latest tips on up-cycling reclaimed furniture fixtures, then take a walk out to the shop and …’stretch your Legs’.

As always, great advice, accompanied by a full tutorial.
Thanks for sharing, Smitty.

A ‘Wink and a Nod’ from Mother Nature for re-purposing her products.
Work Safely and have Fun. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View TerryDowning's profile

TerryDowning

1053 posts in 1585 days


#6 posted 03-23-2015 04:20 PM

And they say you can’t make ‘em grow if you cut too short. Yet another woodworking myth dispelled. Thanks for Sharing Smitty!!

-- - Terry

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

6924 posts in 1598 days


#7 posted 03-23-2015 05:14 PM

Awesome, Smitty. Good to hear the deconstruction test went swimmingly.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#8 posted 03-23-2015 05:22 PM

^ and there’s a higher bar when the stuff is going to leave the shop. I looked into brass feet, ball extensions and entirely new legs… Those seemed inferior to me, especially the look and (lack of density) feel of new. Tight grain? Uhm, no. These sure do. Very hard to plane this end grain. Seriously hard. I’m very confident in the approach, and my name is going on it.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Slyy's profile

Slyy

2425 posts in 1123 days


#9 posted 03-23-2015 09:27 PM

Awesome Smitty. Hey, gotta be honest here: I spent the previous three days reading back through just about everyone of your blogs. Let me just say THANKS! They are a veritable fount of information and helpful tidbits. Please keep it up!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

13738 posts in 2086 days


#10 posted 03-23-2015 10:50 PM

Jake, thanks for the comments! That’s a ton of reading at this point, wow. Glad you liked any of them, and if I’m able to help anyone, all the better!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2802 days


#11 posted 03-24-2015 09:17 AM

They came out great Smitty. You could also cut them in half at a place where you could add a turned element like a bead or bead and cove to hide glue joint, but I can see that it will likely be completely invisible anyway after finishing. Excellent work and a great idea too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

8743 posts in 1908 days


#12 posted 03-27-2015 11:28 AM

Ever the wizard.

Thank you Smitty.

-- ~Tony

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