Lathe not required - morphing square table legs to round

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Project by Scott posted 08-31-2017 09:45 PM 3156 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought this table at an estate sale, but I thought the square legs might look better as round legs. So I just turned 4 sides into 8 sides then 8 sides to 16 sides, then used a rasp and voila, round legs. The first picture is the ‘before’ and the second picture is the ‘after’, followed by 4 sides, 8 sides, 16 sides.

Here I am marking the cardboard profile onto the 4 sides.

This shows the 4 sides after using a plane to cut down to the profile lines.

Now I am marking lines for the 8 sides. You can use an online octagonal calculator to get the width of each side. Since the top is larger than the bottom, you can just run one calculation for the top and one calculation for the bottom. I just marked it at the top and at the bottom and used a ruler between those marks to draw the line.

Here are the 8 sides after planing them down.

I repeat the process for 16 sides, using an online hexadecogon calculator to get the width of the sides at the top and bottom, and draw lines, and plane them down.

Then I used a rasp to round it off and to remove the bottom ball.

-- Scott in North Carolina

10 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 845 days

#1 posted 08-31-2017 10:05 PM

Looks much better … good job!

View ralbuck's profile


5382 posts in 2464 days

#2 posted 08-31-2017 10:32 PM

Great save!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Scott 's profile


253 posts in 2465 days

#3 posted 08-31-2017 10:33 PM

Thanks Ron! You never know what will happen when you start but I thought it turned out well.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3265 posts in 3910 days

#4 posted 09-01-2017 04:35 AM


The improvement is really remarkable! Great job!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3064 days

#5 posted 09-01-2017 01:34 PM

Nice work! If you don’t have a lathe then be creative.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View theart's profile


61 posts in 752 days

#6 posted 09-01-2017 05:21 PM

Even if you had a lathe, this might still be easier than getting the legs off and back on. Also, great job matching the finish.

View Scott 's profile


253 posts in 2465 days

#7 posted 09-01-2017 08:20 PM

theart: Right, the legs were glued on so a lathe wouldn’t be much help in this case, so you just have to do it the old fashioned way. I did do a little stain mixing to try to match it reasonably well, but I think Early American would have worked straight out of the can.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View rtbrmb's profile


673 posts in 2586 days

#8 posted 09-02-2017 01:32 PM

Very clever & a nice improvement,

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#9 posted 09-02-2017 02:15 PM

Super job Scott, there’s more than one way to round a leg.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Sodabowski's profile


2382 posts in 3030 days

#10 posted 09-05-2017 08:50 PM

I’m with the guys above, this is WAY better than before!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

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