Lathe not required - morphing square table legs to round

  • Advertise with us
Project by Scott posted 08-31-2017 09:45 PM 2634 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

1778 posts in 484 days

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

Looks much better … good job!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View ralbuck's profile


3717 posts in 2103 days

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

Great save!

-- SAWDUST is THERAPY without a couch! just rjR

View Scott 's profile


241 posts in 2104 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


3208 posts in 3549 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


29158 posts in 2703 days

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

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

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View theart's profile


14 posts in 391 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


241 posts in 2104 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


592 posts in 2225 days

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

Very clever & a nice improvement,

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View a1Jim's profile


116576 posts in 3414 days

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

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

-- Custom furniture

View Sodabowski's profile


2365 posts in 2670 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...

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics