HELP! Not sure what to do here....

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Forum topic by FunnelStudio posted 11-18-2009 05:24 PM 1680 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 3311 days

11-18-2009 05:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: help legs question

Hey everybody!

I have a customer who wants me to make a coffee table and match his existing end tables out of white oak. The legs are where I am getting stuck…

Here’s a few crappy iPhone photos…

The radius is about 3.5”, but it looks like they were made from 6/4 or something around there. They have the giant roundover on the front, but are flat on the back.

In my mind, I was thinking I could make a few angle cuts on the table saw to get a rough shape and then just plane everything down until it’s smooth and rounded, but this seems like it would take a long time. Anybody have any tips or easier ways to get this done?

Any help would be appreciated!

-- -Shaun M. Baer,

12 replies so far

View lew's profile


12051 posts in 3749 days

#1 posted 11-18-2009 05:29 PM

Guess you could turn a large blank to a round shape and slice it.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1596 posts in 3552 days

#2 posted 11-18-2009 06:03 PM

Wow, that’s a tough one. I would do as much of the joinery as possible while it’s still square stock. Then cut facets with table saw or band saw and use hand tools like a spokeshave to fair it.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View a1Jim's profile


117085 posts in 3570 days

#3 posted 11-18-2009 06:13 PM

There are several ways you can do these legs. you can start with a square billet and draw the radius you want on both ends and saw the excess off and the round with hand planes,spoke shaves and or sanders or you can cut some stave’s like the kind used in a barrel or you can do a turning by gluing up some wood and placing brown paper between the glue up were you want to pop of in the back when your through turning. Or Lew s suggestion.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4093 days

#4 posted 11-18-2009 06:17 PM

If I do not have the tools or capacity to make something I hire it out.

In this case, for instance, I do not have a lathe but I know guys that do. I would consult with them about making the legs. I also have connections with an architectural millwork shop that would have the ability to fabricate the pieces.

Be sure to have detailed photos and measurements in hand when doing so.

You aren’t necessarily getting paid to make everything. You are getting paid to take the responsibility for getting it done.

Case in point: Many woodworkers, even famous and well respected ones, don’t do their own finish work or upholstery. They also sub out certain parts of fabrication as necessary.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3280 days

#5 posted 11-18-2009 06:19 PM

I think all Jim’s ideas are very valid—Take your pick. I like the stave idea best though. I’ve youed it making curved raised panel doors.

Good luck


View fineamerican's profile


150 posts in 3108 days

#6 posted 11-19-2009 05:58 PM

I agree with Jim, without access to large machinery Im left to the resources at my local woodworking guild, if you have one check that angle out. Otherwise I personally think your on the right track with hogging away most of the waste on your table saw, then the rest is hand tool work.

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina,

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3101 days

#7 posted 11-25-2009 08:41 PM

Keep it cheep and simple eight quarter lumber cut a forty five degree on either side draw a radioed on ether end and blow some saw dust out the window. A Grinder with a rubber backing pad and 24 grit tends to remove material.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View a1Jim's profile


117085 posts in 3570 days

#8 posted 11-25-2009 09:36 PM

It’s only 10 hp router off an old motor of a giant planner with a 6” bit welded on it and a 2 ft cord. I’ve been afraid to use it but I know you have the muscle power and nerve Bentlyj. Right? :-))

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View r's profile


41 posts in 3249 days

#9 posted 11-26-2009 07:08 AM

check out les hasting blog on making rounded doors here is the link to his blog here on lj’s it may help and then again it may not good luck

-- u

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3535 days

#10 posted 11-26-2009 07:21 AM

I made a small office table several years ago with legs look just like those and I did exactly as lew suggested. I turned them on the lathe and then made a sled to run them through the saw so they would be exact. Wasn’t difficult at all.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3458 days

#11 posted 11-26-2009 07:40 AM

Great solution Lew, looks like you got the simple and straightforward award for excellence. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View FunnelStudio's profile


30 posts in 3311 days

#12 posted 03-02-2010 07:39 PM

Hey gang!

I really appreciated all of the solutions, I really debated each one for quite a while. I had it down between a plane, taves, and that video skarp posted.

Here is the finished project, in the end, I just planed the legs!

-- -Shaun M. Baer,

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