Leg Taper Question

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 02-26-2011 03:32 AM 1446 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3309 days

02-26-2011 03:32 AM

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I’m taking a survey….

I’m currently working on a chess table, and the legs will be tapered on two sides (adjacent faces). The last time I did this, I put the tapered sides on the inside, leaving the outer faces perpendicular to the table top. But now I’m wondering if it would be better the other way, with the tapered sides facing out, and the inner surfaces perpendicular to the top.

Is there a “correct” way, or is it just personal preference? Opinions?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

29 replies so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 2788 days

#1 posted 02-26-2011 03:35 AM

it would be better the other way

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2655 posts in 2617 days

#2 posted 02-26-2011 03:42 AM

Taper on the inside. If the taper is on the outside then the table may seem pigeon toed and unstable. 2Cents only

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View patron's profile


13422 posts in 2431 days

#3 posted 02-26-2011 03:42 AM

the wider the leg sits on the floor
the more stable it will be

depending on the thickness
and the taper
you might loose some inches overall
making it somewhat top heavy

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 2262 days

#4 posted 02-26-2011 03:44 AM

i have to agree with GMman—with the taper on the outside I think the look would be that the table was on the verge of falling over—just my 2 cents worth

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 2763 days

#5 posted 02-26-2011 03:49 AM

My personal preference is inside taper. I agree with Kindlingmaker on the toe-out look. Regardless, I look forward to seeing the finished project Charlie. I favorited your earlier chess table some time back. You do beautiful work.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16740 posts in 2766 days

#6 posted 02-26-2011 03:55 AM

Guess I’m just joining a chorus at this point :-)) Taper inside.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cabmaker's profile


1402 posts in 1899 days

#7 posted 02-26-2011 04:32 AM

Inside taper here

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 2179 days

#8 posted 02-26-2011 04:34 AM

on a small table like that, definitely taper in, it would look unstable with the taper out, like an upside-down pyramid. sometimes you can put the taper on the outside to accentuate it on a larger piece, but not on a chess table.

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3491 days

#9 posted 02-26-2011 05:09 AM

The Shaker design did taper on inside of the legs. At least all of the Shaker tables that I’ve made. :>)

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3309 days

#10 posted 02-26-2011 05:25 AM

Well, it looks fairly unanimous. Chalk that up to a random wild though, I suppose.

Just to clarify, I’m talking about pretty slender legs with a gentle taper similar to this:

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View jusfine's profile


2351 posts in 2016 days

#11 posted 02-26-2011 06:01 AM

Nice looking legs Charlie!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View rcs47's profile


182 posts in 2220 days

#12 posted 02-26-2011 06:57 AM

Why not taper all four? It works for a turned leg.

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 2179 days

#13 posted 02-26-2011 07:16 AM

rec42, it’s tricky to taper all 4 sides, because once you taper 2, you have to change your taper setup since you dont have square faces to reference on the table and fence while cutting the third, and even worse for the fourth. it can be done, and fairly easily, by using your cutoffs to prop up your workpiece, or by adjusting taper setup for double angle, then for compound angle, it’s just a bit tougher, and not as common as the half taper legs.

View EPJartisan's profile


1113 posts in 2216 days

#14 posted 02-26-2011 07:28 AM

I also vote for inside tapers for the same reasons pointed out above.
BUT if you do taper the outside, I recommend you balance it with feet that turn out to even with to the sides, yet on a small piece it would still be kinda odd feeling. I try things out in foam first.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View tdv's profile


1139 posts in 2160 days

#15 posted 02-26-2011 04:13 PM

Charlie I may be old fashioned (& I guess you can try anything once ) but always taper the inside If you put the taper to the outside only without a matching taper on the inside it does look really odd (Mr Chippendale did know his stuff) though some people like ODD?
Best Charlie

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

showing 1 through 15 of 29 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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