I would like a 3.5" leg but only have 1" lumber

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Forum topic by Marcus posted 578 days ago 594 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1044 posts in 653 days

578 days ago

I am working on a desk and want to use spalted maple for the legs. Ideally, they would be about 3.5”, but I only have 1” lumber. I am planning on the legs having a taper, so I can just miter the edges and make a hollow 3.5” leg, but I am afraid that 4 1” pieces laminated together will look odd. Does anyone have any pictures of a leg build like this or any suggestions?

12 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


656 posts in 806 days

#1 posted 578 days ago

Just glue them up face to face until you get the thickness desired. With the proper surface prep the glue joints will be invisible or very hard to see.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Manitario's profile


2305 posts in 1517 days

#2 posted 578 days ago

I am building a bench right now out of elm; the legs are ~3” square but the lumber I have is less than 1” thick; I laminated 3 pieces together and then glued a thin slice of elm to the glue line sides of the legs; it looks good and looks like the legs are made of 3” square lumber…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View BuzzBate's profile


101 posts in 665 days

#3 posted 578 days ago

I know that I have seen legs laminated together before on here, but I’m curious to hear what some of the experienced LJ’s have to say. I’m about to come upon this same issue. Anything other than 1 inch boards takes an act of congress to get around here.

-- "Drill as many holes as you want. We have plenty of putty."

View Marcus's profile


1044 posts in 653 days

#4 posted 578 days ago

I’ve done it with walnut before, actually just finishing up a coffee table w/ 2.5” legs made from 3 1” pieces of lumber. They turn out pretty well, and the only place you notice something is on the taper. . Im just worried w/ spalted maple, it will look really odd with definite hard line stops where two pieces are glued together.

View crank49's profile


3378 posts in 1605 days

#5 posted 578 days ago

I would rather have a laminated leg than one piece. I feel it is stronger and will stay straighter.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View bbasiaga's profile


112 posts in 629 days

#6 posted 578 days ago

Could you just get some spalted maple veneer to cover the side if it came out bad? I’m planning a project using red oak (or cherry if the wife will give me the extra money :) ) doing the same thing – laminating the legs. Veneer was my fall back if the two sides didn’t look right when I was done. Not sure if spalted maple veneer is even available though. I suppose Google could tell you….


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View rockindavan's profile


283 posts in 1270 days

#7 posted 578 days ago

I would agree on the spalted maple perhaps looking a bit odd at the glue lines. Is it possible to use a different wood, or non spalted maple? I’m sure you are set on it on your mind.

Whenever I come upon these situations in my head during a build, I take a step back and really think about what would look best compared to what I previously had in mind. Sometimes the original idea was best, but just takes more time to do. More often then not, I come up with a better solution that looks better in the end.

I’d say hollow legs would look the best, but you have yourself some work with mitered and tapered legs. Good luck

View lumberjoe's profile


2833 posts in 882 days

#8 posted 578 days ago

If you look through my projects, every table I made has laminated legs. It works well. My only tip would be cut them a tad long at first. Focus on getting one edge COMPLETELY square. Ride that face against your tablesaw fence to trim the uneven side.
3.5” may exceed your TS capacity though, in that case you can run it through a planer.


View Fuzzy's profile


289 posts in 2622 days

#9 posted 578 days ago

Lock Miter joints are also worth considering … nice face grain on all four sides …

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Loren's profile


7443 posts in 2282 days

#10 posted 578 days ago

I would veneer it with 1/8” veneers. You see this
on Stickley furniture a lot as a way to get the
quartered figure on all four sides of the leg.


View a1Jim's profile


112018 posts in 2211 days

#11 posted 578 days ago

View Gopher's profile


19 posts in 580 days

#12 posted 578 days ago

Crank45 nailed it !

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