Legs for a beginner

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Forum topic by WOODIE1 posted 09-04-2013 04:43 PM 865 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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117 posts in 2303 days

09-04-2013 04:43 PM

Ok I have a few projects under my belt and have found a local store besides HD that sells some different types of wood. I am getting used to the 4/4 or whatever sizing vs a fraction.

The question I have is if I want say 4×4 or 2×2 square legs is everybody gluing up individual pieces or should I be asking for a cut of lumber. OI was on one of the popular mail order wood dealers and noticed the do sell say 4×4 by 36” blanks or??

Sometimes I hate going to lumber yard as they loose patience quick with beginners. I could never understand why loose say 20% of you potential customers. Why not just post some simple signs answering basic questions relating to the pieces. anyway…..

Are we all gluing up are legs or buying say 4×4 and cutting to size?


4 replies so far

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2993 days

#1 posted 09-04-2013 04:56 PM

Two reasons for gluing up legs, cost and stability. A single piece of 4×4 could take on a diamond shape as it inevitably shrinks slightly due to moisture loss. Costwise, here at least, you pay more for the same volume of American hardwoods depending on how thick the plank is.

If you were turning legs I’d use a solid blank, otherwise I would laminate.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 09-04-2013 05:00 PM

You can purchase turning blanks at however larger leg sizes will be laminated. They are costly.
I usually do glueups so I can get attractive grain pattern on all four faces.
Here is the method I use…

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View richardwootton's profile


1699 posts in 1979 days

#3 posted 09-04-2013 06:27 PM

When at the lumber yard, if you are really needing 4×4 lumber you will be purchasing 16/4 stock. Also when purchasing material for legs, you will want to ask the person at the lumber yard for preferably “rift sawn” lumber. Be warned, 16/4 rift sawn hardwoods will be expensive! And possibly difficult to find depending on the desired species. In all likelihood you will be able to get by with stock that is not that thick, like 8/4 or 12/4 (read 2 or 3 inches thick). Anyway, knowing a little bit of jargon helps with not feeling like a newbie when visiting your hardwood supplier.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 09-04-2013 06:36 PM

Ditto what richardwootton said.

Personally, I always glue up my legs. I’ve seen people who make them out of four pieces with 45 degree miters on each side. I’m lazy, though. I just laminate two planks together, then rip to the correct width. If it’s done right, the seam is not very noticeable at all.

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

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