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How to join round leg to stretcher without squaring part of it

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 01-30-2014 02:33 PM 2221 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1198 days


01-30-2014 02:33 PM

I’m taking a woodworking course, yesterday we learned how to joint round legs to stretchers by first squaring up a bit of the round leg then making a mortise in the squared-up part.

Just out of curiosity, I’m wondering if there are techniques for jointing flat boards to round legs without first squaring up the round part. Can a biscuit joiner do that? Are there other techniques?


19 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2147 posts in 1640 days


#1 posted 01-30-2014 02:39 PM

I don’t know how a biscuit jointer would do that as you need a flat surface for the jointer. The joint would not be very strong

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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lepelerin

478 posts in 1792 days


#2 posted 01-30-2014 05:28 PM

ask your teacher.

View MisterBill's profile

MisterBill

411 posts in 1718 days


#3 posted 01-30-2014 05:41 PM

I am not sure if this is what you are trying to do but can you use a forstner bit drill a mortise into your flat board and then shape a round tenon on the end of your round leg?

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1198 days


#4 posted 01-30-2014 05:46 PM

The round leg is vertical. The rectilinear stretcher is horizontal. I want to joint them at a right angle. The traditional way of doing this – the only way our instructor will teach us – is to leave the turning blank square at the spot where the joint will be.

Like this random photo I found on Google images:

I’d like to know if there is an alternative that does not require the blocky parts.

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

835 posts in 1909 days


#5 posted 01-30-2014 06:23 PM

This image from sawmillcreek would be how I would try it.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#6 posted 01-30-2014 07:02 PM

Why not just make a mortise the full size of the stretchers cross section? You’d have to fasten the round leg to something square so you could turn it a perfect 90 degrees.

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richardwootton

1699 posts in 1422 days


#7 posted 01-30-2014 07:52 PM

I like Randy’s sliding dovetail idea.

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

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richardwootton

1699 posts in 1422 days


#8 posted 01-30-2014 07:53 PM

However it does look like it would be hard to cut that by hand…

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

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

2533 posts in 1442 days


#9 posted 01-30-2014 08:20 PM

Back cut the tenon shoulder at an angle that will allow the faces of the stretcher to meet the round leg with no gaps.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Jorg Zimmermann's profile

Jorg Zimmermann

24 posts in 1073 days


#10 posted 01-30-2014 08:21 PM

Similar to the dovetail idea, you could make a groove acording to the dimensions of the stretcher that would create a flat surface on the bottom of the groove and there you either use a mortise joint or dovels.To insert the stretcher into a groove is actually a stronger joint than what you learned.

-- Jorg

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2239 days


#11 posted 01-30-2014 08:41 PM

Dowels

With the appropriate jig (ie just a simple 45 degree block/center finder jig) on the drill press you can drill the holes into the leg, then using dowel centers you can imprint the dowel positions on the stretcher.

Then drill the holes in the stretcher, I’d drill extra deep than needed because we’ll be sanding away part of the stretcher.

Then using a spindle sander, I would sand the edge of stretcher so that it would conform to the leg.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View LakeLover's profile

LakeLover

283 posts in 1406 days


#12 posted 01-30-2014 08:54 PM

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JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#13 posted 01-30-2014 09:05 PM

The first thing that popped into my head was to make the mortises the full size of the stretcher, like dhazleton suggested. You’d have to be very precise in your mortises to give them enough strength, though.

Then had a second, similar idea. Start by making a shallow full size mortise then treat that mortise as the flat of a square leg and create the mortise and tenon joint inside of it. That would give the strength of the shoulders to your joint. It would be tough to do accurately, but should give the desired results.

Here’s a quick Sketchup that shows what I’m thinking.

Don’t know why it wouldn’t work, but that also might be why I’m not a professional furniture builder :-)

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

2533 posts in 1442 days


#14 posted 01-30-2014 09:12 PM

Like your idea JayT but think that making the shoulders of the tenon match the radius of the leg would be easier. If it was me making it, I would just make a small flat on the round leg. After assembly no one would know the difference.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

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JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#15 posted 01-30-2014 09:16 PM

You mean like this? It’s what I was thinking, but was afraid it wouldn’t show up well in Sketchup, so exaggerated it in the first pic. Probably exaggerated it too much.

Just trim off a bit of the radius with a chisel and flatten it out, then mark and chisel out the mortise. Once one joint is done, you should be able to use the stretcher as a reference to make the other side square.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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