11/2” legs from ¾” stock for a Greene & Greene table

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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 07-20-2014 02:47 AM 1406 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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744 posts in 2877 days

07-20-2014 02:47 AM

I’m building a skirt and legs for a table top I’ve had banging around the shop since making it in a veneering class project 4-5 years ago. Low and behold after all that time, my wife want’s an end table “just like that shop class thing” I made. Perfect. It’s mostly walnut 191/2” X 191/2” X 3/4”. I’m building walnut skirt and legs, Greene and Green inspired, Cloud lift and ebony plugs and indented leg. I’ve got a pile of rough walnut but nothing that will yeild much more than ¾” material. What I need help on is making the 11/2” legs with ¾” stock. I can’t see me being happy with a visible figure seam on these legs. I’ve been combing through my book and magazine collection. I’m sure I saw a flurry of articles on this topic several years ago. No luck. I’m thinking of bevel ripping all four sides to wrap the figure. Is there a better/smarter way to do this?

-- Ken

14 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 07-20-2014 03:28 AM

Resaw thick veneers and glue over the ugly face, or all
the faces if you want. For that matter, you can make the
legs out of poplar and veneer.

View MNgary's profile


301 posts in 2444 days

#2 posted 07-20-2014 03:53 AM

I want to make sure I understand the problem. You have 3/4 inch boards and you want to glue them together until 5-1/2 inches (11/2 inches in your post) thick for the table’s legs, but without anyone knowing they were glued up.

Guess you’re going to have to paint them.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View RazedGrain's profile


16 posts in 1998 days

#3 posted 07-20-2014 04:43 AM

There’s a technique using lock miter or whatever router bits in FWW # 121. Essentially to do as you describe but much easier to glue up the miter. Or I suppose you could spline the corners.

Seems like it would take longer than to just veneer the seam face, very thin like 1/8” or less, be hard to see from the side if you pick the grain right.


-- - Jeff - Hamilton, ON, Canada

View jmartel's profile


7957 posts in 2177 days

#4 posted 07-20-2014 04:52 AM

I think he means 1 1/2” and just didn’t include the space.

As loren said, glue 2 sides together and add a veneer to the 2 faces that show the lamination. Put a chamfer on each corner that is the same thickness as the veneer and you won’t be able to tell.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View newwoodbutcher's profile


744 posts in 2877 days

#5 posted 07-20-2014 05:27 AM

Thank you. Yes the legs will be 1 1/2” square.

-- Ken

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744 posts in 2877 days

#6 posted 07-20-2014 05:31 AM

I’ve read that the locking miter bit is a bear to se up. I have one but bnever used it,

-- Ken

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#7 posted 07-20-2014 05:40 AM

I think a lock miter approach would be better suited
when the legs are 3” square or bigger.

View rmac's profile


206 posts in 3087 days

#8 posted 07-20-2014 07:03 AM

I took me a long time to realize this, but the materials cost for almost any hobby woodworking project is so much less than the value of the time you’ll spend on it that it just doesn’t make sense to skimp on the materials. So I’d say don’t compromise your project. Save your 3/4” walnut for projects where you need 3/4” walnut, and buy some thicker stock for your table legs.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View newwoodbutcher's profile


744 posts in 2877 days

#9 posted 07-20-2014 06:20 PM

Russ, That was/is my original thought.

-- Ken

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2840 days

#10 posted 07-20-2014 07:07 PM

I would glue planks together, then cover the joint with 1/4” thick veneers. Once the leg blank is constructed (made from a total of 4 pieces), you can plane it down to 1-1/2” square.
Here are the details…

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

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 1926 days

#11 posted 09-30-2014 12:12 PM

I don’t believe you will be happy with the legs made from glued-up boards. I suggest you bite the bullet and go find some rift-sawn wood. Look at the end grain and cut your leg blanks so that the growth rings are 45 degrees to the four faces. Only then will you have even grain all around. In addition, you will have the most stable wood.

You will regret trying to put second-rate legs under your nicely veneered top.

-- --Dale Page

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2378 days

#12 posted 09-30-2014 12:45 PM

You are not going to need much stock to make four legs for an end table, why not pick up some 8/4 walnut and make your life easier?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2558 days

#13 posted 10-01-2014 03:25 AM

Plus, if you are doing the tapered indents on the legs, the thin veneer on two sides approach won’t work.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View newwoodbutcher's profile


744 posts in 2877 days

#14 posted 10-01-2014 05:43 AM

Thank you all. I now realize that getting 8/4 material is the best solution. I don’t think I’ll be happy with anything else

-- Ken

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