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Thread: Octagon Leg Blank Jig

  1. #1
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    Octagon Leg Blank Jig

    I like shaped legs on my stick furniture. It is easy to get an octagon leg with a hand plane by holding the leg blank in a jig or using a similar jig to run the blank through the planer. While easy to do, both are time consuming. I read somewhere that Brian Boggs used a jig and bandsaw to shape his chair legs. I've spent way too much time trying to find a photo of his jig in action with no joy. After some thought, I decided it might be quicker to just re-invent the wheel.


    Come on Bubba cut to the chase. After a couple of weeks of butt scratching and "yes buts" this is what I came up with.


    Wide view:

    legJigWideView.jpg




    Closeup of the result of all the butt scratching:

    legJigClose.jpg


    I would guess there is a better way to do the job but this jig works a treat. A quick four passes through the saw and a couple of passes on each facet with a plane and you have an octagon leg blank ready for the lathe.

    ken

  2. #2
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    Seems there was another video out....done by Norm Abram,,,when he made the Pencil Post bed project......?

  3. #3
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    Just had time to flip thru a few pages, but I think FWW latest issue has a planer sled to do much the same??

    I like your re-invention too. If rough sawn or coarse textured makes for tough pushing, maybe line the 'ways' of the fixture w/ thin UHMW?
    Molann an obair an saor.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    Just had time to flip thru a few pages, but I think FWW latest issue has a planer sled to do much the same??

    I like your re-invention too. If rough sawn or coarse textured makes for tough pushing, maybe line the 'ways' of the fixture w/ thin UHMW?
    Malcolm,

    I have a planer sled, it looks much the same. The problem with using the planer is it is slow going with multiple passes. The course texture is no problem, I expect in a short time it will be worn smooth and at that time may need a little wax but I doubt it will need anything as wood on wood is usually pretty slick.

    ken

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Seems there was another video out....done by Norm Abram,,,when he made the Pencil Post bed project......?
    Steven, now you tell me

    ken

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    [edited]
    I would guess there is a better way to do the job but this jig works a treat. A quick four passes through the saw and a couple of passes on each facet with a plane and you have an octagon leg blank ready for the lathe.

    ken
    A better way? To me the best way is the one that got the job done.

    There are sure to be many other ways and some may be better, maybe not.

    My first thought would be something that rides in the miter gauge slot. Maybe have a way to adjust it for tapering.

    The medullary rays on the side of your set up looks nice. They would look great if planed and finished.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    A better way? To me the best way is the one that got the job done.

    There are sure to be many other ways and some may be better, maybe not.

    My first thought would be something that rides in the miter gauge slot. Maybe have a way to adjust it for tapering.

    The medullary rays on the side of your set up looks nice. They would look great if planed and finished.

    jtk
    Jim,

    When I thought about making a jig that would cut octagons and taper the blank at the same time my head started to hurt . Not too long ago C.S. posted about using a jointer to taper the blank. While I haven't tried it, I expect this jig would work with a tapered square blank. BTW, my first thoughts were a jig that would move, in other words, either ride against the fence or use the miter slot to take the blank through the saw blade. It didn't take too long to realize that a stationary jig that allowed only the blank to move was an easier solution.

    BTW, my next jig may be one to cut hexagons, maybe , if my head does't hurt too much while thinking it through , because many of the early stick chairs and tables had hexagon legs.

    ken

  8. #8
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    Ken,
    years ago I used to teach an intro to Hand planing class in which we would make a tapered octagonal table leg. There is a good amount of technique that can be mastered fairly easily and cannot be done by machine without using multiple jigs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
    Ken,
    years ago I used to teach an intro to Hand planing class in which we would make a tapered octagonal table leg. There is a good amount of technique that can be mastered fairly easily and cannot be done by machine without using multiple jigs.
    Keith,

    I have no trouble doing the legs by hand but like four squaring rough timber sometimes it is nice to have your electronic apprentice do the scut work.

    ken

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    ...While I haven't tried it, I expect this jig would work with a tapered square blank.
    Your jig will nicely make octagonal a square blank, and then you could taper it on a jointer using the Troy Sexton method, without any jigs. I don't think it would work in the reverse order.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Keith,

    I have no trouble doing the legs by hand but like four squaring rough timber sometimes it is nice to have your electronic apprentice do the scut work.

    ken
    You don't have to tell me:

    Big Hunk of Wood.jpg

    This was rough cut with a chain saw mill and the sides were trimmed freehand with a chain saw. My daughter's boyfriend helped me wrestle it through the bandsaw to end up with this:

    After the Bandsaw.jpg

    It is still a lot of planing to do.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Schwabacher View Post
    Your jig will nicely make octagonal a square blank, and then you could taper it on a jointer using the Troy Sexton method, without any jigs. I don't think it would work in the reverse order.
    Alan,

    That was my thought as well, but will not know for sure until wood hits cutter.

    ken

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    You don't have to tell me:

    Big Hunk of Wood.jpg

    This was rough cut with a chain saw mill and the sides were trimmed freehand with a chain saw. My daughter's boyfriend helped me wrestle it through the bandsaw to end up with this:

    After the Bandsaw.jpg

    It is still a lot of planing to do.

    jtk
    Jim,

    Two thoughts, first: LOL. Second:Oh boy do you ever.

    ken

  14. #14
    Ken, neat jig. I have what might be a dumb question: Is the resulting leg octagonal, or septagonal? Looks to me like there are six points to the leg.
    For what it's worth, I made a small dining room table back in the winter, and wasn't crafty enough to do what you did--ended up laying out the final shape with a protractor and lining from each corner up to the shoulder of the leg. Made cuts to the longitudinal lines about every inch or so with a handsaw and chiseled the waste. Came out good, but it wasn't smart.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Droege View Post
    Ken, neat jig. I have what might be a dumb question: Is the resulting leg octagonal, or septagonal? Looks to me like there are six points to the leg.
    For what it's worth, I made a small dining room table back in the winter, and wasn't crafty enough to do what you did--ended up laying out the final shape with a protractor and lining from each corner up to the shoulder of the leg. Made cuts to the longitudinal lines about every inch or so with a handsaw and chiseled the waste. Came out good, but it wasn't smart.
    Dennis,

    The resulting leg has eight faces. The jig holds each face 90 degrees to the saw blade.

    Wow, what a lot of work . To do my legs by hand I use a similar jig/cradle to hold the leg and do the facets with a hand plane.

    Click it to big it:

    cleaningUpLegBlanks.jpg

    ken

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