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Thread: How to shape radius table legs

  1. #1

    How to shape radius table legs

    Hi, I'm interested in building a table similar to the one in the attached photo. I'm wondering how to round the outer edge of the table legs into a soft radius as shown. You'll notice that the inside edges are square. I was thinking several passes on a shaper with a large roundover bit? Thanks for the input!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grassy Lake Alberta
    Posts
    926
    That is a one pass proposition on a shaper. You could either build a sled with hold down clamps and registration blocks to hold the leg precisely and feed by hand . Or if you have a power feeder set up and run it thru.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grassy Lake Alberta
    Posts
    926
    If you use the sled option you will need a rub bearing sized to your cutter. Also when you make the sled it should be at least a foot longer than your legs so you can contact the rub bearing before the cutter engages the stock. If making the profile in one pass makes you nervous you could also remove some stock with a chamfer cut before running the profile on the shaper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    8,617
    I'm mostly a power tool guy, but that task can be done quickly and accurately with a hand plane. Mark the desired curves on the top and the bottom of the leg. Clamp the leg so that you can run the plane end to end without hitting the clamps; I'd use a bench dog and an end vise, but you may have some other scheme in your shop. Use the handplane to cut down to the lines at the top and bottom. You can do it in just a couple of minutes. When you're done with the plane, you'll have facets on the surface. They come right out with a sander. Using the handplace, you can even make a larger radius at the top than at the bottom, which is not something you can do with a roundover bit.

    Whatever you do, mill the mortises in the leg top before you do the rounding over. While the leg is still square, you can easily hold it while you cut the mortises.

  5. #5
    I really appreciate these replies, thanks!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,404
    As with Jamie, I would saw the legs straight, then mark the round section, and plane it: rough out with either a jack plane, rasps, drawknife or spokeshave, and finish with scrapers and sandpaper. If you are familiar with hand tools, it is pretty straightforward.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    6,370
    You can round edges with a router and a round over bit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    688
    Start with a 45 cut on the table saw then go to the hand planes.

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