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Thread: Tapered leg advice

  1. #1
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    Tapered leg advice

    I am making this dresser and it looks to have a tapered leg on all four sides. Leg is 1-3/4 square. How small would you take it down to and how far up the leg would you begin the taper? I was thinking a 1/2" taper overall, so 1-1/4 at the bottom, but this seems like a lot and starting say 6" from the bottom?
    Thanks.
    Brian
    Brian

  2. #2
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    That sounds reasonable to me. But it's somewhat subjective based on the overall design of the piece, too, as well as with proportional elements. Draw out a full scale representation of the bottom corner of the case at full size and a representation of at least the right or left half top to bottom to see if it looks right to you. It's very worth the time for you to do this just to be sure before you commit to expensive wood.
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  3. #3
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    Yes, depends on the style and height of the dresser. My usual is just to taper the inside faces so the straight case visual line extends all the way to the floor.

  4. #4
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    The "look" you are after will drive your dimensions. Small variations in taper can have a dramatic appearance impact. Do some sketches and your answer will clarify.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  5. #5
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    I'd take your leg stock and start penciling in some tapers, you will quickly realize what looks good and what doesnt.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That sounds reasonable to me. But it's somewhat subjective based on the overall design of the piece, too, as well as with proportional elements. Draw out a full scale representation of the bottom corner of the case at full size and a representation of at least the right or left half top to bottom to see if it looks right to you. It's very worth the time for you to do this just to be sure before you commit to expensive wood.

    Jim, forgot the attachment. brianqs dresser.jpg
    Brian

  7. #7
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    Ah, now seeing the form . . . I would taper the inside surfaces only by about 3/16" starting just below the base of the stretchers. Of course this is a matter of taste. That style of piece feels more "grounded" to me visually with a straight shot from under the top to the floor at the outside corners.

    Let me stress that there is no right or wrong here. Case in point, my current version of a dining room buffet seems to have gotten tapers on the outer surfaces of the legs somehow; from under the top to the floor.
    leg Taper Shot.jpg
    Although the style is in the same family as what you show, the outside tapers just felt better to me. They may or may not make it to the final version so there you have it . . . a straight answer
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-01-2020 at 2:52 PM.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Ah, now seeing the form . . . I would taper the inside surfaces only by about 3/16" starting just below the base of the stretchers. Of course this is a matter of taste. That style of piece feels more "grounded" to me visually with a straight shot from under the top to the floor at the outside corners.

    Let me stress that there is no right or wrong here. Case in point, my current version of a dining room buffet seems to have gotten tapers on the outer surfaces of the legs somehow; from under the top to the floor.
    leg Taper Shot.jpg
    Although the style is in the same family as what you show, the outside tapers just felt better to me. They may or may not make it to the final version so there you have it . . . a straight answer

    Thanks Glenn
    Brian

  9. #9
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    You can extend the vertical lines on that diagram to estimate the approximate taper to duplicate the design...what you originally proposed is likely close to that.
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  10. #10
    Short legs often have more taper variations than long tapers . The ancient obilisks were 1 to 10 and that's what the
    Washington Monument has. Never heard a complaint

  11. #11
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    I keep 2x4 stock at the shop to make mockups of stuff like tapered legs. I will usually surface and cut the "design" leg with all my other stock. Then I go to the shaper and see what it will look like for real, before machining the real thing.

  12. #12
    post 6 drawing looking at the side view before I could digest that design I dont get why the right hand leg or rear is closest to the wall is wider. It stands out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    post 6 drawing looking at the side view before I could digest that design I dont get why the right hand leg or rear is closest to the wall is wider. It stands out.
    I think that's just a distortion in the rendering. The only dimensioning information in the drawing regarding the width of the legs is that 1-3/4" square in the side drawing - so I think, by convention, that means all four legs are 1-3/4" square.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kees View Post
    I keep 2x4 stock at the shop to make mockups of stuff like tapered legs. I will usually surface and cut the "design" leg with all my other stock.
    This is an excellent practice...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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