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Thread: how are these table legs rounded over?

  1. #1

    how are these table legs rounded over?

    While looking at table designs I found myself trying to decide how these table legs were constructed:

    https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...djADRcQ9pwGCAg

    Please forgive the etsy link; couldn't figure out how to save/copy/paste just one of the photos.

    Looks like a flush trim bit to match the table top to the legs. But the leg round over is quite large; was this done on a shaper?

  2. #2
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    I would expect it to have been done on a shaper, big industrial equipment or CNC or a combination. In my shop I am imagining, band saw, table saw, router, spoke shave, rasp, sandpaper. I have cut turned pieces into quarters, The wings would have to be glued on. It is sort of like an inside-out guitar neck.

    After more oogling, this seems to be hand made.

    RusticHouseInteriors | Etsy

    Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 6.40.52 AM.png Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 6.40.52 AM.jpeg
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 05-26-2022 at 8:15 AM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
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    I suspect this was a lamination glued up around a pipe form with a 90 degree outside form containing the corresponding outer radius. The rest of the leg shape would be easily made with a router template to get the wings and taper.

  4. #4
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    There's no visual of the inside of the legs, but I'd build them "square" and then round over the corner to the appropriate radius using whatever method was practical and available which can range from simple hand tools like rasps/spoke shaves, etc. all the way to a beefy shaper. You basically start with more wood than you need and just remove what isn't needed.
    --

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

  5. #5
    It's a bent lamination around a radiused form. You can see there's an inside radius. Also, the with at the top suggest that it isn't cut from a solid block.

  6. #6
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    The photos are so tiny, that I can't see that detail, Johnny. I guess I missed something.
    --

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

  7. #7
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    That could be veneer. The maker describes it as being solid. the inside of the leg looks like a flat diagonal to me.

    Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 12.27.31 PM.png
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 05-26-2022 at 2:07 PM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  8. #8
    At first blush I was thinking ~3x3" legs that were sent through a shaper using a giant round over cutter head. Would be great to see the inside of the legs, but the photos don't allow for close up inspection..

    I hadn't thought about laminated and formed legs; the seller's asking price would certainly support such building techniques.

  9. #9
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    I don't think the legs are a bent lamination. I think they are solid wood, formed with a big shaper cutter, and then joined to the rails.
    I used to make legs about that size for a company I worked for. Most of them were in pine, but I used poplar, oak or maple occasionally.
    It was a pretty fearsome set-up on the shaper It was a big Rockwell shaper with a 1 1/4"spindle. The shaper cutter was a 3" radius cutter, and weighed about 5 lbs. I would set it up and use feather boards on the top and side to hold the leg blank against the fence. A couple of times I decided not to bother with the feather boards and ran the legs freehand with a push stick.I was young and overconfident, and thankfully, it didn't get me. I still cringe when I think about it, though.
    The legs of the table shown in the original post look like they are rectangular and go across the corner at a 45 degree angle. The outside corner would be rounded off and the inside corners slightly rounded. You would have to hold the leg blank at an angle to run it through the shaper, but a simple jig would hold it.
    Rick
    Rick

  10. #10
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    I don't think these legs are made from one solid piece of wood - my reasons are that this method would use / waste an enormous amount of wood, for starters. The "return" at the top for the apron tenon is very pronounced, it's a visual feature.
    These are "small batch production" tables - the seller offers them in a range of finishes - and just from a financial perspective I don't see how this would be all that viable.
    In addition I think it would be a risky way to do production runs, with that big a "return" (what's the correct word?) you'll have some breakage, and that's a lot of material to go to waste.
    I think these legs were built up and veneered.
    Or they were made in two parts, a left and right mirrored pieces that are joined at the outside length with straight grain meeting straight grain. The ebonizing then hides any inconsistencies.

  11. #11
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    I also thing there's a third piece of wood that is applied on the inside of the leg. I think this third piece fits into the internal 90 corner and is rounded somewhat on the other side - when I look at the photos it looks like this.

  12. #12
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    The thing about trimming the top to the legs and apron is that it will only be flush at that same time next year. The top will shrink next winter and be inside the apron. Make sure you dye the tops of the apron so you won't see raw wood this winter. Next summer the apron will be covered again. If the outside of the leg is a full radius, you could glue up 4 pieces of stock with brown paper in the joint and turn it on a lathe. Split it apart for the 4 legs.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 05-27-2022 at 11:41 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    The thing about trimming the top to the legs and apron is that it will only be flush at that same time next year. The top will shrink next winter and be inside the apron. Make sure you dye the tops of the apron so you won't see raw wood this winter. Next summer the apron will be covered again. If the outside of the leg is a full radius, you could glue up 4 pieces of stock with brown paper in the joint and turn it on a lathe. Split it apart for the 4 legs.
    Interesting thoughts on wood movement there.

  14. #14
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    How the legs are originally made and how I would make them are two completely different things. Building a one off is totally different than producing thousands of them.

    I think Jim's approach makes sense for one off construction. I also think that the table could probably be bought for less than it would cost to make it. But if you want to tweak the design for your needs that makes complete sense to me. I too would guess that the production table is laminated as a bent piece to maximize material usage. I would not try to emulate that approach if I were making my own though.
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 05-28-2022 at 4:11 AM.

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