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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Default Question About Table Legs?

At the lumber yard where I buy my hardwood, for the most part it is rough cut matererial in thicknesses of 3/4" to a little over an inch.

I'm wonder what other members do in regard to wanting to make legs for small to medium sized tables when they are limited material such I have described.

I have sevral ideas of how to make such legs, but am just courous as what approach others use, to say for example, a 2x2 inch legs with no joints or sides of a workpiece showing. In other words, making the legs appear as though they were cut from a solid piece of material.

Adding veneer to a leg might be a good approach, or cutting four pieces that have the edges cut at 45 degrees and putting them together so that the corners are mitered might work, but I have fear o cutting narrow workpieces with the table saw blade tilted to 45 degrees. I thought of sandwiching MDF and covering the resulting parts with veneer. Or of course just a person could just let the joints show and if the fit is good, the joints might not be very noticeable.

Jerry

Last edited by Jerry Bowen; 02-20-2014 at 06:54 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 11:04 AM
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Two choices on this one Jerry; buy solid material large enough for the legs or glue them up. As a rule glue joints are side to side so they are not obvious on the front face of the project.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 03:34 PM
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Jerry...

Whenever the option is there to go with solid stock for legs, thats my choice hands down. Especially when working with figured woods or wood where the grain is a dominate feature. Keep in mind that everything is relative. What I look for and what you look for may or may not be the same. I like to see consistency around the leg. ie. how the grain flows or the color is consistant etc.. BUT that is something I look for, most folks who don't do woodworking may not even notice. Those that do, may or may not care one way or the other. Still others may be somewhere in the middle.
There are alot of resources out there that sell "leg" stock. This is another good way to save a few bucks. Only concern will be color matching. Even pre-fab legs.
Glueups are a great option. Especially when trying to keep costs down on a project. Here, wood selection is key. Color and grain pattern is important. If you can pair up a couple boards that 'blend' together well, your average Joe will never notice. And for the folks who look for such things, a good glue-up won't go unnoticed. A well thought out finish schedule can also hide the fact that multiple boards were used.
Your mention of 4, 45* is another option, but one you might not want to tackle just yet in your evolution as a woodworker. The longer the leg, the longer the odds of getting it perfect. Knowing your penchant for perfection, this may just send ya over the edge
The only time I would go with a veneer is if I knew for certain that the leg/s would not see any traffic. You could achieve a great look with veneers, but veneers can be prone to nicks and chips especially when subjected to high traffic or use.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 07:09 AM
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If you cannot glue-up or obtain the larger sizes go to Houston Hardwoods (Houston Hardwoods). They have never failed me.

Good Luck - Baker
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Jerry...

Whenever the option is there to go with solid stock for legs, thats my choice hands down. Especially when working with figured woods or wood where the grain is a dominate feature. Keep in mind that everything is relative. What I look for and what you look for may or may not be the same. I like to see consistency around the leg. ie. how the grain flows or the color is consistant etc.. BUT that is something I look for, most folks who don't do woodworking may not even notice. Those that do, may or may not care one way or the other. Still others may be somewhere in the middle.
There are alot of resources out there that sell "leg" stock. This is another good way to save a few bucks. Only concern will be color matching. Even pre-fab legs.
Glueups are a great option. Especially when trying to keep costs down on a project. Here, wood selection is key. Color and grain pattern is important. If you can pair up a couple boards that 'blend' together well, your average Joe will never notice. And for the folks who look for such things, a good glue-up won't go unnoticed. A well thought out finish schedule can also hide the fact that multiple boards were used.
Your mention of 4, 45* is another option, but one you might not want to tackle just yet in your evolution as a woodworker. The longer the leg, the longer the odds of getting it perfect. Knowing your penchant for perfection, this may just send ya over the edge
The only time I would go with a veneer is if I knew for certain that the leg/s would not see any traffic. You could achieve a great look with veneers, but veneers can be prone to nicks and chips especially when subjected to high traffic or use.

Bill,
I think that I need to find a source from which to buy stock that is large enough to make solid legs from. The lumber yard where I buy my material has a great selection of exotic wood and other hard wood but the hard wood is for most part to thin, but I did buy one piece of walnut that was 8' x 10" x 3", about 25 BF and at $7.20 a BF the cost was $180. If I bought another one of those piece and used it only for legs I would be locked into using walnut for my tables for quite a while. Maybe I need to just fine another outlet as I said, but right now I don't have a clue whare that would be.

Jerry
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 02:54 PM
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Jerry
Consider finding dunnage .You may find a species that works for you. Most will be Oak but I've found Ash, Elm, Black Walnut and others as well. It's usually 2.5-4.0 inches square but will usually need to be dried. Truckers that haul structural or rebar steel are a good source.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Jerry
Consider finding dunnage .You may find a species that works for you. Most will be Oak but I've found Ash, Elm, Black Walnut and others as well. It's usually 2.5-4.0 inches square but will usually need to be dried. Truckers that haul structural or rebar steel are a good source.
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Dennis,
I have never heard the term "dunnage" and have never really know any truckers, but thanks for the suggestion, I'll keep my eyes and ears open, sounds like a good idea.

Jerry
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 07:09 PM
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Jerry, using the board you cited as an example. @7.20 bf, thats really not a bad price for thick walnut stock. Say you wanted 24" legs...2" thick. Rip a full 8' x 2" board. That would leave you with a board thats 8'x8"x3". A little mill work could yield you 6 3/4"x4"x4', 2, 1/4"x4"x4' and 2, 3/4"x 2" x 4" boards. In total this might well be enough to support the rest of the project. All the sizes I listed would be +/- depending on what your actually working with but I"m sure you get the idea.
One thing to keep in mind when doing this, is the possibility that once cut, the stock may not stay true to the intended dimensions. Mill it heavy and let it sit for a week.. then do your final dimension milling....
Just something else for you to consider....

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64 ford View Post
Jerry
Consider finding dunnage .You may find a species that works for you. Most will be Oak but I've found Ash, Elm, Black Walnut and others as well. It's usually 2.5-4.0 inches square but will usually need to be dried. Truckers that haul structural or rebar steel are a good source.
Dennis
Some pallets contain 4X4 pieces. Gotta watch for nails, staples, etc., tho. And, depending on where the pallet originated, you could wind up with some exotic foreign wood, teak for example, but I wouldn't bet the ranch on it. And, you can get pallets for free, just pickup, check craigslist. And free wood is always popular wood.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 08:40 AM
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Hi Jerry
Dunnage is just a term for the pieces of wood that are placed under items on a truck so that a forklift can get under them to unload them. Trucking companies that haul other things will have them also. Just phone them and ask them. They will probably be glad to rid of them.
A 12 pack given to whomever helps you load them may help you get some really nice stuff in the future!
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