Table Leg

So, here’s the table-leg prototype.  It is tapered from 3 3/4” to 2 1/2” or so.  I cut the tapers using the jointer, this my favorite way to cut tapers.  I should have taken some pictures of the process…but, these were all taken after the fact.

The basic process is this:

  1. Set a stopblock on the outlet side of the jointer so that the center is directly over the cutter head.
  2. Set the depth of cut to 1/2 of the desired total depth.
  3. Push the workpiece into the jointer desired maximum tapered end first.
  4. Repeat on all four sides.
  5. Remove the stop block.
  6. Flip the workpiece around so that the cut is facing away from the cutter-head.
  7. Push down on the cut end, so that the workpiece teeters down and ramps the other end into the air.
  8. Push the workpiece into the jointer while holding the end down.
  9. the jointer will cut the taper so that it just barely touches the end of the leg, and cuts into the opposite end by 2x the set depth.

It takes longer to describe, than it does to do.  Much easier to explain with pictures, too.  Anyway, here’s the end result.  The taper is more dramatic in person, but it is still subtle.


It took me a while to workout how I wanted to cut the mortises.  The issue is the taper.  I couldn’t decide whether to cut the mortises before or after tapering the leg.  I finally decided to cut them AFTER, and use spacers made out of scrap to wedge the piece back to square where needed.  I really only needed to prop up the bottom of the leg so that the mortises would be perpendicular to the centerline.  I wanted the back edge to be parallel to the mortiser axis. This is how the mortise is parallel to the taper.  I also had to add a spacer between the mortiser clamp.  It has a small amount of swivel, but not enough to compensate for the taper in this leg.

So, once I had that all worked out, I cut the hole for the peg, first.  That ensures that the back of the peg hole is square and doesn’t break out.  If you cut the mortise first, then when you cut the peg hole, it can shatter the wall of the mortise.  Anway, here is the end result.  All in all it worked out very well.  I had no issues being precise.


Here is the finished leg, ready for a template apron with tenon to fit into the mortise.


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