Saturday, February 11, 2012

??Question?? - Milling Table Legs

I am staring at my lumber for the end table project I am starting and the questions are beginning to roll through my empty echo chamber. My wife and close friends tell me I tend to over analyze things and make them way to complicated, but in this case I'd rather ask than make a mistake straight out of the chute.

Scenario  - The stock for my 1.5"x1.5"x25.5" table legs is a rough cut piece of 8/4 White Ash 9"x30". As I think about the milling process I realize my Delta Jointer is a 6" unit. Obviously, in my mind anyway, I do not want to cut the stock to exactly 6" to start the jointing process because there is no waste for milling. My current intention is to cut 2 pieces from the stock to 3.5" wide, flatten one face and square one edge on the jointer. Once I have the 2 pieces flat and square I will split the stock again at the table saw to make the 4 legs and then move back to the jointer to edge joint 2 of the legs and then to the planer for final dimensions.

Before I make a mistake I though I would see what you guys/gals think and whether you had any ideas for a better method. As you may have read in my earlier posts this is my first furniture project and actually only my 3rd or 4th project all together, so I want to be cautious.

Thanks for any assistance or comments you may provide!!!

Until my next post,

Keep Your Mind on your Fingers and your Fingers on your Hands!!!


  1. I would rough out all 4 legs from the stock (2" or so each). You can angle them slightly in the 9" wide board if you need to get some straighter grain. You can also rotate them slightly to get more rift-sawn grain.

    OK - maybe that is going to confuse you further ;) Your method will also work no problem - I'm just trying to:
    1) Go to the jointer once (after roughing out all 4 legs)
    2) Get the best grain on the 4 faces of each leg.

    I'll shoot you a photo on twitter of what I mean by the above (at least, maybe it'll help ;)

  2. "Can you do this with a table saw or do you need a bandsaw?"

    You can definitely get away without a bandsaw. The caveat is to make sure your stock is flat/square enough to safely run through the table saw. You don't want to bind sending twisted stock through the TS!

    You wrote above about cutting two 3.5" pieces from the stock and then starting to mill. So - I assume you have a jigsaw to do that, or it's already flat/square enough to run through the TS.

    I would find where I want the legs then rough out individually or in groups of two with a jigsaw. Then go to the jointer and flatten/square those enough to be safe on my TS. Then use the table saw to rip out the pieces, tilting the blade to the angle I want by sighting down the end where I drew my tilted square.

    Man - sometimes really hard in words! Hope that makes sense.

    Jigsaw to rough out. Jointer to flatten/square enough to use the TS. Tilt the TS blade and rip out the individual legs. Then Joint, plane, TS, etc to get to dimension.