Legs – Part 1


In an ideal world, the legs would be riven from a pristine oak tree; coddled from acorn to maturity, perfectly straight grain, no knots, lovingly air-dried, and garnished with arugula.  But since I live in the Northwest, that’s never gonna happen.  Douglas-fir for days; oak, not so much.

So I sifted through the stout hardwoods at the local supplier (including oak) and bought a slab of 12/4 ash.  About half of it is riftsawn, no major knots, and the grain only reverses or kinks three or four times along the length.  With some careful sawing, I think I can keep the grain relatively straight in each leg piece.

I used the tablesaw to rip the slab into thirds.  From there I could figure out where to cut out the leg blanks.

I bought some art board about 1/16″ thick to make positive and negative templates for the legs.  I mostly used the negative template so I could see the grain and tweak the alignment.

I made a fence with clamps for the ripping jig to make the tapered rips for the legs.  Almost 3″ of ash on top of the plywood jig was too tall for the tablesaw to quite cut through, so I finished with a handsaw.  Once I had the taper in one direction, though, then the perpendicular taper rip only left a small portion to plane off at the thick end.


At length I had four leg blanks as tapered squares.  Well, pseudo-squares anyway.