What's the best way to cut a tapered octagonal chair leg?
The legs are 2" square oak blanks about 15" long. I need to taper them
down to 3/4" with eight sides.
I've got the table saw set up with the taper jig, but I just don't feel
comfortable with it.
Could I taper the blanks first and then cut the four other sides with a
45 degree chamfer on the router table?
Need a second opinion.
Cut the 8 sides on you TS then elevate to the angle that you want on the
back end with a shim and make a pass on your jointer, rotate 180 degrees
repeat. Rotate 90 degrees then 180. Then rotate 45 degrees, then 180
degrees. Then 90 degrees and then 180. After you have a long enough area
to freehand with out the shim run through until you get the length taper
that you want.
Greetings....in a similar situation to yours...I drew out the tapers on
opposing faces and used a bandsaw to cut close to the line, and then too
the line with a plane, then the same with the other two faces..the rest
was done with a plane only, it's not really the fastest way, but you save
sanding time, and your shop stays quiet....
hope this helps....
Go to the very bottom of this page:
The skinny taper jig can be used for 8 sided parts by adding a simple
accessory, shims. What you need to add are shims planed to exactly the
thickness of the blade. Save each wedge shaped waste cutoff, hot glue
shims to them, and tape them back on. The first set of cutoff / shim
parts can be used for all the duplicate legs, you don't have to make new
ones with each leg.
A quick swipe with a cabinet scraper or well tuned #4 will clean off the
minimal blade marks left by this method.
The work piece is held firmly in place for safe, accurate cutting.
I'd use a plane. You're looking at a pretty small blank, using a
plane would be quick. Taper it 4-square, and then use an eight
siding jig to mark it out for the octagonal taper (boatbuilders
use this technique to make spars...you taper them 4-square, then
8-sided, then 16, and finally plane them round). An 8-siding jig
is simply a block with 4 evenly spaced holes drilled thru it, you
stick dowels thru the two outside holes & pencils thru the inner
holes, and run it down your stock, rotating it so the dowels bear
on the stock. Then the pencils will mark the correct lines to
give a true octagonal result.
Searching the web for boatbuilding pages should give some examples.
Here's one for an 8-siding jig:
Thanks for the ideas.
What I ended up doing was using the taper jig from Toplins(sp?) saw
One pass on four sides created the taper needed.
A second pass with the blade set at 45 degrees created the bevel. Not
perfect but pretty close.
I did have a brain freeze there for about a day.
Kinda like when you finish the left side of a bookshelf and realize
you just created another right side...type of thing.
Also made 1 1/2 inch dowels on the ends before tapering them using the
jig from the magic router book. Good stuff that. I wonder when
we'll see volume two.
Anyway just finished carving the back of the chair into a Celtic knot
kind of thing using straight edge razor in a handle. Took most of
the day but the wife likes it.
Take care and thanks.
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