Use the "turn long table leg" instructions in this part of the Door-to-Table wood shop project to begin turning the first leg.

Woodturning and Woodworking - Advanced Project


The next step, "turn long table leg" part of this Door-to-Table wood project, is to turn the first leg so that you can use it as a pattern to turn three more legs as much like it as possible. The tool that I am using in most of these pictures is a shear scraper. Because it is my tool of preference, I use it in place of my older round nose tool. If you do not have a shear scraper, then just use a round nose tool. Click here to learn more about the Robert Sorby shear scraper and other turning tools.

The first picture below shows you the beginning of the process of turning the long table leg from the 3" square turning stock. I have drawn a pencil line 7" from the top of the leg, per the dimension on my pattern. I drew the line on all four sides of the stock. I will begin at this mark and turn the cove and bead design. As you can see in Picture #2, I remove the four edges on the turning stock first. Looking at Picture #3, you will see that I measure my pattern with calipers to determine the depth of the coves. You will put three pencil marks on the stock for the coves - one at the end of the first cove and two for the second cove. After you have marked the turning stock, turn the wood lathe on. Hold the pencil against the stock at each mark so that you can draw your lines all the way around it. In Picture #4, I am using the caliper to sight the depth of the first cove in the stock. I will turn the leg round and measure with the calipers until I have reached the desired depth. Picture #5 shows you the turned cove and bead design.

At the speed that this wood turns, you want to be very careful that you hold the tool securely against the tool rest, as seen in Picture #6, and that you do not push the tool into the wood too fast at one time.

Picture #6: Sorby shear scraper.

Picture of  holding  wood turning shear scraper.


Picture #7 of "turn long table leg" shows you the line where the foot pattern begins. After I have turned all of the leg stock round below the cove and bead, I will lose these markings. This will not matter because my next step after turning the stock round is to go back and mark both the diameter and length of the different segments of the leg. Here, I had marked the top of the foot at 5" above the base of the turning stock, per my pattern, to "see" the leg in the stock before I began turning. Picture #8 shows how to begin turning the foot. For this part of the work on the foot, I am using a parting tool. I will go back to using the shear scraper to turn the stock down. As I turn the foot, I will measure periodically with the calipers to make sure that I don't turn the stock too thin. As you can see in Picture #9, I have finished turning the stock round and have created the foot for the table leg. (You can use a skew chisel before you begin your fine work in place of the shear scraper to turn the stock round. A skew chisel is often used for large spindle work - bed legs as well as table legs.)

The next set of pictures will complete the "turn long table leg" portion of this wood turning and woodworking project.

Picture #1: Begin drawing pattern on woodturning stock.

Picture of first turning step on long table leg.

Picture #2: Begin cove and bead design.

Picture of beginning the cove and bead design of the turned leg.

Picture #3: Measuring with calipers.

Picture of measuring long table leg turning pattern with calipers.

Picture #4: Measure table leg with calipers.

Picture of measuring long table leg wood turning stock with calipers.

Picture #5: Turn cove and bead design.

Picture of turning cove and bead design on the table leg.

Picture #7: Turn foot of leg.

Picture of turning the foot of long oak table leg on a JET wood lathe.

Picture #8: Turn the leg stock round.

Picture of turning foot of long table leg.

Picture #9: Taper stock and finish turning the foot.

Picture of finishing the foot of a long oak table leg.


Go to Door-to-Table 5 to continue "turn long table leg" instructions

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