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Thread: Making round tapered curved legs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Northern Oregon
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    1,210

    Making round tapered curved legs

    How would you make round tapered curved legs like these. I'd like to do as little hand shaping as possible ( I need to make 40 legs) Mine start at 2 5/8'' diameter and end at 3/4" diameter at the floor.

    The only thing I can think of is start at the bottom with a 3/8" radius router bit and round each edge to the 1"by1" point. Then start with a 1/2'' radius bit and move on up to end with a 1 1/4" radius bit. Then I'd fair out/ blend the areas that aren't fully rounded by the router.
    http://www.treadwaygallery.com/ONLIN...mages/1002.jpg

    The front legs on chair #CR103 is very close to what I'm making.
    http://www.pollaro.com/rh_chairs.php

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Make them straight then steam bend.
    Fullerbuilt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
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    6,614
    No matter how you do it, it is going to take a while. Curves always take lots more time than straight. You might just do well with hand work. You can actually taper and round legs pretty rapidly with a handplane, and use a sander to remove the facets left by the the planes.

    Or, of course, if budget is the issue, you could simplify the design.

  4. #4
    Turn the wood while green and steam bend? Just a guess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Northern Oregon
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    Thanks for the ideas. Steam bending is probably out because I'm using kiln dried african mahogany and I don't have a lathe.
    I may be able to use walnut and I do have some of that in fresh cut small logs. I'll test bend some walnut.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado (Saddle Rock)
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    You could go with bent laminations. Make the form so you could glue up a wide lamination and rip them on the BS. I'd shoot for 2 legs from one bend. At 40 legs, there is no way you would want to cut the curves out of solid stock.

    Use routers and spoke shaves for most of the shaping. For the router operation, you could make a sled that makes the taper.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Northern Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip Rodriquez View Post
    You could go with bent laminations.

    For the router operation, you could make a sled that makes the taper.
    Thanks Philip,
    The lamina would have to be tapered if I bent laminated the legs,and all the glue lines wouldn't look right for this design.

    Have you rounded a taper with a sled? Since the radius increases as the diameter increases I can't picture it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    825
    I made something similar a while back. I thought about the steam bending, but it seemed like too much hassle. I started with 6/4 stock approximately 4" wide. I drew the taper on the 1-1/2" side and made the cuts on the band saw. I hot glued one of the waste pieces back in place so that I could lay the piece flat, then cut the curve on the face of the piece, again on the bandsaw. Seems like I must have cut the top where the joinery was on the tablesaw as a first step... Anyway, after making the cuts on the bandsaw, I used a corner round router bit to take off most of the material then shaped by hand with a rasp (didn't have a spoke shave). I continued with finer files, sandpaper, etc. until I had the shape right and the legs were smooth. Ended up better than I expected and took less time than I expected, even with all the hand work.

    Hope that helps! Keep us posted on how your project goes and how you end up doing it!
    Man advances just in proportion that he mingles thought with his labor. - Ingersoll

  9. #9
    Andrew, I'm going to PM you but just in case I'll post here. Though some set of events I ended up getting a couple copies of the book "Wood Bending Made Simple" by Lon Schleining. It has a companion DVD that goes with it and looks to be quite good, I haven't had a chance to read it yet, waiting for the first project I guess. I've kind of taken a fancy to arched windows and want to give one a shot. Actually the heck with the PM, I really just forget to check those. Please do email me at larry206@comcast.net with your address if you'd like to get it and I'll get it in the mail tomorrow morning. I'll take my payment in Karma thank you. Was thinking about posting here to give it away but with 40 legs like those to build you need all the help we can offer. So email me.
    Larry Rasmussen,
    Seattle

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Marquette MI
    Posts
    433
    Why don't you contact the Pollaro Furniture Co. and ask them how they made the legs?

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