Making Six-Sided Tapered Legs

Step-by-step directions for cutting a 6-sided tapered shaft on a table saw. August 30, 2005

I'm looking for a method to make six-sided, tapered legs, about 2" across at the top, 3/4" at the bottom, and 21 inches long.

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(Furniture Making Forum) has an ornamental milling machine that is just what you need. You might contact them and ask for the names of a few machine owners located in your area. Maybe they could run the parts for you.

You can make a simple jig that rides over your table saw fence. Make a square for the top of the leg jig and place six holes equally around with a center pivot hole. Secure the leg stock to the square with a couple of screws to be removed at completion. You will use a peg to hold the stock at each of the six points. The lower side of the jig will have a single pivot point that represents the bottom of the taper for your leg. Using the fence as your straight edge, you will get uniform tapers for all six sides by simply rotating the top for each of the cuts. Use a scraper or jointer to clean up the rip marks from your blade.

Six sided legs - no problem. Glue up a 2" square blank. Joint 2 adjacent sides - must be 90 degrees. Surface mill square to 1-7/8. With a right tilt table saw, set blade at 30 degrees and set rip fence 1-3/4 to left of fence. Rip opposite faces both sides. This will give you a six-sided blank. Mark sides 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 with 1 being the thickest side. Surface sides 1-2-3, remark, then reduce surface's mill height 1/8 turn and mill and remark sides 4-5-6. Repeat until desired top thickness is achieved. Return blade to 90 degrees and set taper jig to desired taper. Holding one side to the jig, rip opposite to taper on sides 1-2-3. Reset jig to adjust for taper and rip last three sides.

I make lot of six sided pieces in my shop.