Forge table #4: Roughing the legs

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 01-03-2021 09:28 PM 369 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Cleaning up the top Part 4 of Forge table series Part 5: Tenons on the legs »

Finally got back to working on the table again today (after almost three months off). All my clamps are busy holding bookcases that got glued up this morning, and it was time to move this forward a bit.

I had made some roughly rectangular pieces of ash for the legs last time. Today I felt good enough about my lathe skills to make them round. At 32” long, they’re about the longest piece I can work in my lathe.

I put on the Nova chuck with the 2” jaws. That can reliably hold pieces this size. And I put the live center on the other end of the lathe.

Then I found centers on the four legs. This one was the worst, so I left it for last.

I guess I should probably do a better job of getting square legs (or octagons) and I would if I was using the bungie lathe, but electricity makes me lazy.

Took me about a half-hour per leg, including futzing-around-time, but I’ve got four round legs now.

I still have a fair amount of work to do. The all need ¾” tenons turned on one end, and they’re currently 1⅝” – I’ll do some sort of spindle turning to make them pretty and to practice. Plus I’ll need two stretchers with a central piece to hold them in an X, and I’ll need to drill holes in the legs for the stretchers. But today’s Sunday, and I’ve done enough for today.

Plus I need to sweep up and take out the trash. I’ve got more than a 5 gallon bucket of little ash chips that came off with the roughing gouge.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

9 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3167 posts in 3201 days

#1 posted 01-03-2021 10:10 PM

Starting with a square segment doesn’t matter that much, it’ll still turn round. Nice work.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6868 posts in 1593 days

#2 posted 01-03-2021 10:14 PM

Yeah, that’s what I figured. But it was an awful lot of waste… I could’ve made a picture frame from the extra wood that ended up flying all over the shop.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile


12928 posts in 4100 days

#3 posted 01-03-2021 11:38 PM

Looking good Dave.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View crowie's profile


4334 posts in 2962 days

#4 posted 01-03-2021 11:46 PM

They look great to my eye Dave, well done sir.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6868 posts in 1593 days

#5 posted 01-04-2021 01:21 AM

Thanks, Mads & Peter. I’ll do more work on them, but I’m new enough to turning that I’m taking it one step at a time. Very deliberate.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile


10151 posts in 3054 days

#6 posted 01-04-2021 02:03 PM

Yep, sawdust from a lathe accumulates quickly. Looks like you’re half way there with the legs. I’m with you Dave, I try to cut the stock the closest to the diameter needed so I can use the rest for something else but it doesn’t always work out. Looks good.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6868 posts in 1593 days

#7 posted 01-04-2021 04:35 PM

I’d say a little less than half, Dave. I might carve feet on the ends of the legs, too. Or maybe not, we’ll see how it goes, but for the moment, this is the lowest priority project of the bunch, so it only gets time when I’ve got all my clamps tied up clamping bookcases and have swept up whatever mess got generated making them.

If I could cut a straighter line with the bandsaw, I probably would’ve had four 2x¼x30 pieces of ash for another project when I was all done, but yeah, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1102 posts in 2303 days

#8 posted 01-05-2021 05:12 PM

Can’t wait to see you table Dave.
How’s the HF lathe so far?

-- James E McIntyre

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6868 posts in 1593 days

#9 posted 01-05-2021 05:59 PM

James, I’ve been real happy with the lathe. I might need to pile more crap on its stand to dampen vibrations when I throw something very out of balance on it, and I added a Nova chuck almost immediately, which made me a lot happier, but I think it was a pretty good deal for the money.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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