A new dining room set for my wife! #4: The back legs - A flashback!

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 04-18-2011 11:54 PM 5083 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Gluing up the front legs, bummer! Part 4 of A new dining room set for my wife! series Part 5: The front legs continued. Not bad for a days work! »

Looking back I noticed there was something that I should have gone into a little more detail with.

How I made the template.

I started with the full sized drawing and using tracing paper I traced the outline of the back leg.

Then using some spray adhesive, I glued the tracing paper to a 1/8” thick of MDF. Using a band saw and spindle sander I shaped it real close to the lines. Then using a thin piece of wood with a piece of sandpaper glued to it. I faired the curved edges smooth, leaving the two straight areas for last.

The two straight areas are where the the sides and back get attached. I wanted these to be perfect since I was going to use this template on all the legs. It’s just about impossible to sand two perfectly straight and parallel surfaces so I did it a different way.

There are other ways to do this but this was fast, easy and foolproof.

Here are three templates. The top two have the tracing paper attached.

The top one was a first design that I didn’t use but you can see how the middle one started out.

The middle one has the straight sided insert I added.

The bottom is the final master 1/2” thick template that I used to cut the legs.

What I did was to cut out a piece of wood the exact width and length I wanted. Then glued it into the place where I wanted it.

On the underside you can see that I notched the template and dadoed small piece of wood to get them to fit. Then it was just a matter of the final sanding of the MDF flush with the wood.

After all that was done I used some double sided tape to stick it to the 1/2” MDF and then used the router table to create the master template.

That’s how I made the master template.

Now the bearing on the router bit will have two perfectly straight surfaces to ride along.

NOTE: I really didn’t have to make both sides parallel since I was only going to attach the rails to one side. Having the opposite side parallel will give me a nice flat surface to sit it on while creating the mortises. You will see more or that later.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

3 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5686 days

#1 posted 04-19-2011 03:44 AM

Nice detail gary.


-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4667 days

#2 posted 04-19-2011 10:07 AM

Ah, very clever.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4474 days

#3 posted 04-26-2011 04:32 PM

Nice job.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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