Bookmatching 4 faces on table legs or case corners.

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Project by Karson posted 10-23-2009 03:19 AM 4497 views 10 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my planning for a Shaker Table to be made at the Mason Dixon Woodworking workshop, I wanted to make one out of some maple burl that I had collected.

The log was at the sawmill in Feb 2007 I posted a blog on getting that wood in a blog here.

I wanted all 4 legs to be bookmatched on the outer face side. I had never seen it done so I sat down with some wood and attempted it, to see if it could be done.

I started out with a 5 X 7” piece from the center of the log Picture 2. I cut it into a 4 X 4” square and 30” long. I then ripped it on the bandsaw into 4 – 2 X 2” legs. Picture 3. I labeled all of the bookmatched faces with an A, B, C, D notification. When I opened up the cuts you can see the bookmatched faces min pictures 4 and 6.

So it now became the puzzle as to how to move the pieces around so that the outside faces would be the bookmatch and not the inside faces that you see in pictures 4 and 5..

So here is the scheme that I came up with and it works.

1) You must start out with one piece of wood that will allow you to cut all 4 legs at one time, not flat boards that you glue together.

2) you must label the boards to have the same letter on all matching faces A-D. This will allow you to put them back together in a case where they get all mixed up.

3) I also marked a bulls eye in the center four corners where they are all matched up. (My pictures don’t show the bulls eye but the paper drawing does.)

4) Holding all four legs as they originally were in the board, take the first leg and flip it so the identification is on the opposite end and the portion of the bulls eye is the outside corner. Do the same for all four legs.

5) When you turn it around so you are looking at the identification again the four portions of the bulls eye should be the outside corners and all 4 face edges are book matched.

Paper Drawing

The results.

It works. Give it a try. I’ll show the table in another post.

The table is here.
Click for details

-- 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]

27 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7280 posts in 4330 days

#1 posted 10-23-2009 03:25 AM

Great blog on how to make an excellent looking leg.
Thanks for the info.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Napaman's profile


5534 posts in 5053 days

#2 posted 10-23-2009 03:35 AM

wow…I thought this post was going to be about the building you were going to make with carved roman columns out of all those logs…yet…despite my incorrect assumption…I am once again impressed with the shared knowledge…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View dustyal's profile


1320 posts in 4451 days

#3 posted 10-23-2009 03:40 AM

... so much to learn… and trust me … I saw his table parts and it was some really great looking wood. This is what I was teasing about in my shaker table post… Karson just couldn’t do poplar like the rest of us.

I know bookmatched panels… but I would never think bookmatched legs.

Great post Karson.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View peruturner's profile


317 posts in 4338 days

#4 posted 10-23-2009 04:11 AM

Ohh those burls Im crying they would have made great turnings,lol

View blackcherry's profile


3345 posts in 4799 days

#5 posted 10-23-2009 04:23 AM

Priceless blog Karson, the wood selection should make for a stunning piece of furniture. Can’t wait to see the table enjoy the journey and thanks for the post…Blkcherry

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4457 days

#6 posted 10-23-2009 04:34 AM

Looks great, can’t wait to see the final table. Love that wood too, would love a piece to chuck up on the lathe.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View lew's profile


13274 posts in 4731 days

#7 posted 10-23-2009 05:06 AM

Thanks for the lesson, Karson!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View trimtrac's profile


59 posts in 4205 days

#8 posted 10-23-2009 05:15 AM

I sure appreciate the information and lesson.This site has been very helpful to me with guys like you, sharing information to us “Rookies”.

-- Which way did they go? Tell me, tell me I must know I'm there leader!!

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4997 days

#9 posted 10-23-2009 05:34 AM

This is going to be a beauty!

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View EzJack's profile


457 posts in 4146 days

#10 posted 10-23-2009 06:40 AM

love it

-- Ain't better or worse than any other woodpecker in the woods.

View a1Jim's profile


118155 posts in 4553 days

#11 posted 10-23-2009 06:46 AM

View jack1's profile


2158 posts in 5003 days

#12 posted 10-23-2009 06:49 AM

I want some of that wood! What a great top or front it would make!

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5275 days

#13 posted 10-23-2009 01:00 PM

That’s going to be one heck of a table.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4798 days

#14 posted 10-23-2009 02:19 PM

Thanks, Karson. This is a pretty interesting technique.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1109 posts in 4783 days

#15 posted 10-23-2009 02:49 PM

Very useful blog post! Re: the trees! Some people would only see firewood…LJs see gold! thanks.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

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