Lathe not required - morphing square table legs to round

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Project by Scott posted 08-31-2017 09:45 PM 3746 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought this table at an estate sale, but I thought the square legs might look better as round legs. So I just turned 4 sides into 8 sides then 8 sides to 16 sides, then used a rasp and voila, round legs. The first picture is the ‘before’ and the second picture is the ‘after’, followed by 4 sides, 8 sides, 16 sides.

Here I am marking the cardboard profile onto the 4 sides.

This shows the 4 sides after using a plane to cut down to the profile lines.

Now I am marking lines for the 8 sides. You can use an online octagonal calculator to get the width of each side. Since the top is larger than the bottom, you can just run one calculation for the top and one calculation for the bottom. I just marked it at the top and at the bottom and used a ruler between those marks to draw the line.

Here are the 8 sides after planing them down.

I repeat the process for 16 sides, using an online hexadecogon calculator to get the width of the sides at the top and bottom, and draw lines, and plane them down.

Then I used a rasp to round it off and to remove the bottom ball.

-- Scott in North Carolina

10 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1446 days

#1 posted 08-31-2017 10:05 PM

Looks much better … good job!

View ralbuck's profile


6551 posts in 3065 days

#2 posted 08-31-2017 10:32 PM

Great save!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Scott 's profile


281 posts in 3066 days

#3 posted 08-31-2017 10:33 PM

Thanks Ron! You never know what will happen when you start but I thought it turned out well.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3568 posts in 4511 days

#4 posted 09-01-2017 04:35 AM


The improvement is really remarkable! Great job!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3665 days

#5 posted 09-01-2017 01:34 PM

Nice work! If you don’t have a lathe then be creative.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View theart's profile


201 posts in 1353 days

#6 posted 09-01-2017 05:21 PM

Even if you had a lathe, this might still be easier than getting the legs off and back on. Also, great job matching the finish.

View Scott 's profile


281 posts in 3066 days

#7 posted 09-01-2017 08:20 PM

theart: Right, the legs were glued on so a lathe wouldn’t be much help in this case, so you just have to do it the old fashioned way. I did do a little stain mixing to try to match it reasonably well, but I think Early American would have worked straight out of the can.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View rtbrmb's profile


728 posts in 3187 days

#8 posted 09-02-2017 01:32 PM

Very clever & a nice improvement,

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View a1Jim's profile


118075 posts in 4376 days

#9 posted 09-02-2017 02:15 PM

Super job Scott, there’s more than one way to round a leg.


View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3632 days

#10 posted 09-05-2017 08:50 PM

I’m with the guys above, this is WAY better than before!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

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