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Shaker Style Leg Tapers

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Forum topic by Beats85 posted 03-17-2019 11:43 PM 392 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Beats85

24 posts in 121 days


03-17-2019 11:43 PM

I’m getting started on a Shaker inspired writing desk and have a question about the leg tapers. Originally I seemed to recall that the tapers were only on the inside faces of each leg (2 faces, the ones with the joinery). Since I started doing my research/planning, I’ve seen a few instances where people tapered all for faces of each leg.

Is one more common than the other? I’m planning on the legs being 1.5” square and was thinking of tapering the inside 2 faces of each leg down to 1” or maybe even 3/4” of an inch.

Thoughts?


13 replies so far

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Rich

4263 posts in 917 days


#1 posted 03-18-2019 12:08 AM

I’ve seen both too, but I find the four-sided taper looks odd. Just my opinion, not based on any traditional designs. What I like about the inside two-faced taper is that it gives the appearance of the legs angling out. It’s just an optical illusion of course, but it’s so real looking that sometimes I have to pull out my tape measure to convince myself :)

So my vote is inside taper.

P.S. I recall a project on here where the LJ had put the taper on the outside two faces of the legs only. I commented that I thought he had it backwards, but he sent me a link to the original piece that was cut that way. I was definitely wrong, but I still think it looked very odd.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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MikeDilday

186 posts in 787 days


#2 posted 03-18-2019 12:12 AM

For a desk, if you are going to have long legs, I definitely would only do inside taper. I guess for short legs say 6” 4 sided taper would look better.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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CWWoodworking

355 posts in 507 days


#3 posted 03-18-2019 12:33 AM



I ve seen both too, but I find the four-sided taper looks odd.

- Rich

+1

I’ve seen a few designs I really like with the taper on the outside, but the leg is upside down(traditionally speaking). Definitely not shaker though.

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Woodknack

12726 posts in 2708 days


#4 posted 03-18-2019 12:57 AM

I think there are styles with outside tapers but they are usually round or bowed, not Shaker style. Mom had a round table with tapered legs, black laquer, with marble top.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Beats85

24 posts in 121 days


#5 posted 03-18-2019 03:11 AM

Thanks for the feedback! On a somewhat related topic – the desk/vanity I’m building is relatively small – 38” long by 18” deep. I’m planning on 1.5” square legs. I’ve seen anywhere from 1 1/8” legs for small side tables to 1 3/4” legs for larger desks.

I assume 1.5” is a good middle ground?

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Rich

4263 posts in 917 days


#6 posted 03-18-2019 04:05 AM


I assume 1.5” is a good middle ground?

- Beats85

How tall are your aprons going to be? What reveal are you looking at between the top and base?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Beats85

24 posts in 121 days


#7 posted 03-18-2019 05:05 AM

Rich,

I was planning on 4.5” aprons for an overall drawer height of 3” (2.5” deep after accounting for bottom).

Not sure I understand what you mean about reveal between top and base? If I understand correctly, I was planning on a 1” overhang of the top on all sides.

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Rich

4263 posts in 917 days


#8 posted 03-18-2019 06:07 AM

Yes, the overhang was what I meant. I think you have a good overall ratio for your piece. Nice and light. Keep us posted. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Beats85

24 posts in 121 days


#9 posted 03-18-2019 10:17 PM

Thanks for the feedback!


Yes, the overhang was what I meant. I think you have a good overall ratio for your piece. Nice and light. Keep us posted. I m sure it s going to be awesome.

- Rich


View bandit571's profile

bandit571

22562 posts in 3011 days


#10 posted 03-18-2019 10:29 PM

Something like this?

Another view?

Legs are tapered on the 2 inside faces, only…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Beats85

24 posts in 121 days


#11 posted 03-23-2019 01:34 AM

Bandit,

That’s about it, though I’m planning two drawers on the long side of the table. How tall are your aprons? I was thinking an overall height of 30” and an apron of 4.5” high.

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bandit571

22562 posts in 3011 days


#12 posted 03-23-2019 02:23 AM

Aprons are 5-3/8” wide….used a 1×6..

Drawer has two sections, front section is like a normal drawer, divider even looks like the back of the drawer…except there is the “hidden” section behind that divider/back…

Table is just under 26” high. Was made as a bedside table…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Beats85

24 posts in 121 days


#13 posted 04-03-2019 01:23 PM

Just a quick revival as I’m about ready to start tapering the legs! Here is a photo of my progress so far:

Thanks for the feedback!

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