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The money-smart (and attractive) way to build thick legs

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Oops, a gap! Now what?
Pushing leg on jig on table saw
Enlarge Image
Beveled scraps cradle and guide the
leg as you cut a 1/4"-deep kerf the
length of the leg through the open joint.
Patched joint
Enlarge Image
Even with mineral spirits wiped on to
mimic a finish, the patch blends in
nicely with the surrounding wood.

Oops, a gap! Now what?

Even with careful planning, cutting, and assembly, you may end up with a gap in a joint. Don't panic; the fix is simple. First, bevel-rip two straight 1 1/2 x 3 x 24" scraps at 45°. Use the rip fence and a leg to position them on either side of the blade (but not touching it), so the scraps support the leg, right. (You may need to trim back the pointed edges of the bevels on the scraps.) Secure the scraps with double-faced tape, then cut a 1/4"-deep kerf through the open joint on the leg.

Remove the scraps, tilt the blade to 3°, and rip a 1/8"-wide filler strip from a scrap of wood the same species and color as the leg. Glue the filler strip in place, allowing it to stand proud of the leg faces. (The slight bevel wedges the filler tightly in the kerf.)

After the glue dries, trim the filler and sand it flush for a nearly invisible patch, below right. When cutting the mortise joints in the leg, place the patched corner to the back and inside to hide it further.


Comments (3)
genesent4u wrote:

Great tip. It should help me solve a problem I am working on. Have you thought that this may be a good way to dress up the legs and borders on whatever your building? Cut the 1/4" deep kerf a bit wider and on all four side of the legs and edges of the top from a different type of wood for accent strips? I think I will give it a try on a project I am planning. Thanks again for a great tutorial.

1/9/2016 06:02:43 PM Report Abuse
JimTheSoundman wrote:

Rjoy, I think they were saying that although there the piece of wood you are cutting will be the correct length, you should make the sled a bit shorter so it doesn't touch or interfere with the blade, as that might throw off the actual work cut. At least that was my take on it.

8/6/2015 05:47:48 PM Report Abuse

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