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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 (1)
rjoy205 wrote:

The only thing about this technique that I do not understand is that in the 3rd step (i.e., Set up the sled; then rip), the first bevel cut is done with the sled positioned 1/16" away from the blade. Wouldn't this result in the finished / final product being 1/16" wider than it's supposed to be? Why aren't both cuts made with the sled against the blade?

1/4/2014 04:56:59 PM Report Abuse

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