How to Make Turned Table Legs

What You'll Need
Lumber (size and type of your choice)
Spindle turning tools
Wood Stain
Safety glasses
Wood lathe machine

Turned table legs are very common with all kinds of tables that one can imagine. Moreover, these rounded legs can offer a great look to a table, especially in a dining or living room. However, to make turned table legs is not an easy job if you do not have some experience using a wood lathe machine. Here are some steps to follow and the required tools in order to make turned table legs.

Step 1 – Design

Round table legs come in different designs and sizes and therefore, start by designing the legs according to the required size. Draw a pattern on a piece of paper which clearly shows all the distances of each shoulder cut that you wish to make. Try to keep your pattern as clear as possible so that the four table legs will be totally identical.

Step 2 – Prepare the Wood

Place the workpiece in the wood lathe and make sure that it is properly attached from both sides. Then transfer the information from the designed pattern onto the wood by marking the distances of each cut that you are going to make. Then place your pencil on each thick mark and switch on the lathe to create a straight marking line while the wood is turning.

Step 3 – Start Cutting

Now that the lumber is marked, you can start forming the turned table legs. Start from the first dimension and by using the spindle turning tools make the required cut following the pencil mark. Use the caliper to measure the thickness of the cut in order to get it right. Then continue with the other marks until you finish all the pattern.

Step 4 – Form the Shape

Now that the cuts are ready according to the required depth, use the gouge from your turning tools set and start forming the design by grinding the gouge between the cuts. Try to hold the gouge as steady as possible and move it evenly throughout the whole workpiece. Eventually, you will see that the curves will start to form and once the required design is achieved, switch off the wood lathe.

Step 5 – Sand the Leg

After finishing the leg design, use a piece a sandpaper to smooth your workpiece from top to bottom. Switch on the lathe and simply rap the sandpaper around the leg and move it back and forth. You can support it with your fingers but try to move pretty quickly because if you hold it in one place for too long it can get really hot.

Step 6 – Apply the Wood Stain

Once the table leg is ready, apply your preferred wood stain to finish the job. It is better to give a couple of coatings rather than a thick one. At this point, you can continue with the other three legs by following these same above steps.

Now that the legs are ready, attach them to the table top to finish the job. However, if you have never used a wood lathe before, try to practice on some old pieces of wood before you start forming the legs and remember that practice makes perfect.