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Ronn W

Twisted leg table

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I am planning to build this sofa table for my daughter.  The shelves will be birdseye maple and the legs will be walnut with a full 90 degree twist.  the legs are 1 1/2" square and the twisted portion of each leg is 15 3/4" long.  I made a rough practice piece and found that rasps work well for the rough work.  My question will be about getting to the finished shape - nice smooth surface with crisp corners.  From the practice piece I learned that because the twisted surfaces a continuous 3D curves that long straight strokes with any tool are not possible and that there will likely be1 or 2 grain reversals over the length of each surface.  So, what techniques and tools would you recommend to achieve the final shape??  Thanks you all.

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I like it but, would make the left to right leg pairs mirror images of each other, not all the same twist direction.  I went searching for that other table with twisted legs but, failed to find it.  This is why I stress using intelligent titles to aid in searches.

Your title "Twisted Leg Table" is perfect.  things like "Check this out" are pretty useless.  I'll look some more for that previous build a bit later.  Maybe we'll get lucky and that person will read your thread.
 

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Yes looks like a good project and interested to see how to do that. Sorry I can't give any insight as I don't know either.

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I agree that left and right twists will look better. Maybe you could make a jig to hold the leg and rotate it as needed then clamp so you could work on it.

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2 hours ago, gee-dub said:

I like it but, would make the left to right leg pairs mirror images of each other, not all the same twist direction. 

I totally agree but I could not figure out how to mirror the legs in sketchup and just figuring out how to draw the twisted legs took quite a while.

 

17 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

agree that left and right twists will look better. Maybe you could make a jig to hold the leg and rotate it as needed then clamp so you could work on it.

Jig will be a must.

 

1 hour ago, mkrusen said:

Rasps, spokeshaves, and scrapers. Lots of work but the end product we'll look awesome. Nice design.

This is kinda what I was thinking.  One wrong (too deep) shave or cut and the line of the edge is ruined. Because an stroke of even 1/2" length has to be done with a curved motion,  this looks to be a very tedious process.  I have a flat bottom spokeshave but am wondering if as mini spokeshave, with a round base, which I have never used before would be better and give me more control?  What do you think?

 

4 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

A lot of rasp work? Seems like someone else here did a twisted leg a while back, but I don't recall who.

I looked on line an found videos of larger legs with and 45 degree twist.  Much more gradual curves - easier to shape. But i need the 90 degree twist so the aprons above and below the twist frame into a flat surface at 90 degrees.  OMG, what am I getting myself into?

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I made a table similar to this. I used a spokeshave and cabinet scraper. I attempted the rasp but it was to inconsistent. I used the spokeshave then cleaned up with scraper. My design was a little different so I was able to use a jig and bandsaw to remove some of the bulk. A draw knife would work also to remove the bulk. Make sure you NEVER go past your lines because they are your reference for your next twist. Mark them out with a pen too.

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I remembered something called the Routerlathe that might work or give some insight.  Don't know if this thing is still made, but here is what it was.

http://woodtools.nov.ru/instruc/Trend/rlathe/rlatheman.pdf

Couple of other ideas along the same lines.  

http://www.acetoolonline.com/Vega-Spiral-Fluting-Attachment-p/veg-62522.htm

 

 

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On 10/6/2016 at 11:08 AM, Ronn W said:

I totally agree but I could not figure out how to mirror the legs in sketchup and just figuring out how to draw the twisted legs took quite a while.

It's in the right click menu, "make unique", "flip along component axis".   If you don't do the make unique step you'll of course be flipping all of the copies of the component.

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